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From the Marbles

Contact between Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch sparks crash just minutes into Sprint Unlimited practice

It was perhaps too predictable.

Practices for the former Busch Clash and former Bud Shootout and now Sprint Unlimited are the first unofficial sessions of the new Sprint Cup season. That means drivers, in packs for the first time since January and for the first time in race ready cars. A crash during either of the two sessions is usually in the offing.

This year, there was the added dynamic of NASCAR's new car, a car that, as evidenced by testing in January, doesn't have bumpers that line up seamlessly like with the COT. Yeah, a crash was coming. And it did, happening just 10 minutes into Friday's practice.

To be fair, it would have also been a crash in the COT. Matt Kenseth was ahead of Kurt Busch and came down in front of Busch towards the low line. Only Kenseth wasn't clear. He went around, Busch went around. Mark Martin, who was immediately behind the two, spun as well. Juan Pablo Montoya (jet dryer unharmed) and Carl Edwards were collected too.

Busch, Edwards, Kenseth and Martin will start from the back of tomorrow's Unlimited, no matter what starting order is determined by the fan vote. Montoya's team fixed his car and he was able to make some laps in Friday's final practice, so he will start where he's supposed to.

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