“The Big One” came with 17 laps to go at Talladega Superspeedway when 16 cars were collected in a wreck that involved six of the 12 remaining NASCAR Playoffs contenders.
The wreck on Lap 171 saw the No. 38 Ford of David Ragan spin while in traffic, causing significant damage to the No. 41 Ford of Kurt Busch and the No. 18 Toyota of Kyle Busch, among others.
Other playoff drivers involved in the incident included the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford of Ricky Stenhouse Jr., the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford of Kevin Harvick, the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota of Martin Truex Jr., the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Matt Kenseth and the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet of Jimmie Johnson.
Truex Jr. accepted responsibility for the incident.
“Just was trying to get to the end and get some track position and try to get towards the front and have a good day and ended up causing a wreck, so I hate it for everybody,” Truex said. “We definitively had nothing to lose today, but at the same time you don’t want to be the person that causes others problems. Even though I feel like I’ve never been that guy here before it looks like today I was, so I hate it for all of those guys and all of their teams.”
Daniel Suarez was in the lead at the time of the incident — ahead of the colliding cars — and did not sustain any damage. Other cars involved in the incident included the Nos. 3 (Austin Dillon), 10 (Danica Patrick), 13 (Ty Dillon), 32 (Matt DiBenedetto), 34 (Landon Cassill), 75 (Brendan Gaughan), 88 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) and 95 (Michael McDowell). Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 was among the cars able to continue.
“I really haven’t seen the replay, I was just running up the bottom there and the 38 ended up right in front of us,” said Stenhouse Jr., a pre-race favorite. “It was a bummer. We were working on getting our track position back. We felt good in the first run and got hung out there at the end of the second stage and were just working on our track position.”
NASCAR displayed the red flag for cleanup.
This story will be updated.