Shortly after a massive wreck devastated the field and knocked out 16 cars on the 40 car field, the race was abandoned because of a lightning strike in the Daytona area.
Ryan Newman was among those whose race ended after 15 laps when Aric Almirola sideways after a push from Christopher Bell. Almirola turned sideways and pulled out Kurt Busch, Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney, Chris Buescher, Martin Truex Jr., Matt DiBenedetto, William Byron, David Ragan, Anthony Alfredo, Erik Jones, Alex Bowman, Jamie McMurray, Daniel Suarez and Newman, Bell and Almirola. Byron’s car almost overturned.
It is not clear how many cars can possibly go on. Byron, Truex, McMurray and Busch drove back to the pit lane, according to Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass, but the teams cannot work on the cars with the red flag race. You will be on a six minute clock when the race continues.
“We were just pushed too soon. It’s a long, long race, ”said Almirola as the riders took cover under the red flag. “Man, we were in a position of five and just sat there and drove around in the top two, three and twenty [car driven by Bell] I just came out with a big run and hit myself really hard in a bad spot. It turned me right and tore up our racing car and ended our Daytona 500 way too early. “
None of the drivers were injured in the accident, but the rain that followed the lightning allowed them and those still in the race time to express their feelings about the accident.
“I missed the wreck, but was hit by a place that was the end of our day,” Newman said. “I just feel bad for [the sponsors] … getting out of the Daytona 500 so early, but unfortunately that’s part of racing. I just wish we could have had better results. “
Ragan agreed that in a 500 mile race, the drivers were putting too much pressure too early on while Chase Briscoe could joke.