A 16-car accident at the front of the pack took out many contenders in the GEICO 500 with only 20 laps to go.
The pile started when AJ Allmendinger, who was running third, hit the back of Chase Elliott as the field raced out of Turn 2. The end result sent Elliott into the outside wall and on to his side while Allmendinger ended up on his roof.
Before the pile-up Joey Logano led for 10 laps, Trevor Bayne led for 5 laps and then came the 27-minute red flag.
Thankfully the drivers were not injured.
Allmendinger explained, “Once I got to Chase I got loose, I tried to get off him but at the moment it was too late.” It was just one of those things battling for the lead. The plan kind of went that we waited at the back and started moving forward. The way the pit cycles worked, we were up front and had a great restart. I had the right guys pushing me. I can’t thank everybody enough that’s part of this. I hated that happened, but it’s Talladega. I’m not a big fan of it, but if you’re up front and you’ve got a chance to go for it, racing happens I guess, here.”
Elliott said of Allmendinger, “He just apologized, I don’t know that it was really his fault per se. He had a big run and he kind of got to my bumper and just happened to be in a bad spot coming up off the corner and was skewed a little bit to my left rear. And when that happens, it just unloads these cars too much. But, I appreciate everybody’s hard work. Our Hooters Chevrolet was really exceptional today. We were able to work our way up towards the front a couple of times. We got hung out a couple of times and finally made our way back forward. I’m rally proud of that. Hopefully we can carry some of this speed back to Daytona for the plate run in July and go get ‘em next week in Kansas.”
Truex Jr said, “We got shuffled to the outside one time there and got in a bad spot and then they started wrecking, It’s a shame, it’s the way it goes here. Unfortunately for us, it’s been a tough one to finish, but we did get stage points today so that’s a bonus and at least it’s better than running all day and crashing out and not getting anything. All in all, it’s one of those deals and it’s Talladega. Looking forward to Kansas next week for sure.”
Brad Keselowski, who won stage 1, was also involved in the pile-up, but was able to continue after repairs to finish seventh.