The NASCAR season is not yet underway, but the Daytona 500 Qualifying weekend already has its first crash. The annual Budweiser Shootout is a pre-season exhibition kickoff prior to the qualifiers on Sunday for next week's Daytona 500 and the start of the Sprint Cup season.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. took an early lead in the Shootout, but on Lap 8, the field of cars that was pack racing suffered a big crash that ended up scuttling several drivers from the race. David Ragan's nose accidentally turned the car of Paul Menard, sparking a chain reaction that also destroyed the cars of Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, Michael Waltrip and Matt Kenseth. Also sustaining damage in the crash were the cars of Jeff Burton, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer and Tony Stewart.
Earnhardt Jr. kept his lead after the race restarted, with Kevin Harvick behind him.
For full updates and information on the Budweiser Shootout and the 2012 Daytona 500, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated NASCAR hub.