‘Big One’ Strikes Early in XFINITY Talladega Race

by Tucker White On Sat, May. 06, 2017

TALLADEGA, Ala. - MAY 06: Daniel Suarez, driver of the #18 Toyota, and Brennan Poole, driver of the #48 Chevrolet, have an on track incident during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 6, 2017 in Talladega, Alabama. Photo: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

TALLADEGA, Ala. — The field was four laps shy of the end of the first stage of the Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway when the Big One was triggered.

Riding down the backstretch on the 21st lap, Brennan Poole attempted to thread the needle between Kasey Kahne to his low-side and Matt Tifft and Daniel Suarez to his high-side. Poole made contact with Tifft, leading to Tifft’s loose car turning down and hooking the 48 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet up the track and into the left-rear corner panel of Suarez.

This triggered a nine-car wreck, brought out the second caution of the race and cleanup necessitated a nine-minute and 28-second red flag.

Despite being at the eye of the wreck, Suarez and Tifft both drove to a top-10 finish.

“That’s the big thing here, surviving,” Tifft said. “This stage racing deal sure makes for a lot of intensity and wrecks at that to. We just got caught up in the first stage crash, hurt the nose of the Camry and got to a point where if we didn’t have a good pusher out back it was going to be hard to move around and get a lane going.”

Among those collected were William Byron, who t-boned Suarez as Suarez slid down the track. Daniel Hemric was barely clipped by Suarez, spun up the track and his right-rear corner slammed into the wall in Turn 3. Darrell Wallace Jr. was turned down the track, following a shunt from the 13 car of Mark Thompson, and clipped the 24 car of Scott Lagasse Jr. Brandon Jones was turned down into the inside wall by Spencer Gallagher as both drove onto the apron to avoid the spinning cars ahead.

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