Brian Vickers' first outing as Tony Stewart's replacement ended in an early crash during Saturday night's Sprint Unlimited exhibition race at Daytona International Speedway.
Vickers appeared to blow a tire causing him to spin and hit the outside Turn 1 wall, and in the aftermath Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch were all collected. The cars of Vickers, Harvick and Bowyer all sustained considerable damage and were retired. All drivers involved escaped injury.
"I just saw (Vickers) have a flat tire for a long ways down the straightaway and he just spun out and I hit him," Harvick said. "I guess if you're going to wreck, tonight is the night to wreck."
The aftermath of Brian Vickers' crash. pic.twitter.com/dVoKDyGmZC— Jordan Bianchi (@Jordan_Bianchi) February 14, 2016
Vickers was making his first start since Stewart-Haas Racing named him Friday to drive Stewart's No. 14 for the Unlimited and the Feb. 21 season-opening Daytona 500. Stewart suffered a burst fracture of the L1 vertebrate in an all-terrain vehicle accident last month.
"It was a hard hit, they are never fun," Vickers said. "You blow a right-rear tire, you hit driver-side at 200 mph, but that is part of racing. That is all the risk we take. I'm fine. I feel fine. I was having fun. I was having a blast actually. It was just so much fun to get out there with those guys and rub fenders again and race hard."