Coke Zero 400: Tony Stewart, Dale Jr. involved in 16-car crash at Lap 21 (VIDEO)

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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.

MRTI: pre-season testing Day 3 notebook

Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography
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Day 3 of pre-season testing at Homestead-Miami Speedway saw the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda continue testing for the second day in a row, with each series completing three sessions on what was their final day of running.

Quick reports on both series are below.

Pro Mazda: Cunha Surges to the Front

While Saturday saw Pro Mazda newcomers like Oliver Askew, Parker Thompson, and Rinus VeeKey lead the way, Sunday saw a pair of second-year Pro Mazda drivers take their turns at the top of the speed charts. In the combined results, Juncos Racing’s Carlos Cunha turned the fastest lap of the final session, also good enough to be the outright fastest lap of the weekend, taking advantage of a fresh set of Cooper Tires to do so.

“I’m really happy, Juncos Racing is an amazing team,” Cunha said of the team’s performance. “On track, we are always improving, never going backwards and that’s very good. We have tested a lot but we still need to learn a lot about the car, though we are almost to a perfect setup. The team has given me everything I need to be comfortable inside the car, to know what the car needs, and to know what I need to be a better driver. We have time to improve and we are moving forward quickly.”

Fellow sophomore driver Sting Ray Robb, now with Team Pelfrey, was right behind Cunha in second.

Combined results across both Saturday and Sunday can be found here.

USF2000: Kirkwood, Cape Motorsports Stay On Top of Deep USF2000 Field

New Cape Motorsports driver Kyle Kirkwood, who topped Session 2 on Saturday, stayed on top of the combined speed charts across the weekend on the strength of his best lap from Session 3 of the weekend on Saturday.

Pabst Racing’s Rasmus Lindh was right behind Kirkwood, on the strength of his quick lap from Session 1.

However, Sunday’s running saw a different driver assert his authority, with Kaylen Frederick, Lindh’s teammate at Pabst, turning the fastest lap during the final session.

Frederick ended up fourth in the combined results, which can be viewed here.

The Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires will take to the Homestead-Miami road course on Monday for the final day of testing for the Mazda Road to Indy.

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