TALLADEGA, Ala – Turn 3 was the culprit of all the carnage during the rain delayed 1000Bulbs.com 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway. Most was due to driver error. The first crash on Lap 106, Alex Bowman moved to block a big run that Joey Logano had. That’s a big no-no, especially when you’re the leader.
Bowman, didn’t want to risk giving up much ground and move to slow the momentum that Logano had. When you do that in front of 39 of your closest peers, nothing good is going to come of it.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver admitted that he made a mistake and that it was the wrong move.
The second crash of the day came when Kurt Busch was getting shoved from behind. That pushed him into William Byron which sparked a chain reaction incident heading into the third turn.
The final crash was a result of Busch this time being the pusher. He tried to push his little brother Kyle Busch too hard on the backstretch as he was hoping to give Kyle the drafting help through the middle towards the lead. It sounded good in theory, but it ended a lot like the other two crashes – a melee.
“I was just trying to make the middle lane work and all hell broke loose,” Kurt Busch said of the incident. “I was having a lot of fun out there. Just trying to hold it steady and gain some points. I don’t even know who is left. It was pretty wild. These cars are so unstable in those big packs pushing hard. It just takes the smallest little mistake.”
Brendan Gaughan ended up getting collect too as he had a run on the high lane to get a chance at the end. Unfortunately for him, he was hit and the damage took the air off his car which propelled him airborne.
Gaughan’s No. 62 Chevrolet would literally fly over Busch’s car and land right side up.
“It was okay, it was just one easy, quick flip and we put it down,” Gaughan said. “The only thing you worry about then is somebody hitting you. That is what you don’t want and that is where the fear comes in. Other than that, I am fine and like I said, some people would argue that I have anything up there that’s going to hurt. Thank you to Chevrolet and thank you to the Beard family, love you guys, and yes, I will see you at the Daytona 500. Mom, sorry.”
Another underdog story saw his day come to an end too. See, David Ragan was running in the top 10 for a majority of the final stage and he was in the hunt to earn his third career Cup victory. In fact, he initially made it though the crash unscathed until a spinning and out of control race car being driven by Matt DiBenedetto hit his left rear on his No. 38 Ford and took it back up the banking and out of the race.
“Everybody just got to pushing and shoving and that’s just a product of speedway racing. These guys race extremely hard. The cars are really safe. I don’t really think anyone is gonna get hurt, so that probably makes everyone drive a little bit more crazy than they should and when you’re pushing and shoving at 200 miles an hour eventually you’re gonna wreck people. I think most of the big wrecks today were because of that and that’s just the way it is, so you get out there and you tear all of these race cars up. I hate it for the car owners, but the fans saw a lot of great racing today. Our Envision USA Ford Mustang was fast. It was fun, but it just didn’t last to the end.”
The biggest loser out of this was Byron who had a lot to lose. He was running in the lead group with a chance of some major points but he was collected. He went from being in a tie for the eighth and final playoff spot that advances to the Round of 8 to last (12th), -27.
“Obviously, our noses are pointed and it just jacked me right up and turned me around. I have to look at it. Yeah, it just turned me to the inside first. I don’t know what to do different there to get the push better. Just unfortunate for us. We had a really good run going. I felt like we were going to at least finish pretty solid. Our car was good, just trying to bide our time. Just unfortunate, for sure.”