NASCAR notebook: Hamlin, Martin touch off big wreck

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Denny Hamlin got into the back of Mark Martin's car in Budweiser Shootout practice Thursday night, igniting a seven-car crash at Daytona International Speedway.

Shootout practice
Kasey Kahne (9), Denny Hamlin (11) and Brian Vickers (83) go three-wide Thursday during the first Budweiser Shootout practice at Daytona International Speedway as Matt Kenseth (17) and Clint Bowyer (29), driving for Kevin Harvick, follow on the outside. Moments later, Hamlin and Bowyer were involved in a seven-car wreck. (Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Denny Hamlin got into the back of Mark Martin's car in Budweiser Shootout practice Thursday night, igniting a seven-car crash at Daytona International Speedway.

Hamlin hit Martin about 35 minutes into the opening practice, and the ensuing crash resulted in Hamlin, Martin, Greg Biffle, Jamie McMurray and Kevin Harvick all going to backup cars. Harvick, who is sick with flu-like symptoms, had Clint Bowyer in his car for practice. Also collected were Kyle Busch and Joey Logano.

Kurt Busch crashed in the second practice and also will use a backup car in Saturday night's race.

"It probably was a case of both us anticipating--it looked like he was going to try to squeeze in on the outside of me, so I made an effort to give him a line and he anticipated to get behind me," Martin said. "If either one of us had just anticipated something else, it wouldn't have happened.

"I was making an effort to be on the cautious side, and I think Denny did, too. And in this particular case, it created a situation where we came together. If just one of us would have been a little bit wilder, maybe it wouldn't have happened."


Hamlin saw it pretty much the same way.

"I was trying to be cautious," Hamlin said. "You got two things going together--him at the last minute trying to check up and be cautious, me at the last minute trying to get behind him. Anytime there's a check-up point down the straightaway, it's going to happen.

"The cars are really unstable when you get close to each other. I'm not sure if it's better or worse than in years past, but it's definitely a lot different."

Robby Gordon won't be full time in 2010

Robby Gordon has spent the past eight seasons running a full-time Sprint Cup schedule, but he doesn't plan on running a full 2010 season.

His Robby Gordon Motorsports will field a car in every race, at times in association with BAM Racing, but Gordon said Thursday he likely won't be in the seat for each event. He wouldn't reveal his entire 2010 schedule but did say the Indianapolis 500 is a possibility.

"The 7 car will run every race, but I might not be in it," said Gordon, who was 26th in points in 2007 but has been 33rd and 34th the past two years. "We've got some big stuff coming up next week that we're going to talk about. We've got a lot of good stuff on our plate. I'd rather be in this position than the other position wondering what I'm going to do.

"I think we're just going to end up having more stuff than I can actually fit in a single season."


Around the track

Lynda Petty, wife of NASCAR legend Richard Petty, has been diagnosed with central nervous system lymphoma and will undergo treatments at Duke University Medical Center. "The doctors and our family are very optimistic that the treatment for this cancer will be successful," Richard Petty said. ... Texas Motor Speedway received approval from NASCAR to move the start times of its two Cup races this season to 2 p.m. Central Time. Both events were originally scheduled for noon. The move came after TMS petitioned NASCAR on behalf of its fans requesting a later start time and to avoid potential logistical issues posed by the earlier start. ... Jeff Gordon confirmed Thursday that his wife, Ingrid, is pregnant with their second child. The baby is due in August, Gordon said. Gordon and Ingrid had their first child, Ella, in 2007.

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