NASCAR Sprint Unlimited 2014: Live Results, Updates and Analysis

Kevin McRaeFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2014

Denny Hamlin was the survivor of a wild Sprint Unlimited on Saturday night at Daytona.
Denny Hamlin was the survivor of a wild Sprint Unlimited on Saturday night at Daytona.Tom Pennington/Getty Images

It was a crazy night at the Daytona International Speedway.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series got off to an exciting start on Saturday night, with Denny Hamlin surviving to capture the Sprint Unlimited in a wild race.

And survival might be the optimal word.

The race, which doesn't award any points in the standings, is often known for giving drivers the opportunity to be highly aggressive while preparing for the much higher-profile Daytona 500. Crashes are commonplace, and Saturday night's race served up an epic one.

It occurred on the 35th lap, when Matt Kenseth, attempting to avoid Brad Keselowski in the No. 2 car, instead made contact with Joey Logano, setting off a chain-reaction crash that took out almost half the field.

Jeff Gordon, Danica Patrick, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards were all forced to make an early exit because of damage. 

Luckily, there were no injures reported. 

Logano was able to continue on after the crash but Kenseth was not.

By the end, only eight of the 18 cars who started in Daytona finished the race.

Jimmie Johnson was the first man to see his night end early from a crash. His car spun out during the 28th lap and slammed into the infield wall. As it turns out, that was just a sign of things to come.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who led for much of the third segment of the race, became the last victim during the 66th lap, when he was forced into the wall by Marcos Ambrose.

It was just that type of night, and the season is just getting started.