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NASCAR "big one" crash wipes out half the field

He may be the hard-partying NASCAR driver everyone's talking about, but today everyone's talking about how Brian Vickers connected with Matt Kenseth, got perpendicular to the field and took out a crapload of cars.

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When the smoke cleared, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer, Regan Smith, Bobby Labonte, David Ragan, David Reutimann, Andy Lally, and Travis Kvapil, among 13 total, had been caught up in the Talladega-like tangle, which happened on restart after a crash in which Kyle Bush connected with Karl Edwards while a chain reaction occurred further back, when Kevin Harvick ran into the back of David Ragan and was hit from behind by Mark Martin. Earlier, Daytona 500 wunderkind Trevor Bayne spun and crashed hard into a wall.

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Oh, and — SPOILER ALERT — Jeff Gordon won.

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DISCUSSION

If every NASCAR race this season has a "big one" in which no one's hurt, I'll be happy. 43 is too big a field; you need a crash or two to thin the herd, IMO. And thanks to all the safety systems in place, you can crash these COTs pretty hard and come out of it okay. Frankly, a NASCAR race without any crashes isn't entertaining.

After a most gentlemanly, feel-good Daytona 500, I'm a little dismayed by Vickers' interview after wrecking, warning "it'll come back to" Kenseth, who has consistently pled innocence. If Kenseth says he didn't do anything to intentionally wreck Vickers, Vickers shouldn't be going after him. We don't need any forced feuds, thank you very much. Lay off the Red Bull, put it behind you, and race.