First ‘big one’ at Talladega occurs early

Talladega, AL ( – The first major accident in Sunday’s Geico
500 at Talladega Superspeedway occurred in the early going and involved 15

On lap 47, Trevor Bayne, the 2011 Daytona 500 winner, lost control of his No.
6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford and spun into the outside wall along the
backstretch, triggering the pileup.

While running in a tight pack of cars, Paul Menard was riding in the outside
lane just behind Bayne when Bayne lost control. Kurt Busch ran just below in
the inside lane. Neither of those drivers made contact at the time of the

“What I felt was when the 27 (Menard) was around us on the top there, it’s
just going to pull you around almost every time, and Kurt (Busch) was really
close to my left rear, and that’s double trouble,” Bayne said. “When you get
the air moving around here at these high speeds, it’s as much as physically
hitting each other. I hate it for our team. We had a super fast car.”

Kasey Kahne, Landon Cassill, Kyle Larson, Greg Biffle, David Ragan and Bayne
had to take their cars to the garage after sustaining heavy damage to them.
Joey Logano, who won the Daytona 500 earlier this year and Saturday’s Xfinity
Series race at Talladega, Kevin Harvick, the defending Sprint Cup Series
champion, Danica Patrick, Tony Stewart and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. were among
those involved in the incident but were able to continue in the race.

“I saw a couple of cars get crossed up about 10 car lengths in front of me,
and I had slowed down pretty well and thought I would be in good shape and
miss the wreck, but someone got into the back of the 51 (Justin Allgaier), and
he just came right across my nose,” Ragan said.

This is Ragan’s last race as substitute driver for the injured Kyle Busch in
Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota. Starting next weekend at Kansas Speedway,
Ragan is taking over for Brian Vickers in Michael Waltrip Racing’s No. 55

The lap 47 incident was the second caution of the race. NASCAR had to halt the
event briefly (11 minutes, 15 seconds) for track clean-up efforts.

The first caution happened on lap 19 when Michael Waltrip and Brian Scott
crashed in turn 1.