Fencing gets tryout
By RANDY COVITZ
The Kansas City Star
The new fences at Daytona International Speedway passed their first test at Wednesdays first practice session for the Daytona 500.
A multicar crash sent Parker Kligermans Toyota to the top of the wall and against the fence in the front stretch before the car flipped over on its roof. But it did not go through the fence and into the stands the way Kyle Larsons car did in horrifying fashion in the Nationwide Series race last February.
The first practice session was red-flagged while repairs were made to the fencing and new cables were replaced.
The fencing performed as designed, said a spokesman for the track.
Kligerman flips his lid
That multicar crash was instigated by Joey Logano, who ran into Paul Menard and wrecked several cars, including Kligerman and Dave Blaney.
Kligerman drives for Swan Racing, a modestly funded team that has only one backup, which was to be used by fellow rookie Cole Whitt, who had been involved in an earlier wreck. But Kligermans car was damaged more severely, so hell get the backup, and Swan will try to rebuild Whitts car in time for tonights Budweiser Duels.
Its the first time I ever flipped over, said Kligerman, who finished ninth in the Nationwide Series last year. Ive never done that before in a race car. I assumed that it would be rougher, but it was actually really soft.
I saw the whole thing go down. Im up in the fence kind of floating along and thankfully none of the fans got injured, I hope. Thats obviously a scary situation when a car gets that close to the fence. Then it just flipped over softly and I slid on the roof.
I guess the strongest thing going through me was anger at that time that we were wrecked. Most importantly, that the fans are OK and Im OK and everyone is OK.
Blaneys Randy Humphrey Racing doesnt have a backup Ford, and it was looking to make arrangements to find another car for Thursdays Budweiser Duels.
Logano takes blame
Logano said he misread a move by Matt Kenseth, which led to the multicar wreck.
We were coming off (turn) four there, and the 20 started making a move to go down, Logano said. I assumed he was going to go down there. I had the run, so I was going to fill that hole, and then he started to come back up, and I was there.
Maybe I shouldnt have been racing as hard as I was there in practice, but everybody was in a big pack there trying to make things happen.
As soon as he came back up, I checked up a little bit and then (Trevor Bayne) hit me from behind, and we spun out. It happens. Thats Daytona for you.
Defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson was asked to predict his Final Four drivers who will advance to the winner-take-all, season-ending race at Homestead under the new Chase for the Sprint Cup format.
Certainly I have got to put the No. 48 car in there, he said of his car. I think the No. 20 (Matt Kenseth), the No. 18 (Kyle Busch) and the No. 24 (Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon) would be my four.
Johnson, who will be shooting for a record-tying seven Sprint Cup championships, offered his reason for picking two Hendrick cars and two Joe Gibbs Racing cars for the final.
I guess Im going off of how we all run at those three tracks leading (into Homestead), Johnson said. Those are the first three faces that came to mind from Martinsville, Texas and Talladega. I guess Talladega, it could be anybody. But Martinsville and Texas, those are the faces I saw fighting for the win.