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Fox Chapel's Ganassi has rough start to Daytona 500

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By Ralph Paulk
Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, 3:00 p.m.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Fox Chapel native Chip Ganassi will not win his second Daytona 500 in four years after both of his drivers — Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray — were involved in an accident on Lap 33 that took over several favorites.

Montoya's No.42 Target Chevrolet was gathered up by Kasey Kahne, who lost control of his car when tagged from behind by Kyle Busch. McMurray, the 2010 champion here, appeared to escape the accident but his No.1 Chevrolet was hit by two cars spinning down toward the infield.

McMurray and Montoya have since returned to the racetrack. McMurray was 38 laps down and Montoya 52, as the race neared the halfway mark of the 200-lap race.

"Somebody backed-up to my grill. It was just a little touch. I saw them when they were all getting together, and I said ‘Oh, they are wrecking.' And as soon as I said they were wrecking the No. 5 (Kasey Kahne) went left into me. I managed to brake, and just touched him a little bit with nose. Then somebody else wrecked a lot harder behind him, and came on my side and killed the car on the side.

"So, we are fixing it. We're going to run out there and try to score some decent points. You could see it coming. They were all checking up. And I thought ‘Somebody isn't going to check-up and screw-up'. And, then, they did."

So far, defending champion Matt Kenseth and three-time 500 winner Jeff Gordon have led the most laps. Pole-sitter Danica Patrick has been running in the top 5 for much of the race, and regained the lead on the Lap 90 restart to become the first woman ever to lead a lap at the Daytona 500.

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