Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth involved in wreck in Daytona 500

Three contenders for Great American Race among drivers who were dealt a massive blow near midway point

Mike Dinovo—USA Today Sports
NASCAR Cup Series drivers Kyle Busch (18)

It wasn’t the “Big One,” but it took out some big names.Kyle Busch lost control of his No. 18 car, spun around and slammed into the wall. He collected several other contenders, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth. Rookies Erik Jones and Ty Dillon were also involved, with both sustaining race-ending damage.
Crash! Kyle Busch gets loose. #DaleJr hits the wall. #DAYTONA500 https://t.co/J4Jii1yJRb— FOX SPORTS: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 26, 2017
In fact, the lone driver who was able to return to the track immediately after the wreck was Earnhardt Jr. He would then take the car to the garage after the debris was cleared. After starting the race on the front row and leading multiple laps, the wreck ruined the potential Cinderella story for Junior in his return to the track after missing half of last season.
Dale Jr’s Daytona 500 ends. pic.twitter.com/OlOiu0ygw5— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) February 26, 2017As for Busch, Kenseth and Jones — all three part of the Toyota stable — the wreck dealt a huge blow to both JGR and Furniture Row Racing. With all three drivers heading straight to the garage, it cost the two teams half of their cars in the field.”Obviously Goodyear tires aren’t very good at holding air,” Busch said after the wreck. “We tore up three JGR cars and Dale Jr. I feel bad for those guys.”Luckily for Busch, he did win the first stage of the race over the opening 60 laps. However, he’ll finish outside of Victory Lane for a 12th straight year in the Daytona 500 after the accident.