An early crash in the Daytona 500 took out three of the top contenders, including favorites Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart.
The field was racing in a tight draft just after a restart on Lap 32 when Kasey Kahne had to check up and Kyle Busch got into the back of him, causing Kahne to spin in the big pack.

Busch said on his in-car radio that he bumped Kahne when everyone in front of him checked up.

"My bad," Busch said.

Kahne said he had to lift and brake to keep from hitting Gordon.

"I wanted to race. I didn't want to sit there running single file up against the wall like everybody was doing," Kahne said.

Kahne’s Hendrick Motorsports Chevy spun and slammed into the car of Juan Pablo Montoya, igniting the eight-car, chain-reaction crash.

Harvick appeared to get hit from behind, causing him to spin and crash into Stewart. Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski also was involved, as were Jamie McMurray, Kurt Busch and Casey Mears.

Harvick entered the race as the favorite after winning the Sprint Unlimited last Saturday and his Budweiser Duel qualifying race Thursday. Harvick was trying to become the first driver to sweep all three races.

"(It looked like) Kyle Busch turned the 5 ... That's just part of the game," he said. "We had a great week. We'll rebound next week."

Stewart, a three-time champion, was trying to win the Daytona 500 for the first time in 14 tries.

"I just saw the 5 get turned around, and then the 29 got turned around," Stewart said. "If I didn't tell you I was heartbroken and disappointed, I'd be lying to you. We were pretty happy with the way things were going."

Jeff Gordon had been leading the race with Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Kahne drafting behind him.

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