It took less than 10 minutes for Sprint Cup drivers to start crashing at Daytona International Speedway as Speedweeks and preparations for the Daytona 500 got under way Friday.

About eight minutes into the first practice session, Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth collided during practice for Saturday's Sprint Unlimited. Kenseth moved down the track and hit Busch, igniting a multicar crash that collected Mark Martin, Carl Edwards and Juan Pablo Montoya.
Sprint Cup drivers are adjusting to the new Gen-6 car and Friday was the first practice session of the season. Busch and Kenseth were racing at the front of a pack of cars drafting as they prepared for Saturday night's 75-lap exhibition race.

"That didn't have to do with the racecars — that was 100 percent driver error, my driver error," Kenseth said.

"I had no idea anybody was there. He had a run at the same time and I came down in front of him and he couldn't get slowed up from staying (off) of me. So it was just 100 percent my fault."

At least three drivers will go to backup cars — Busch, Edwards and Martin. While Edwards and Martin had four cars available for Daytona, Busch only had three, and a crash in the race Saturday night could put the team in a bind next week.

"It's tough," Busch said. "A lot of hard work goes into these cars and six weeks of preparation can be trashed in six laps.

"Matt went high. I think he expected me to go with him. I went low and Matt came across our nose."

Kevin Harvick was fastest in the first of two practice sessions Friday evening with a speed of 197.364 mph. Aric Almirola was second at 197.316 as the drivers worked on drafting for Saturday night's race. Only 19 drivers are in the field for the preseason exhibition and several teams elected not to participate in the second session after the wreck.

Martin said the draft wasn't so dicey that he felt something was going to happen.

"That was just a situation where things happen pretty quickly and there was an accident," Martin said. "There wasn't anything brewing (or) a big deal.

"We were all just feeling our cars out, finding out what they would do. And Kurt got a quick run and he shot up on the inside of Matt before he realized what was happening there. (Matt) went to come down and Kurt was there."

Most of the cars damaged could be repaired in time to be used next week.

"MWR brought plenty of really good racecars," Martin said. "It's not really devastating. And it's not the last tore-up racecar we'll see during Speedweeks."

The accident was similar to the crash Dale Earnhardt Jr. caused during testing last month at Daytona as drivers attempted to draft with the new car.

Busch was preparing for his first race of the season with Furniture Row Racing, which he joined late last season.

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