SPARTA, Ky. — Three multi-car wrecks during the Quaker State 400 ended the night of a number of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers at Kentucky Speedway.
Rounding Turn 3 on Lap 88, Brad Keselowski was running inside of Clint Bowyer when his car got loose and spun out. He clipped the left-rear corner of Bowyer and sent him spinning as well. Jimmie Johnson, coming up on the spinning Keselowski, had nowhere to go, took a critical hit to the right-front wheel-well, veered up the track and slammed the wall in Turn 4.
Bowyer continued on with his race and finished 13th, but the night was over for Johnson and Keselowski.
“I just got in an aero wake and it pulled me around,” Keselowski said. “I knew I was in a bad spot. I was trying to lay up but there is only so much you can lay up here because you get ran over from behind. The air pulled me around. It sucks. I feel bad for everyone on the Miller Lite Ford team and I think I tore up two or three other guys and that sucks for them. I don’t know. It is kind of a tough spot to be in on these tracks where they are kind of one groove. You can’t just lay up everytime. You give up too many spots or get ran over from behind. If you drive in with someone close to you the car just spins out. It just sucks but it is what it is. We have to find a way around it and we didn’t today.”
The next wreck occurred after the ensuing restart on Lap 94 when Kasey Kahne tried to force his way inside of Trevor Bayne, sending him spinning and sending himself into the wall in Turn 1.
“It was just a restart, I had a run on the No. 6 and I got under him getting into Turn 1 down the front stretch and he just drove over my front end, pretty simple,” Kahne said.
The final multi-car wreck occurred in overtime.
As race leader Martin Truex Jr. came to the line to take the white flag, Darrell Wallace Jr. ran Matt Kenseth up high in Turn 4, pushing him out of the racing groove and into the marbles, where he got loose and spun out in front of teammate Daniel Suarez, who t-boned the drivers side of Kenseth’s car. Austin Dillon, who was following Suarez, slammed into the back of him and hooked him towards the wall as he turned down towards and through the grass.
David Ragan was also involved as he drove over the grass with the words “restart zone” painted over it to avoid Kenseth and Suarez.
Dillon was the only one who was available for comment afterwards and said, in short, he “had nowhere to go.”
“We were committed to the top for the final restart, so I had nowhere to go when they spun in front of me. It was a rough end to a challenging night,” he said.
Of the drivers involved, Keselowski left Kentucky highest in points in eighth, followed by Johnson in ninth. Bowyer leaves 10th, while Kenseth leaves 11th. Suarez left 19th, Kahne left 22nd and Ragan left 28th.