Sports Now

Sports news from Los Angeles and beyond

« Previous Post | Sports Now Home | Next Post »

'Big One' strikes in Phoenix as NASCAR race is marred by multi-car crash

February 27, 2011 |  2:30 pm


The NASCAR term "The Big One" usually is reserved for massive multi-car crashes at Daytona and Talladega, the superspeedways where the stock cars race in tight packs and an accident can wipe out a bunch of cars in one swoop.

But even the cramped, one-mile Phoenix International Raceway saw its version of "The Big One" on Sunday early in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, when 13 drivers were collected in a wreck on the back straightaway.

The accident appeared to start when Matt Kenseth made slight contact with Brian Vickers, the driver in teh car next to him, which sent Vickers' Toyota spinning in the middle of the pack. Martin Truex Jr., Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer, David Gilliland and Regan Smith were among other drivers involved.

NASCAR made the remaining cars park under a red flag for 14 minutes while safety crews cleaned up the mess.

Earlier in the Subway Fresh Fit 500, surprise Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne also spun and crashed hard into the wall, ending his hopes for another Cinderella finish.

With the race nearly half over, Tony Stewart was leading, followed by Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.

--Jim Peltz, reporting from Avondale, Ariz.

Photo: Several cars crash in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Ariz. Credit: Jennifer Stewart / US Presswire