DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA — “The Big One” came late in the Daytona 500.
Paul Menard triggered a 21-car accident shortly after a restart with 10 laps to go in “The Great American Race.” Menard turned Matt DiBenedetto, who slammed into the wall and started a chain-reaction that collected more than two dozen cars.
It brought out a red flag that stopped the race for a lengthy cleanup. Menard says “I’ll take the blame for that one.”
Defending Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola and Daniel Suarez were among those involved in the mess. Almirola seemingly had the wildest ride, his back wheels getting lifted off the pavement and landing on David Ragan’s windshield.
Denny Hamlin eventually won the race. Due to multiple wrecks, the final 20 laps took 85 minutes to complete.