The twice-delayed 2012 Daytona 500, the race that kicks off the NASCAR season, got off to a less-than-auspicious start Monday night (Feb. 27) when Jimmie Johnson, a favorite going into the season, rather inexplicably spun out of control on the second lap and caused a five-car crash.
Looking at the replays, there’s really no way to tell what caused Johnson to spin out, but once he did, he got hit hard by David Ragan, then hit again by Danica Patrick. Patrick then went spinning across the track into the middle area and managed to slide right in between the wrecking Ragan and Trevor Bayne (the defending Daytona champ). Kurt Busch and Elliot Sadler were also involved in the crash.
It remains to be seen which of the drivers will be back out on the racetrack. Sadler and Ragan stayed in the race, while Patrick, Busch and Bayne headed for the garage. Jimmie Johnson is likely finished, the announcers said. His car was totaled.
If the three garage-bound racers do re-enter the race, they will have a lot of laps to make up. But at least all the drivers are OK.