We've reached the end of NASCAR's regular season and we're ready to crown a champion ... the biggest regular-season wrecker of 2013. After leading for most of the year, Marcos Ambrose has been knocked out of the top spot. Jeff Burton, congratulations.
And now, thanks to the tight racing at Bristol Motor Speedway, Busch is moving up in our crash tracker. Last week, he was tied with brother Kyle. After gaining a spot, he's now tied with Danica Patrick for 2nd place.
With Bristol in the books, here's an updated look at NASCAR's biggest wreckers.
Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Fastenal Ford, is involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 24, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
(Todd Warshaw, Getty Images North America)
No one, but not one, is happier to be going to Phoenix International Raceway for Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 (FOX, FOX Deportes, 2:30 p.m. ET) than Carl Edwards, who was involved in five, count ‘em five, crashes at Daytona International Speedway since testing began in January.
There is however, no truth to rumors that he hit the pace car, the Florida Lottery or the Irish Sweepstakes. Nor did he wad up his rental car on the way to the airport. He just hit everything else — or got hit by everyone else — during Speedweeks.
Edwards is counting on his run of bent sheetmetal being over.
“I haven’t wrecked a car for a couple of days, so I hope our luck has changed,” Edwards said prior to departing for Phoenix.
Also high on the Crash Tracker were Kurt Busch and Mark Martin, who were involved in three wrecks each during Speedweeks. Martin took some consolation in that he finished third behind Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Daytona 500. Busch, not so much after his 28th-place finish.
“Too many times we’ve been in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Busch after his younger brother Kyle triggered a nine-car wreck on Lap 33 that took the elder Busch out of Daytona 500 contention. “We got collected in a practice accident on the first day, collected the next day in the Sprint Unlimited race and today was the final blow. The only race when our car wasn’t a magnet for trouble was in the qualifying race, when we finished fifth.”
Kurt should have better fortunes this week in the Sonoran Desert. In 20 starts at the 1-mile PIR oval, Busch has completed 6,299 of a possible 6,317 laps. That’s 99.7 percent, for those of you without a calculator handy.
NASCAR Race Hub Radioactive is back for 2013 giving you the best driver chatter and an inside look from the Daytona 500.
In this edition, we eavesdrop on a pre-race "pep talk" delivered by Ray Lewis, driver chatter from Danica Patrick and Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart's wreck along with Trevor Bayne and Jeff Burton's crashes. Mix in some of Matt Kenseth's and Kyle Busch's engine blow up reactions and the last lap race call.
Great action and a must watch every week. Turn up the volume, watch and enjoy!
There were a couple spectacular wrecks during the Friday night NextEra Energy Resources 250 Trucks race and we captured them for your viewing pleasure.
First “The Big One” happened on Lap 54. The crash involved 14 trucks in total: #1, #5, #07, #8, #14, #27, #30, #33, #60, #62, #77, #87, #93 and #99. It all started when the #77 and #14 trucks closed up the gap between each other and the #62 (Brendan Gaughan) tried to fill the hole in the middle lane… Oops! Result = 14 truck yard sale!
Thursday turned sour for Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Trevor Bayne and Regan Smith when they were involved in a wreck in Lap 53 of the first Budweiser Duel race. Check out this frame-by-frame gallery from SPEED’s coverage of the crash, plus a few bonus photos. Ouch.
Your winner for roughest day so far at the Budweiser Duel -- Carl Edwards, whose car came away looking like this after a crash on Lap 53 in the first race. Edwards, who got tangled with Denny Hamlin, 2011 champion Trevor Bayne and Regan Smith, has been no stranger to hard luck down in Daytona.
"That is the fourth time we have wrecked since we have been down here," Edwards said. "We are getting it out of our systems."
Edwards also crashed in practices for the Sprint Unlimited and Duel, and he was black-flagged for losing his driver's side net in the Unlimited race itself.
"This is the worst Speedweeks start I have ever had," he said. "I don't think I have crashed this many race cars in two years."
On the other end of the spectrum is Kevin Harvick, who won the race and also finished first in last Saturday's Sprint Unlimited. Harvick, like the race itself, is sponsored by Budweiser. Good day for the beer distributor.
Danica Patrick already had the pole wrapped up for Sunday's race -- as long as she didn't wreck in this one -- and didn't put up much of a fight in the meaningless race, finishing 17th, over six seconds off the pace.
Danica Patrick would probably like to forget her 2012 Daytona experience. This year she captured the Daytona 500 Pole so she’s off to a great start but here’s a look back at her crash-filled trip to last year’s Speedweeks.
RICKY RUDD — Nicknamed “The Rooster,” Rudd had a horrifying airborne crash off Turn 4 in the 1984 Busch Clash, the race now known as the Sprint Unlimited. Seven days later, his face still gruesomely swollen, Rudd raced in the Daytona 500 with his eyes duct-taped open. Literally. And a week after that, he won the next NASCAR race at Richmond. That’s a big set of cojones right there.
DALE EARNHARDT— That Earnhardt was a bad-ass is a given. His crowning moment of toughness came in the closing laps of the 1997 Daytona 500, when he rolled his black No. 3 Chevrolet on the backstretch. Medical workers showed up in an ambulance to take Earnhardt to the infield medical center for evaluation. He was having no part of it. “I got in the ambulance and I looked back at the car and said, ‘Man, the wheels are still on that thing.’ I got out of the ambulance and asked the guy inside the car — they was hooking it up (to the wrecker) — I said, ‘See if it’ll crank.’ He cranked it up and I said, ‘Get out! Gimme the car back!’ and I drove it back.”
CALE YARBOROUGH — One of the toughest men to ever hold the steering wheel, Yarborough was a former boxer and football star in high school in South Carolina. During qualifying for the 1983 Daytona 500, Yarborough became the first man in history to ever post a qualifying lap of more than 200 miles per hour in a stock car at Daytona. But on his second of two qualifying laps, Yarborough’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo got airborne and flipped over in Turn 4. He ran the race in his back-up car — a Pontiac LeMans — and won his third Daytona 500 with a last-lap pass of Buddy Baker.
GEOFFREY BODINE — Maybe the scariest looking crash of all-time at Daytona occurred during the 2000 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Geoffrey Bodine made contact with another truck on the frontstretch, with his truck sailing high into the air and into the catchfence, igniting in a ball of flame and then doing a series of rolls on the track, only to be hit again. Bodine suffered moderate injuries, including a broken cheek and wrist, but he lived to tell about it. So violent was the impact that the engine was ripped completely out of the truck and ended up on the far side of pit road.
DUANE BARNES — Never heard of Duane Barnes? He was sitting in a pickup truck with a jet dryer on the back during a rain delay in last year’s Daytona 500. Under caution on Lap 160, something broke on Juan Pablo Montoya’s car and it slammed into the truck where Barnes was sitting. The jet dryer exploded, 200 gallons of jet fuel caught fire and the race was red-flagged for more than two hours. Barnes was taken to Halifax Medical Center, where he was examined and then quickly released.
Jimmie Johnson appeared on FOX Sports Live Sunday night to talk about his sixth NASCAR championship. In the one-on-one interview with Dan O'Toole, he was also asked about McNabb's controversal comments about drivers not being athletes.