One multi-car wreck after another sent the Indianapolis Motor Speedway into overtime and ended the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Brickyard 400 under caution.
The first one started with 11 laps to go. Clint Bowyer got loose exiting Turn 4, came down across the nose of Erik Jones, slammed head-on into the inside wall, pounded it again with the passenger side of his car. The recoil from the second hit bounced him back onto the racing groove and into the path of teammate Kurt Busch, who slammed into the left-rear corner of his car. His car went spinning around uncontrollably three and a half times before coming to a halt on the front stretch.
After hitting his teammate, Busch’s car turned up and slammed the outside wall. It came to a halt down the front stretch.
Jones overcorrected from turning down track and spun towards the wall briefly, before being clipped in the rear by the right-front of Jamie McMurray, sending him into the wall.
“They (Paul Menard and another car) got together in front of us and parked and just kind of forced all of us to make an evasive move and I was already hung out a little bit loose, and I knew the 77 had a run, but I was gonna smoke the back of them or try to hope that something happened and something happened alright,” Bowyer said.
“Cars were spinning in front of me,” Busch said. “Bowyer went left, the 77 (Jones) was going right. I tried to shoot the middle and Bowyer ricocheted back up onto the track. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Wrecks from Kyle Larson and Jimmie Johnson sent the race into overtime.
On the first overtime attempt, Trevor Bayne was getting a shove from Michael McDowell when he got turned up into the drivers-side of Denny Hamlin, turned back down and rammed McDowell into the wall, triggering another multi-car wreck.
Austin Dillon swerved to avoid Bayne, but put himself into the inside wall, and was further pinned by the wrecked car of Bayne. Ryan Blaney got turned up into the wall by Gray Gaulding.
“On the restart it stacked up and my wheels were in the air,” Bayne said. “I really had no control in either direction and I finally got turned. I’ve never been so disappointed in my entire racing career. Every week we give it our all and do everything we can through God’s Glory and trust him with the results, whether it’s good or bad. Sometimes you don’t really understand and it hurts because you want to win races and want to run good and make the most of every opportunity for everybody – for AdvoCare and all the people who work hard. It’s really disappointing.”
“Everybody got bunched up there,” Dillon said. “The No. 6 car got hooked to us and that got me a little bit frustrated because I was forced to get out of the car and I thought it was still able to at least roll. We could have finished the race. But, it’s over. I saw a lot of blocking and drivers trying to win one of the biggest races. It’s the Brickyard 400. Everybody wants it. Hopefully it’s good for the fans to see the aggression out of all of the drivers. We all want it really bad. I wanted it really bad for everyone at Dow and for Molykote.”
The final multi-car wreck came on what wound up being the final overtime attempt of the race. Heading down the backstretch, Hamlin suffered a left-front tire failure and turned up towards the outside wall. He veered into the path of Paul Menard, who t-boned his right-rear corner. Ty Dillon got hooked by Menard and hit the outside wall.
Hamlin leaves fifth in points, McMurray leaves seventh, Bowyer leaves 11th, Blaney leaves 12th, Busch leaves 14th, Jones leaves 17th, Bayne leaves 19th, Austin Dillon leaves 21st, Menard leaves 23rd and Ty Dillon leaves 24th.