TALLADEGA, Ala. - Some of the world's greatest drivers are circling at Talladega. And to the high banks of the superspeedway, that doesn't matter one bit. The track can force even the best among them into mistakes like they were rookies.
In turn 1 of lap 44 of the Aaron's 499, Kyle Busch made an ill-advised move to try to get around Kasey Kahne. The resulting spiral of carnage took out 13 cars, including nine of the top 14. Involved in the accident were Kevin Harvick, Brian Vickers, Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart, and many others.
"I don't really know what happened," Busch said afterward. "I know I got in the back of the 5 and I guess 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 got o the outside of him and before I could get to the outside of him, I got in the back of him."
"Felt the No. 18 pushing me and next thing I know I was spinning," Kahne said. "You just can’t push with these cars. We learned that at Daytona, he was pushing me and spun me in the wall and then happened again, so that is what it is."
The crews of Busch, Vickers, Biffle and Kahne worked furiously to get their cars back into shape for the rest of the race. Harvick and Stewart were able to return to the track immediately, though both with significant impact to their performance.
Of note: Vickers took over the No. 11 just minutes before the wreck, substituting for Denny Hamlin. This was Hamlin's first race after four weeks out because of a back injury, and a vicious wreck that collected him was the absolute worst-case scenario. Hamlin may be the only one in the entire wreck feeling fortunate.
"I just hate that I caused a hell of a melee for everybody," Busch said. "I hate that. A lot of cars got torn up, and it's way too early in the race to be doing any of those sorts of moves, whether he made it or I made it."
-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-