For better or for worse, NASCAR has gained a reputation for plenty of fender-to-fender action that sometimes results in major multi-car pileups. Saturday’s Sprint Unlimited race in Daytona certainly lived up to the series’ crunchy reputation, with a major crash that took out more than half the field. Among the top three were two Toyotas and one Ford. Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag in his Camry, Brad Keselowski came in second in his Ford Fusion, and Kyle Busch gave Toyota its other top three spot.
The race also marked the first time that driver Tony Stewart took the wheel since August, when he suffered a broken leg. Stewart was only able to complete 35 laps before being knocked out in the massive nine-car pileup that took seven racers out of the competition, including racing sweethearts Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.
The final count of just eight racers finishing is the lowest number on record since 1981. To top off all the other drama, one of the Chevrolet SS pace cars caught fire as an auxiliary electrical unit that powers the car’s caution lights started smoking. The pace car was replaced with an alternate vehicle, but Hamlin reportedly quipped on the pace car’s malady, “They should have been driving a Camry.”