Tony Stewart took the blame for the big wreck in the Sprint Unlimited Saturday night as an attempted move for the lead went awry and sent six cars to the garage at Daytona International Speedway.

Just 15 laps into the 75-lap preseason race, Stewart was trying to move down the track to make a move on leader Matt Kenseth, but he clipped Marcos Ambrose's car, causing the field to check up behind them.

“I made a move for the lead and was probably a little anxious too early,” Stewart said. “I was kind of stagnant where I was at and I was having fun moving forward and felt (like) racing.”

Stewart and Ambrose were able to collect their cars, but the upper line checked up, with Denny Hamlin running into the back of Jimmie Johnson, sending cars spinning all around the track.

Hamlin, Johnson, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch all suffered too much damage to return to the 19-car field.

“I got a big run on the 20 (of Kenseth) and I went to the bottom — I thought I was clear,” Stewart said. “(My) spotter did not clear me. I went on my own. I thought I had enough of a run to be clear of the third-place guy and I’m pretty sure I clipped whoever was in third.”

Drivers viewed the accident as avoidable but also attributed it to the nature of restrictor-plate racing, especially one with a new car. The 2013 cars feature new bodies, which include more curved front bumpers that don’t allow drivers to push each other easily and small rear spoilers that make the cars more unstable with less rear downforce.

There is still a learning curve as far as racing in two or three lanes in the draft.

“We’re all trying to figure out what you can or cannot do with this car, and what you have to do to make moves and pass and everything,” Busch said.

“(That was) a little overzealous right now. It’s 15 laps into the race. We don’t need to be crashing yet.”

Hamlin said cars began getting a little bit loose just before the accident.

“Once someone bobbles, we’re all on top of each other so everyone’s braking point and reaction time is going to be different,” Hamlin said.

“And then guys start getting run over. … I knew Jimmie was in front of me or beside me and we kind of checked up at the same time, but we got plowed from behind.”

Martin said he isn’t sure why all the cars on the high line got so bunched up.

“The cars up higher on the racetrack tangled for some reason,” Martin said. “We were going to get through there and I got squeezed. … We didn’t get very far along there, did we?”

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