The NASCAR Cup Series headed onto Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday afternoon for the Geico 500. However, an early wreck sent Team Penske’s Joey Logano flying through the air. His car landed on its roof and went to the garage on the back of a tow truck.
The incident occurred late in Stage 1. The drivers increased their aggressiveness while fighting for crucial points. Wood Brothers Racing driver Matt DiBenedetto had the lead, but several others wanted to pass him for the green and white checkered flag. The result was a wild crash.
The incident occurred on the final lap. Logano, Denny Hamlin, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. all raced on the outside lane, with the latter two pushing each other. Stenhouse tapped Hamlin’s car from behind, making it swerve side to side before hitting the rear of Logano’s car. This series of moves prompted a chain reaction where Logano spun to the left and then went airborne after colliding with the front of Stenhouse’s car.
The No. 22 Ford Mustang flew through the air, bounced off the track surface, and then went across Bubba Wallace’s roof. The driver of the No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota Camry said over the radio that his car suffered damage but that his “underwear was worse.”
Logano survived the wreck without harm and headed to the infield care center for evaluation. He later met with Fox Sports reporter Jamie Little and talked about the safety issues at superspeedways and how certain things need to change.
Mechanical issues ruined Kyle Larson’s day
Logano left the race late in Stage 1, but another driver saw his day come to an end early. Kyle Larson, the driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, made two early pit stops before ultimately heading to the garage.
The first stop took place immediately after the race began. Larson said over the radio that he was dealing with temperature issues. He went to pit road but returned to the track multiple laps down. However, Larson left the track once again with smoke pouring from the rear of his vehicle.
“Over before it really began. [Kyle Larson] is out of the race early due to an engine issue,” the No. 5 team tweeted Sunday afternoon. The first stage continued with several lead changes as Bubba Wallace, Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin all spent time at the front of the pack.
Larson entered Sunday’s race in search of his first Talladega win
One of the most consistent drivers in the 2021 season, Larson reached Victory Lane during the Pennzoil 400 Presented by Jiffy Lube at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This win kept him in the playoff picture, but it was not the only race in which Larson performed well. He also posted top-five finishes at Homestead-Miami, Atlanta, and Martinsville.
While Larson has performed well during his Cup Series career, he has not taken the checkered flag at Talladega Superspeedway. He has 12 starts at the Alabama track with only two top-10s. His best finish was sixth place in the 2016 Hellmann’s 500, a playoff race that Logano won.
Larson has yet to reach Victory Lane at one of the superspeedways — Talladega, Daytona, Pocono, and Indianapolis — but he has posted top-five finishes at two of the fan-favorite locations. He finished second overall at Ponoco during a 2018 race and fifth at a 2016 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
With issues disrupting both Logano and Larson’s days, they will now look ahead to the next race on the schedule. The NASCAR Cup Series season continues with the Buschy McBush Race 400 at Kansas Speedway. The race will take place on Sunday, May 2.
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