TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) - Tony Stewart tried to block his way to victory at Talladega Superspeedway.
It backfired, badly.
The ``big one'' came on the last lap Sunday, when Stewart's attempt to hold on for the win instead sent his car sailing through the field and triggered a 25-car accident. Daytona 500 winner Matt Kenseth won under caution, and everyone else was left wondering what happened to cause so much carnage.
``It's not safe. It's not. It's bloodthirsty,'' Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. ``If that's what people want, that's ridiculous.''
Stewart took full responsibility for causing the accident. He had charged to the lead on the first lap of a two-lap sprint to the finish, but got too far ahead of the pack to hang on to any drafting partners.
Kenseth was charging on the outside of him and Michael Waltrip was leading a line of traffic on the inside. Stewart was blocking all over the track, and said he mistakenly chopped across the front of Waltrip's car to trigger the accident.
The contact hooked Stewart to send him into a spin, and his car lifted into the air and sailed on its roof and then on its side over several other cars. It created chaos through the pack, which was running three-wide in a frantic dash to the finish.
``I just screwed up. I turned down and cut across Michael and crashed the whole field,'' Stewart said. ``It was my fault, blocking and trying to stay where I was at.
``I was trying to win the race and I was trying to stay ahead of Matt there and Michael got a great run on the bottom and had a big head of steam, and when I turned down, I turned across the front of his car. Just a mistake on my part but cost a lot of people a bad day.''
Stewart gamely waved to the crowd as he climbed from his battered car, while Jimmie Johnson sat on the ledge of Earnhardt's window for a lift back to the garage. Everywhere they looked, they saw crumpled cars.
Five-time Talladega winner Earnhardt said enough is enough with the carnage.
``If this was what we did every week, I wouldn't be doing it,'' he said. ``I'll just put it to you that way. If this was how we raced every week, I'd find another job. That's what the package is doing. It's really not racing. It's a little disappointing. It cost a lot of money right there.
``If this is how we're going to continue to race and nothing is going to change, how about NASCAR build the cars? It'll save us a lot of money.''
Jeff Gordon was scored in second-place and Kyle Busch in third, but NASCAR was sorting the final order almost an hour after the finish.
``That was the craziest, craziest finish I've ever experienced at Talladega,'' Gordon said. ``It was just insane. I remember when coming to Talladega was fun, and I haven't experienced that in a long time. That was bumper-cars at 200 mph. I don't know anybody who likes that.''

Recent NASCAR Discussions

Can-Am Duels Betting News and Notes on Thu, Feb 2017 by Blade
Daytona 500 Betting News and Notes on Wed, Feb 2017 by Blade
Advance Auto Parts Clash Betting News and Notes on Sun, Feb 2017 by Michael Cash
2017 NASCAR Changes on Wed, Feb 2017 by Michael Cash
Advertisement

NASCAR Odds

Driver Odds
PowerShares QQQ 300 - Odds to Win @ Daytona International Speedway
Brad Keselowski +250
Austin Dillon +700
Elliott Sadler +900
Erik Jones +900
Daniel Suarez +900

Nascar Top Stories

Thumbnail NASCAR Can-Am Duel #2 Betting Odds Even though it’s his first official NASCAR start since July of 2016, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is still favored by oddsmakers to win tomorrow night’s NASCAR Can-Am Duel #2...
Thumbnail Keselowski favored in Can-Am Duel #1 Brad Keselowski - one of the strongest cars in the Advanced Auto Parts Clash at Daytona is Favored in tomorrow’s NASCAR Can-Am Duel #1 from Daytona International...
Thumbnail Elliott, Earnhardt to start up front at Daytona Qualifying for the Daytona 500 took place on Sunday and Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Chase Elliott find themselves set to...
Thumbnail Earnhardt Jr. Favored in Daytona 500 Despite missing the better part of the 2016 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is the early favorite to win the 2017...
Thumbnail Daytona 500 Odds We are about a month away from the 2017 Daytona 500. Here is an early look at the odds to win the race.
Advertisement