Multi-car accident mars Daytona practice

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Multi-car accident mars Daytona practice

Two teams were forced to backup cars for the Thursday Daytona Twin 125s while other teams were in the garage area working feverishly on their Winston Cup cars. With only minutes remaining in the Tuesday practice session, Jack Sprague and Steve...

Two teams were forced to backup cars for the Thursday Daytona Twin 125s while other teams were in the garage area working feverishly on their Winston Cup cars. With only minutes remaining in the Tuesday practice session, Jack Sprague and Steve Park made contact and the first multi-car accident for the new season happened at Daytona International Speedway.

Chain reaction accidents are a trademark at the famed high-bank track. The Winston Cup cars tested here in January, practiced on Saturday twice before today's session, the first one after Monday's qualifying. Three times is not a charm.

"I don't know," stated Sprague on how the accident started. "I was in the middle, [Steve] Park was on the outside and he didn't stay up and he hit me in the right front, drove me into [Mike] Skinner and it was all over."

None of the drivers involved were injured including Mike Skinner's Pontiac first hit by Sprague and then the two Ford's of Jeff Burton and Elliott Sadler.

Jeff Burton.
Photo by Thomas Chemris.
The month of February does not appear to be lucky for Burton as he will have to go to his back-up Roush Racing Ford for the first of the two Twin 125s. Burton was scheduled to start in the 23rd position out of 25 starters.

"Sprague got in the side of Skinner on the short chute and turned Skinner sideways," stated Burton from his vantage point. "That got the track all blocked up and there was nowhere for anybody to go, so everybody plowed into everybody. I tell you one thing, I'm tired of getting wrecked in practice."

Fellow Ford racer, Sadler will also turn to his Robert Yates Racing back-up car for his Twin 125. He starts tenth in the second of the two qualifier races on Thursday, February 13.

"The 4 car was blending in and I guess the 0 didn't see him and just absolutely ran in the side of him," stated Sadler. "I don't know if he misjudged him or what was going on, but it's a shame to wreck a bunch of good cars on the straightaway. I mean, we're supposed to be professionals and using our heads and they're out there running into the side of each other on the straightaway. There's not much common sense going on."

Skinner's Morgan-McClure Motorsports team intend to fix the damage car to use on Thursday. The team has pulled out their back-up car as a secondary measure and/or to use for Wednesday morning practice at the Speedway.

"To the best of my knowledge, we got ran into by a rookie," Skinner stated. "The right rear corner on our car is crunched a lot. Whether he got pushed down there or not, I don't know."

The damage to Sprague's nose is reported as being fixable. Neither he nor Park suffered much damage.

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Series NASCAR-CUP