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DATE News (chronologically)
02/16/13
nassprint
Wreck mars opening Sprint Cup practice
Matt Kenseth takes blame
As far as Matt Kenseth was concerned, blame it on driver error.

The first NASCAR practice session of these Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway looked a lot like the last testing session here a month ago, with several cars suffering damage in a drafting accident on the 2.5-mile facility. But unlike that crash in January, which was sparked by unfamiliarity with one aspect of the Generation-6 Sprint Cup cars, this one had a much more conventional cause.

“That was 100 percent driver error -- my driver error,” said Kenseth, who started the accident when he came down on Kurt Busch just nine laps into Friday’s opening practice for The Sprint Unlimited exhibition race, which will kick off the NASCAR season. Five cars were involved, and three of those went to backups for Saturday night’s event.



Friday’s practice session was highly anticipated, given that nearly a dozen cars suffered damage in a January testing accident which began when Dale Earnhardt Jr. attempted to bump-draft Marcos Ambrose. A lack of familiarity with the new cars’ mismatched bumpers sent the No. 9 spinning, and with some parts in short supply, many teams packed up and headed home immediately afterward.

Friday marked the first drafting session on Daytona’s high banks since that episode. Nine minutes in, the field was exiting Turn 4 when Kenseth came down into Busch, turning the No. 78 and igniting an accident that also involved Juan Pablo Montoya, Mark Martin and Carl Edwards. The latter two went to backup cars, as did Busch.

Kenseth, beginning his first season with Joe Gibbs Racing, placed the blame completely on himself.

“I had no idea anybody was there, and he had a run at the same time, and I came down in front of him, and he couldn’t get slowed up from staying out of me,” the 2003 series champion said. “It was 100 percent my fault. It doesn’t matter what kind of car you’re driving -- you drive down in front of somebody, they’re going to hit you. … It seems like the cars are real good. My car was real fast before I tore it up. I feel bad that it happened.”

First Practice Results

Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed Laps Fastest
1 29 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevrolet 45.601 197.364 16 ---.---
2 43 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 45.612 197.316 13 -0.011
3 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford 45.660 197.109 22 -0.059
4 5 Kasey Kahne Farmers Insurance Chevrolet 45.676 197.040 20 -0.075
5 56 Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 45.677 197.036 17 -0.076
6 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. National Guard Chevrolet 45.743 196.751 20 -0.142
7 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet 45.769 196.640 8 -0.168
8 78 Kurt Busch Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 45.776 196.610 9 -0.175
9 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota 45.831 196.374 8 -0.230
10 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Toyota 45.831 196.374 19 -0.230
11 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 45.912 196.027 14 -0.311
12 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota 45.922 195.984 8 -0.321
13 55 Mark Martin Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota 45.939 195.912 8 -0.338
14 99 Carl Edwards Fastenal Ford 45.960 195.822 8 -0.359
15 24 Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet 46.145 195.037 15 -0.544
16 14 Tony Stewart Mobil 1 / Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet 46.146 195.033 19 -0.545
17 9 Marcos Ambrose Stanley Ford 46.298 194.393 5 -0.697
18 32 Terry Labonte C&J Energy Services Ford 47.138 190.929 5 -1.537
19 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Yellow Chevrolet 47.749 188.486 8 -2.148

The Sprint Unlimited Final Practice Results

Pos Car Driver Team Time Speed Laps Fastest
1 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota 45.906 196.053 18 ---.---
2 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 45.915 196.014 14 -0.009
3 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford 45.999 195.656 15 -0.093
4 29 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Chevrolet 45.999 195.656 20 -0.093
5 43 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 46.027 195.537 21 -0.121
6 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Target Chevrolet 46.492 193.582 6 -0.586
7 5 Kasey Kahne Farmers Insurance Chevrolet 46.628 193.017 25 -0.722
8 9 Marcos Ambrose Stanley Ford 46.664 192.868 12 -0.758
9 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Toyota 46.970 191.612 21 -1.064
10 32 Terry Labonte C&J Energy Services Ford 47.020 191.408 12 -1.114
11 24 Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet 47.130 190.961 31 -1.224
12 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Yellow Chevrolet 47.339 190.118 21 -1.433

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