Jack Roush won NASCAR's All-Star Challenge for the second time, and with it, the longtime car owner pocketed a large portion of the $1 million prize.
He likely needs every penny.
While Matt Kenseth was beating Ryan Newman for the victory, two other Roush drivers ignited an 11-car accident early in the first segment of the Nextel Cup race Saturday night in Concord, N.C. Kurt Busch admittedly erred when he tried to bump Greg Biffle past Kenseth, and the ensuing melee left several cars destroyed and tempers frayed.
"I got hit from behind on the straightaway and got turned into the fence," Biffle said. "I don't understand what happened. It's early in the race like that and a teammate wrecks you. It's crazy."
Busch, who has been involved in numerous scrapes during his four-year career, appeared resigned that he would face criticism for the move. He was trying to "bump draft" with Biffle, where a trailing driver purposely bangs into the one in front, literally pushing him down the track.
This time, it didn't work.
"He's a teammate of mine, and I didn't mean to wreck him," Busch said. "I mean, we're only 12 laps in and I've got a wrecked racecar."
Neither was able to return to the race, because their Fords were severely damaged, and Kenseth and Mark Martin were left to carry the Roush banners. Kenseth came through, smoothly passing Newman with four laps left for his first victory in the special non-points race.
Jeff Burton, the fifth driver for the team, crashed at the green flag in the preliminary Nextel Open and left Roush with three torn up cars.
"I was asking myself, 'I wonder what second place pays.' I'm sure my part of second place is not going to pay for all the carnage we had, not to mention the hurt feelings," Roush quipped after the race.
He planned to speak with both drivers yesterday, and then everyone is scheduled to get together at a normal Tuesday meeting. Roush hopes to have everything sorted out by the start of practice for the Coca-Cola 600 next Sunday.
Kenseth, who was inside of Biffle when the crash started, never saw what happened, but still defended Busch's maneuver.
"I didn't see the accident with Kurt and Greg, but I will say that they are two of the best teammates you could ever have," Kenseth said. "I would bet our paycheck that whatever happened was an accident.
"I'm sure they're mad about it, but knowing Kurt, he was probably trying to bump draft Greg to make him go faster. He does that to me all the time."
Some of Biffle's comments immediately after the wreck also caused some raised eyebrows. He alluded to the fact that Busch was faster because he had a more powerful engine, since Busch is ranked higher in points.
In fact, since Ford has a new cylinder head, only a select number of cars can use them. Busch did have the newer, supposedly better part, but Roush played down that as the cause of the contact.
"I just think that Kurt misjudged," Roush said. "This is a fairly fast race track and you do get a bit of a draft. He sucked up into a vacuum there and I think it was much easier for him to get close to him than he figured."
That didn't mean much to Biffle, who appeared to have one of the faster cars in the race.
"The car was awesome, passing on the outside, going to the front," he said. "I feel bad for Roush. We wrecked the whole field with two of our cars and took a lot of our stuff out of the race. It's senseless to do something like that."
* COLLEGES: Stanford Athletic Director Ted Leland has received permission to speak with Trent Johnson of Nevada about becoming the Cardinal men's basketball coach, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
"Trent has made a strong commitment to Nevada, but I think everyone knows Trent Johnson loves Stanford," Nevada Athletic Director Cary Groth said in the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Oregon officials will not have that worry. Ducks Coach Ernie Kent told the Oregonian over the weekend that he is not interested in going to Stanford.
Johnson could be the favorite to succeed Mike Montgomery, who left for the NBA's Golden State Warriors. He was an assistant at Stanford under Montgomery in the 1990s, and in March he led Nevada to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament. . . .
Erin Burdette won the deciding match for Stanford for the second time in three years and the Cardinal earned the NCAA women's tennis championship with a 4-1 victory over UCLA in Athens, Ga.
* HORSE RACING: Smarty Jones could face as few as five or as many as nine rivals in the Belmont Stakes when the undefeated colt attempts to become the first Triple Crown champion in 26 years.
Among those set to take on the Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner are Rock Hard Ten, Eddington, Tapit, Royal Assault and Tap Dancer.
Possible entrants include Birdstone, The Cliff's Edge and Mustanfar, with Peter Pan Stakes winner Purge yet to be ruled out.
* CYCLING: Lance Armstrong won the final stage of the Tour du Languedoc-Roussillon in Sete, France, picking up the pace in his preparations for a July attempt at a sixth straight Tour de France title.
The Texan finished in sixth place in the five-day event, finishing 1 minute 44 seconds behind winner Christophe Moreau of France.
-- From News Services