Where did the wrecks come from?
NASCAR fans have been accustomed to seeing relatively incident-free racing at intermediate tracks lately, to the dismay of some. Well, those folks weren't disappointed Sunday night.
Not even counting the craziness that was the rope falling from Fox's cable camera, the Coca-Cola 600 had its share of action, especially in an 20 lap stretch in the last quarter of the race.
It all started when Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Danica Patrick and Brad Keselowski were three-wide in turn three and ran out of room. Stenhouse, who was on the bottom, made contact with Patrick and that sent her up into Keselowski, where they both hit the wall. Yes, it was the first incident that both Patrick and Stenhouse were directly involved in since they've been dating.
Less than two laps after the race restarted, seven cars were officially collected in an incident that started when Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Aric Almirola were three-wide on the frontstretch while racing for the Lucky Dog to get back on the lead lap. Martin, who was in the middle, and Almirola, who was on the bottom, made contact that shot Almirola up towards the wall and into Gordon. Stenhouse, Bobby Labonte, Casey Mears and Trevor Bayne were also caught up in it.
After a red flag delay to clean up the debris from the accident, the race restarted again on lap 332 and this time made it about a lap and a half longer before Jimmie Johnson spun while on the inside of Martin Truex Jr. in turn four.
With Truex just to his outside, Johnson's car washed up off the white line and bobbled, and before he could save it, Juan Pablo Montoya and Matt Kenseth got into the wall behind him trying to avoid him.
Johnson looked like he was going to escape his spin relatively-damage free until Montoya then skidded through the infield and clipped the back of his car, crumpling the sheet metal on his right rear quarterpanel. Johnson finished 22nd, and his points lead is now 32 over Carl Edwards.