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Foyt, Allison, others switch to backup cars after wrecks

A six-car crash and three other accidents in practice Wednesday for Sunday's Daytona 500 forced several drivers, including 1972 champion A.J. Foyt, to move to backup cars for today's Twin 125-mile qualifying races.

Davey Allison, Michael Waltrip, Wally Dallenbach Jr., Bobby Hillin Jr. and Mike Wallace also had to go to backup cars after crashing their primary racers.

Allison, who is one of the favorites to win the 500, was involved in two of the incidents.

The worst of the wrecks in the morning practice on Daytona International Speedway's 2{-mile oval involved Foyt, Brett Bodine, Ricky Rudd, Michael Waltrip, Dallenbach and Hillin.

Bodine said he was running behind Kyle Petty and Jimmy Spencer when the trouble started.

"I was the first guy to go completely around," Bodine said. "There was a big pack of cars and Jimmy Spencer jumped in the middle of it. He and Kyle ended up side-by-side and (Spencer) started to lose control.

"I was following him and I backed off to give him some room to get his car squared away. When I did, Ricky Rudd ran into the back of me and turned me sideways. That started the whole mess. It was just a situation where the guy in front of me was in trouble and Ricky couldn't see that."

Dallenbach, a rookie in the Daytona 500, said, "The first thing I saw was Brett's car spinning and then everybody ran into everybody else. There wasn't anything anybody could do. It was just a big pile-up."

Waltrip said, "This kind of stinks. I was out there drafting, trying to learn a little bit about the car and a couple of guys up ahead of me had problems. They started spinning and I dove to the bottom of the track and I thought I was going to be in good shape, but some of the spinning cars came down the track and caught me on the right corner and turned me into the outside wall. It hurt the car pretty bad."

Petty and Spencer were not involved in the crash.

Dick Beaty, NASCAR's Winston Cup director, said the backup cars will have to start from the rear of their qualifying races, but the teams will be allowed to keep the qualifying speeds posted earlier this week. That could be significant if any of those cars do not qualify Thursday, because they would have to make the race on the basis of those speeds.

NASCAR rules, however, state the cars will be listed as starting the qualifying races where they originally qualified and will not move to the back of the field until the pace lap is begun.

Earlier, rookie Mike Wallace, the younger brother of Rusty Wallace, hit the wall in Turn 4, escaping injury, but also losing the services of his No. 1 car.

Minutes later Stanley Smith and Allison banged together as Allison was taking a slow warmup lap. Neither car was badly damaged.

Hours later, Allison wound up having to switch to his backup car after he hit the wall. A team spokesman said the incident occured when Allison was passing pole-winner Sterling Marlin, whom Allison said apparently failed to see him and squeezed his Ford to the bottom of the track where Allison spun.