Minutes later, the race was stopped by lightning, and fans who had been socially distanced in the stands had to seek shelter in the crowded hall instead. Heavy rain followed and shut down “The Great American Race” for what will be a long delay.
Christopher Bell started the melee as he pushed Almirola too hard near the front of the field, forcing the Stewart-Haas Racing driver to bubble as he tried to avoid a slide. Almirola ended up turning right into Bowman. Their contact caused others to collide and sent them spinning and slipping through grass and mud. Martin Truex Jr., Erik Jones, Jamie McMurray, Ryan Blaney, William Byron, Ryan Newman Daniel Suarez and Kurt Busch was among those involved.
“We were just pushed too hard too soon,” Almirola said, according to NASCAR.com. “It’s a long, long race. Man, we were in a nice position, just sitting there and driving around in the top two, three and the 20 [Bell] came right with a big race and hit me really hard in a bad spot and it turned me right and tore up our race car and ended our Daytona 500 way too early. “
Almirola, Bowman, Newman, Jones and Suarez are among those listed now as out of the race, according to NASCAR.com.
Hendrick Motorsports had put Bowman and Byron in the front row.
Newman was nearly killed in a horrific accident in the final lap of last year’s Daytona 500. Newman safely walked away Sunday and even checked Busch as he sat in his Chevy.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
More Tags We Loveaverage auto insurance rates in texas what is the minimum coverage for auto insurance in florida top insurance companies in south africa 2020 top insurance companies in canada 2017 what is the best insurance company in canada mobile phone insurance australia compare travel medical insurance covid coverage which auto insurance company has the best rates is direct line a good home insurance company how much does home insurance cover