Posted: 3:47 a.m. Monday, Feb. 24, 2014
By Kurt Mensching
Two of NASCAR's most promising rookies collided.
Fresh off an accident 17 laps earlier, Daytona 500 pole-sitter Austin Dillon got loose in the third turn, then slid up the track into the No. 42 car of Kyle Larson to cause an eight-car wreck in the fourth turn at Daytona International Speedway.
Larson spun and caromed through traffic before eventually ending up settled on the infield. Dillon drove away unscathed. Marcos Ambrose and Ryan Newman also got caught in it.
Dillon, driving the No. 3 car in its return to NASCAR's highest level after a 13-year absence following the death of Dale Earnhardt on this very track, was caught up in the 12-car accident on lap 145, but had been able to stay in the race. Dillon and Larson are the two favorites to win NASCAR's rookie of the year award this season, among a promising class of eight rookies.
Dale Earnhardt Jr still leads, followed by Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth.
A new notables out of the race include Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer with engine issues, and Danica Patrick due to the Lap 145 wreck.