It took only 15 laps into the Sprint Unlimited race Saturday night for the first big crash of the NASCAR season.
The race, featuring the new Gen-6 cars, is more of an exhibition before the season-opening Daytona 500 next weekend, but it provided the usual thrills and chills as Kevin Harvick outlasted 19 rivals to take the checkered flag.
By the time the chain-reaction crash involving nine drivers was sorted out, seven cars were too damaged to continue racing, including that of defending race winner Kyle Busch, who had already wrecked a car in practice.
Also taken out were Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson from Hendrick Motorsports, Mark Martin and Kurt Busch.
“I didn't see much. I was just cruising along and I saw sparks in front of me -- I knew that wasn't good,” Johnson said.
As for racing in the new Gen-6 cars, Harvick said the drivers and teams have more adjustments to make.
"Still a lot to be learned," Harvick said. "When you put 43 [cars] out, there things will move and shift a lot easier.
"It's going to be a pack, absolutely. I don't think there's going to be too many chances. You'll see some cars break away. I think if you turn on a 2000 race, one of those races, it's going to be very similar."