DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Defending Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart caused the first accident of Speedweeks.
Stewart, who did little wrong in last year's season finale and clinched his third NASCAR title, rear-ended Kurt Busch during practice Friday for the exhibition Budweiser Shootout.
Stewart turned Busch's No. 51 Chevrolet sideways, collecting four others.
Penske Racing teammates Brad Keselowski and AJ Allmendinger, as well as Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon, also were involved in the six-car accident about 45 minutes into the first practice session.
``I was pushing the 51 car and he had to move a little bit, but I'm still the one pushing so I'm responsible for it,'' said Stewart, who was transported to the infield care center, treated and released.
The cars of Stewart, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Keselowski and Allmendinger sustained significant damage. Stewart's crew decided to fix his car. The other four teams switched to backup cars.
Gordon's car sustained minor damage.
The Budweiser Shootout, a non-points race, kicks off the 2012 season Saturday night. It's considered a warm-up event for the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 26, the series' premier event.
``It's the first time that we get back on the track and everybody is aggressive, learning what the limits are,'' Keselowski said. ``Sometimes you get caught up in that. ... It's better to do it now than next Sunday. So hopefully we'll learn something from it and be good to go.''
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BAYNE ON THE BEACH: Defending Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne went for a spin in the sand Friday morning, driving his race car down a stretch of Daytona Beach in a salute to NASCAR's roots.
``This is probably the coolest thing I've gotten to do outside of racing on other tracks,'' said Bayne, who became the Daytona 500's youngest winner last year at the age of 20. ``I wish we could come back out here and get the groove rutted up a little bit and try to miss the potholes. This is an unbelievable feeling being on the beach where it all started.''
Before moving to Daytona International Speedway in 1959, NASCAR raced on a temporary track running partly on the beach and partly on an adjacent road from 1948 to 1958. Today, passenger cars still are allowed to drive on the beach.
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OSBORNE AWAY: Bob Osborne, the crew chief for Carl Edwards, will be away from the No. 99 team this weekend after the death of his father. He is expected to return to the team next week to prepare for the Daytona 500.
Chip Bolin will fill in for Osborne. Bolin is the head engineer for Roush Fenway Racing and previously worked as Matt Kenseth's Sprint Cup crew chief.
Edwards is making his sixth Budweiser Shootout start Saturday night. He has led 54 laps in his previous five starts, his best finish is seventh in 2009.
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TRACK TECH: NASCAR has entered a multiyear agreement with FanVision to rent and sell handheld multimedia devices for use at racetracks.
The controller has a 4.3-inch screen with access to live broadcast feeds, eight onboard cameras, official timing, data, statistics, instant replays and a digital radio scanner. It rents for $49.99 per weekend when ordered online and $59.99 per weekend when rented at the track. It can be purchased for $299.
Fans will no longer be able to rent, purchase or activate a previous multimedia device used at racetracks, called FanView. Owners of the previous device may be eligible for a credit toward the purchase of a new FanVision controller.
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AP Sports Writer Chris Jenkins contributed to this report.

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