Stewart crashes early in the Daytona 500

Daytona Beach, FL ( - Tony Stewart was involved in a multi- crash in the early going of Sunday's Daytona 500, ending his shot to win NASCAR's most prestigious race for the first time in 17 attempts.

Stewart, the driver/co-owner of the No. 14 Chevrolet for Stewart-Haas Racing and a three-time Sprint Cup Series champion, bumped into Ryan Blaney and then made contact with the wall along the frontstretch on lap 41 of this 200-lap, 500-mile race. Stewart said on his team radio that he "got loose." He sustained cosmetic and suspension damage to the front end of his car, requiring him to head to the garage for lengthy repairs.

Stewart returned to the track just past the halfway but came back to the garage shortly after, retiring in 42nd-place.

Matt Kenseth, a two-time winner of the Daytona 500, ran into the back of Blaney and suffered damage to the right front of his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Kenseth's team made repairs on pit road, but he fell three laps behind.

Brad Keselowski had slight damage to the front end of his No. 2 Team Penske Ford, but Keselowski managed to stay on the lead lap. The 2012 Sprint Cup champion was knocked out of the race on lap 161 when he experienced engine failure.

The first caution in the Daytona 500 happened on lap 19 when Landon Cassill blew an engine, putting him the first driver out of the race.