Matt Kenseth will be forced to use his back-up car for the Daytona 500 after an incident during the opening Gatorade Duel race at the Florida circuit.
Kenseth was caught up in an incident with Sam Hornish Jr and John Andretti in the final ten laps of the race and made contact with the wall, putting him out of the race.
With the damage sustained to the car being unfixable at the circuit, he will now go to a back-up for the 500 itself.
“We can't fix the one we wrecked,” he said. “I can't tell exactly what's wrong, but it's not something we can fix at the race track. It's pretty tore up.
“We just kind of got grouped together going in there. I was kind of in the middle and toward the top side a little bit when the #77 came down just a little bit, but not a lot. My car moved up a little bit at the same time and it looked like the #77 was trying to go under the #34, maybe, in front of him and we just kind of all got together there.”
Crew chief Drew Blickensderfer admitted that it had been an easy decision to go to a back-up, although he was quick to point out that it does now leave the team hoping that nothing else goes wrong in practice ahead of the race.
“The stuff was moved in the back enough to where it got to the oil tank and put a hole in the oil tank, so it's hard to see visually that there might be something moved,” he said. “You don't see anything hanging or dragging, but it is shifted enough to where it got to the oil tank. The right side of it is completely torn off, so it would need quite a bit of work to get that right and at a speedway you don't want to take that chance.
“We build them so similar that you don't worry about that as much as you probably used to. The cars, with NASCAR's template and the way we build them at Roush Fenway, they're very similar so it's not a bad thing performance-wise. It just puts the shop in a bind and then you still have two more practices you have to get through of drafting practice that you hope nothing else happens, or then you'll be on your fourth car. That's the only fear – that the weekend is not over yet.”