Crash, blown engine for Earnhardt mar first practice at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 20:  Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, looks on as crew members work on the car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 20: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet, looks on as crew members work on the car in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

The first practice session for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Daytona International Speedway was not without incidents Wednesday.  The trouble started early in the session when reigning Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski slowed with what appeared to be engine trouble with his Penske Racing Ford. The team was able to diagnose the problem and found it to be a simple fuel problem that required only minor repairs. Keselowski was able to rejoin the field and complete the practice session.

“That’s not what you want when you’re in front of the pack because when your car slows down,” Keselowski said. “They’ve got nowhere to go and it could cause a wreck.  So we’re gonna spend a little extra time to make sure we’ve got whatever it is figured out.”

The only accident came when Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman got together entering turn 1. The Chevy of Newman came down into the Ford of Edwards. The ensuing crash also collected Mark Martin.  Both Edwards and Martin escaped significant damage, while the crew for Newman furiously worked on the Chevy for Newman in hopes of avoiding being forced into a backup car; a situation that would have made Newman start at the rear of Thursday’s Duel qualifier.  MORE>>>

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