The Big One claims half the field at Talladega during GEICO 500

May 1, 2016; Talladega, AL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) gets turned sideways in a wreck during the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

It’s always looming, but NASCAR drivers never know when it will strike. The Big One took place with 28 laps remaining on Sunday, claiming nearly half the field in its wake during the GEICO 500.

Kurt Busch made contact with Jimmie Johnson, sending him spinning into the wall. Johnson and Paul Menard tapped each other before Menard went directly into the middle of the track, collecting 19 other cars for a total of 21 in the wreck.

“He just drove through me the whole front straightaway,” Johnson said of Busch following the wreck.

The carnage left behind involved drivers like Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney all fighting just to get back on the track. Dillon and Blaney, despite the wreck, would both finish inside the top 10.

Johnson’s wreck was the fifth of the day for Hendrick Motorsports after Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne wrecked twice apiece. Luckily, the day got slightly better with Chase Elliott coming up fifth for the lone top-five finish in the shop.


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