A massive crash involving 21 cars caused chaos during the annual Daytona 500.

With just 10 laps to go, American driver Paul Menard triggered a multi-car wreck which stopped the race as crews quickly tried to clear the wreckage.

Menard turned Matt DiBenedetto, who slammed into the wall and started a chain-reaction that collected more than two dozen cars. It brought out a red flag that stopped the race for a lengthy cleanup.

Defending Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola and Daniel Suarez were among those involved in the mess.

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Almirola seemingly had the wildest ride, his back wheels getting lifted off the pavement and landing on David Ragan's windshield.

Miraculously all the drivers were able to get out of their cars and no serious injuries have been reported.

"Just a racing deal. Not anything intentional, I talked to Paul, he was trying to get to my right rear and clipped me," DiBenedetto said.

"He led a career-high 49 laps before being involved in that crash."

Menard took full responsibility for his role in causing the accident.

"I'll take the blame for that one," he said.

"It was go time, and I was pushing the 95 [Matt DiBenedetto] and it looked like he was trying to get to the middle and I started trying to get to the outside and just barely hooked him. Yeah, that was my bad. I wrecked a lot of cars. I feel bad about that."