DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. —
This time, his battered No. 29 couldn’t be saved.
The early nine-car wreck started when Kasey Kahne let off the gas to slow as they neared the first turn at Daytona International Speedway. Kyle Busch tried to do the same, but couldn’t avoid contact.
Busch sent Kahne spinning across the track. Juan Pablo Montoya, 2010 race winner Jamie McMurray and Brad Keselowski also were involved. So were Kurt Busch and Casey Mears. Montoya is a former Indianapolis 500 winner. Busch won the 2004 Cup title. None of them had a chance to pad his resume.
The accident came a day after a horrific wreck in a second-tier NASCAR series race hurled chunks of debris, including a heavy tire, into the stands and injured nearly 30 people.
The next nine-car wreck came 105 laps later and took out Edwards. Edwards said his team was ready to come back and dominate at Phoenix after a miserable month at Daytona.
Joe Gibbs Racing also needs to rebound after a 1-2-3 run of Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch was quickly down to just Hamlin. Kenseth’s smoky No. 20 hit pit road with a transmission issue and Busch’s race soon ended with a blown engine. Busch was furious as he walked alone back to his hauler.
Hamlin failed to keep his fast pace and fell back to 14th.
“All of the guys at JGR built an awesome piece,” said Busch, who won the second duel of Speedweeks. “But we’ve got to have engines that last.”
Kenseth led a race-high 86 laps and left with the lead after 149 laps.
“You can’t drop out and win championships,” he said. “We had all the right things, we just didn’t make it to the end.”
Hamlin didn’t have an engine issue, he had a former teammate issue. Hamlin took aim with former JGR driver Joey Logano, who moved on to Penske Racing.