As Chase Elliott fell off the pace on Lap 73 of 113 attempting to hit pit road, a chain-reaction accident erupted around him that took out several top contenders for Saturday’s NASCAR All-Star Race.
All teams were required to make a minimum two-tire pit stop under green during the second 50-lap segment and Elliott was waving his hand furiously out the window telling his fellow drivers that he was slowing to pit.
While drifting back into the field, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart got collected together in an accident that also ended up involving Greg Biffle and Kasey Kahne. Kenseth, Stewart and Kahne appeared to have enough damage that they would not return to the race.
“They got everybody together, a lap down, the lead lap, a lap down. It’s the most screwed up all-star race I’ve ever been a part of. I’m glad this is the last one,” Stewart said at the infield care center.
“I’m alright. I’m just madder than hell. I don’t understand how the hell they officiated this whole thing from start to finish.”
The running order got flipped upside down in Segment 1 when five drivers waited until the very end of the segment to complete a required green-flag stop.
A caution came out for Jamie McMurray while four of the five were on pit road and Kenseth never did complete his stop, which trapped several drivers one lap down.
“I really don’t know. I was just very, very confused, I felt like, for the majority of the race," added Chase Elliott. "We had a really good car until we got our damage there. We were trying to play the pit road game. You want to spend the least amount of time you can on pit road and that’s what everybody was doing. I was planning on pitting on that first lap after we got back going and it was just chaotic and if it was my fault and I didn’t do a good enough job getting out of the way, I’ll take the blame. I was just trying to get on pit road.”