A crash involving Brad Keselowski has ended the first segment in tonight’s Sprint Unlimited at Daytona International Speedway.
Shortly after Keselowski hit the outside tri-oval wall after Kyle Larson made contact with him, it was confirmed that the yellow would serve as the competition caution that was originally slated for Lap 25. After this caution, a second segment is scheduled for 50 laps.
At the end of Segment One, Martin Truex Jr. held the lead over Dale Earnhardt Jr., defending Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, and Aric Almirola. However, during subsequent pit stops, Earnhardt was the first out of the pits after taking no tires.
Pole sitter Paul Menard led the first seven laps of Segment One before Keselowski seized the point at Lap 8. But his time up front was short-lived as Matt Kenseth and then Truex made their way to the front in the span of a few laps.
After Truex took the lead, Earnhardt settled in behind him in second after starting 24th on the grid. Also making a march from the back was Stewart, who clawed his way to third after starting 22nd.
But on Lap 23, Larson moved up while coming off Turn 4 and made contact with Keselowski, who had fallen back into the clutches of the field. Keselowski was sent into the infield grass before going back up the track and hitting the SAFER Barrier.
“I haven’t seen [the replay] to be honest, but obviously I made contact with the 42 and the 22 [Joey Logano], and I couldn’t tell if somebody made contact with me from behind,” Keselowski told Fox Sports. “I ended up in the grass there and when all that happens, it’s not good. It tears up the front end on these cars quick.
“It’s just a part of racing at Daytona, and I’m really happy with the speed of the Miller Lite Ford. We’ve got a lot of racing left in Speedweeks – it’s just a preliminary and we’ll be ready to go when it counts for the [Daytona] 500.”