An early pileup at Talladega collected 16 cars after Kyle Busch accidentally hit the back of Kasey Kahne’s car, sending them both into the outside wall.
The wreck was similar to Daytona’s “big one,” which also involved names like Busch, Kahne, Kevin Harvick, and Tony Stewart.
However, this time the incident also included Martin Truex Jr., Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Marcos Ambrose, Jeff Burton, David Stremme, Kurt Busch, David Reutimann, Casey Mears, Scott Speed, Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon.
The Talladega pileup happened on lap 43 when Kahne and Busch were battling for second place. Busch later explained:
“I was trying to go to the outside of him, but he just moved up in front of me and I wasn’t expecting it. I tried to go to the outside of him and before I could get to the outside of him, I got in the back of him. I just hate that I caused a hell of a melee for everybody. I hate that.”
Most of the cars collected during the incident were able to continue. But for Kahne, Busch, and Harvick, the day was done. Biffle, who was also involved in the wreck, stated after walking out of the infield care center, “It can happen at any time. You just never know. We were trying to be cautious, but that didn’t work.”
The Talladega pileup was also disappointing for Brian Vickers, who had just relieved teammate Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 car. Hamlin, who was injured during a race last month, climbed from his car during the lap 24 pit stop. Vickers replaced the still-injured driver and started from the back of the field.
Kahne also spoke with the media following the accident and before he headed home. The No. 5 driver recalled, “I was trying to stay with Jimmie [Johnson] and I saw I could get in front of the 18. We were just going for it, everybody shoving and you really can’t hit each other in these cars.”
Following the Talladega pileup, a rain delay halted the race for a few hours. The cars were restarted around 6:45 local time, after the track was dried.