Johnson unhurt in wreck at Daytona

Feb. 10, 2010 at 9:00 PM

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Four-time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson walked away unhurt Wednesday in a wreck during practice at Daytona International Speedway.

Four drivers were involved in the accident, which was touched off when the car of Mike Bliss slammed into the wall. Johnson's car struck the back of the car driven by Denny Hamlin.

"Unfortunately, the only thing I hit was [Hamlin's] car," Johnson said. "When he checked up, I got into him really hard. It did some damage to the front end of the car, and we just can't get it right here."

Johnson will have to drive a backup car Thursday in the qualifying races that will set the field for Sunday's Daytona 500 -- the opening race of the NASCAR season.

"We know we've got a great race car in the truck, and we'll bring it out," Johnson said. "We'll send the [damaged] car back to Charlotte and let it be repaired the right way in case we need it [for Sunday]."

Joey Logano and Bliss also will use backup cars. Hamlin's team will attempt to repair his primary one.

Matt Kenseth, the defending Daytona 500 winner, posted the fastest overall speed in practice at 194.254 miles per hour.

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