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NASCAR At Martinsville: Tempers Flare In Early Stages Of 500-Lapper

Less than 100 laps are complete in the Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway, and already many fuses have run short. The net result has been another of bent fenders and bent-out-of-shape drivers.

The most recent caution saw the biggest eruption yet. Jamie McMurray had blocked Brian Vickers - who had already been involved in three incidents on the day - for several laps. Vickers finally ran over McMurray in turn three, sending McMurray backing hard into the wall.

On the backstretch, as McMurray tried to limp his Chevrolet towards pit road, he hung a right to try to collect Vickers, but only caught the door of Vickers' Toyota before nosing hard into the wall.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been especially aggressive, making contact with a number of drivers. He and David Ragan had a prolonged stretch of contact as they raced for second following a restart from one of the five yellows.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.