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Crash forces Petty to race in backup car

Kyle Petty's Pontiac and two other cars crashed 10 minutes before the end of Wednesday's final Winston Cup practice session at Daytona International Speedway. Rodney Combs' Pontiac and Chad Little's Ford also were involved in the incident between turns 3 and 4. There were two other accidents involving three drivers during the day. None of the six drivers was injured.

Petty, passing Bill Elliott, cut his left front tire going into turn 3. "I felt it get loose," Petty said. "I turned one way and then back the other way and the car went up the track. I thought I was going to hit the wall head on." The impact mashed in the right-front side.

Little and Combs were drafting behind Petty. Little, with nowhere to go, hit Petty and Combs hit Little.

The Oldsmobiles of Rob Moroso and Brett Bodine tangled during an earlier Winston Cup practice.

Also Wednesday, Mike McLaughlin's Oldsmobile spun out and crashed during qualifying for Saturday's Goody's 300 Grand National race.

Combs' car was virtually undamaged and he will start from the outside of the 11th row today in the second of the two 125-mile qualifying races for Sunday's Daytona 500.

Petty, Moroso and Bodine will be in backup cars today and will start at the rear of the pack in their respective races. Little, without a backup car, was trying to buy a replacement car.

Tampa driver joins Winston Cup race

Dennis Langston of Tampa makes his Winston Cup debut today in the second 125-mile race.

"I'm nervous. You've got to be," Langston said Wednesday, standing in the garage area beside his 1990 Ford Thunderbird. "It's a big step for me. Once in a while, I look around at the Bill Elliotts and the Ken Schraders and the Darrell Waltrips and wonder, 'What am I doing out here?' " He has to finish in the top 14 to guarantee himself a spot in Sunday's race.

"We need to stay in the draft and hopefully get hooked up with somebody," he said. "But most of the veteran drivers aren't exactly looking for somebody to work with."

Schrader, Waltrip back in row one

Ken Schrader and Darrell Waltrip, who finished 1-2 (but in the reverse order) in last year's Daytona 500, share the front row for today's first 125-mile race. Dale Earnhardt, who owns the other front-row position for Sunday's race, starts alongside Bill Elliott in today's second 125-miler.

Today's two races will determine Sunday's third-through-30th starting positions.