Multiple contenders have been taken out in a major crash on Lap 21 of the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
As the field exited Turn 4, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. got loose and Jeff Gordon behind him appeared to get loose as well. Gordon then got into and turned around Tony Stewart, with a sizable portion of the field collected in the aftermath.
Also among those involved in the accident were Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Marcos Ambrose, Danica Patrick, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Trevor Bayne, Kyle Larson, A.J. Allmendinger, Jimmie Johnson, Michael Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Carl Edwards.
After being released from the infield care center, Stewart was understandably in an annoyed mood.
“We’re a quarter of a lap away from getting a competition caution, and Stenhouse is going to be a hero,” Stewart told TNT. “I don’t know. I don’t know what happened to him there, but that took out a bunch of good cars for no reason.
“…No matter what I say right now, somebody’s going to be mad and somebody’s going to disagree with it. But I think it’s a pretty dumb excuse to have the caution come out 500 yards too early.”
Stenhouse indicated in his comments that Bobby Labonte pulling up ahead of him caused his own car to get loose out of Turn 4.
“We had a good head of steam run going towards the lead there and the 33 [Bobby Labonte] pulled up in front of us, slowed us a little bit,” he said. “Got a little bit loose off the corner, got it saved and was going straight for a little bit.
“And then it looked like the 24 [Gordon] kind of checked up and moved down, maybe thought I was gonna spin it out, and got into the outside of the 14 [Stewart] there and turned him around.”
The green flag came back out at Lap 28 following the clean-up. 34 cars are now currently on the lead lap.