Crash on Lap 68 Puts Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Out of Race


Date:               Feb. 14, 2015

Event:             Sprint Unlimited (non-points race)

Series:             NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Location:        Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway (2.5-mile oval)

Start/Finish:    22nd/13th (Accident, completed 67 of 75 laps)

Winner:           Matt Kenseth of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota) 

Tony Stewart had a strong run going in the Sprint Unlimited Saturday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Unfortunately, his time in the non-points exhibition race was limited after a crash on lap 68 ended his race seven laps short of the finish.

Stewart had driven his No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) from 22nd in the 25-car field to as high as second with 15 laps to go. But coming off turn two of the 2.5-mile oval on lap 68, Stewart got sideways and collected his teammate, Kurt Busch. Both cars sustained heavy damage, and while the drivers were able to walk away unharmed, their racecars had to be towed back to the garage.

“I just pushed trying to get back in line there. I just wasn’t clear,” said Stewart, a three-time winner of the Sprint Unlimited (2001, 2002 and 2007). “It’s kind of what we all have to do. You have to push, especially this close to the end. You have to fight to get into a spot there. I either wasn’t all the way clear, or didn’t get there quick enough. It’s just part of it.”

The Sprint Unlimited featured drivers who were a part of the 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, had won a pole during the 2014 season, were a past winner of the Sprint Unlimited or had previously won the pole for the Daytona 500.

Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy/TaxACT Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 10th. Patrick earned a spot in the race by winning the pole for the 2013 Daytona 500.

Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 11th. He won a series-high eight poles in 2014. He is also a three-time winner of the Sprint Unlimited (2009, 2010 and 2013).

Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 15th. He won the Sprint Unlimited in 2011.

Matt Kenseth won this year’s Sprint Unlimited to collect his first win in the non-points race. Martin Truex Jr. finished .219 of a second behind Kenseth in the runner-up spot, while Carl Edwards, Casey Mears and Kyle Larson rounded out the top-five. Joey Logano, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Patrick comprised the remainder of the top-10.

There were four caution periods for 17 laps, with 13 drivers failing to finish.

Next up for SHR is Daytona 500 qualifying, where Patrick, Harvick, Stewart and Busch will be among 49 drivers going for the pole for the 57th annual Daytona 500. Qualifying is set to get underway at 1:35 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 15, with live coverage provided by FOX. The Budweiser Duel – twin 150-mile races that will set the rest of the Daytona 500 field – take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19, with live coverage on FOX Sports 1. Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona then culminates with the Daytona 500 at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 22, with live coverage provided by FOX beginning with a prerace show at noon.