Massive Daytona 500 Crash Collects Half of the Field

Gif: NASCAR on Fox (Twitter)

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series racing at Daytona International Speedway in the series’ opening week has been characterized by an abundance of caution—not cautions. Cars have mostly run single file, not risking much leading up to the Daytona 500. But this is the big day, and the big day means big crashes.


As a rather unscathed pack of cars formed up behind leader Kyle Busch with 10 laps to go in the race, an incident between the No. 21 of Paul Menard and No. 95 of Matt DiBenedetto near the front of the group collected 19 cars—nearly half of the 40 cars that started the race, and not all of the cars that started it were still out on track at the time of the wreck.

Drivers involved, according to Fox, Menard, DiBenedetto, Tyler Reddick, Matt Tifft, Chris Buescher, David Ragan, Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson, Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Daniel Hemric, Ryan Newman, Aric Almirola, Erik Jones, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ty Dillon.

Footage of the crash says more about it than words can:

The mass crushing of sheet metal put the race under a red-flag condition with nine laps to go, turning the track into a parking lot while crews clean up the aftermath of it all. During the red flag, the running order from Fox listed the first of the cars in the wreck, DiBenedetto, as 17th overall, meaning there may not be too many cars crossing the finish line by the end of this one.

Those that do make it to the line, though, will probably limp across.

Staff writer, Jalopnik



The big question, as they end the restrictor plate era and switch to the tapered spacer package: Will that mean the end of this moronic, faux-competitive pack racing? Or, alternatively, will it mean every speedway’s going to be this ridiculous?

Regardless, the Big One (or Big Ones) continues to have a knack for wrecking every damn driver I’m rooting for. Pack racing is contrived trash.