The Big One Strikes Early At Dega

It only took seven laps in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron’s 499 for “The Big One” to happen at Talladega Superspeedway.

The accident took place in Turn 3 when Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon got together while the field was racing three-wide. When the dust settled, 13 cars were involved and it sent some to the garage including six-time Talladega winner Jeff Gordon and his teammate, and last week’s winner, Mark Martin.

For Gordon, it tore up his special throwback Pepsi paint scheme.

"I think this is the same way this Pepsi Challenger ended up in 1983," Gordon said. "So it sure didn't look good. It was driving good. We were having a good time there.

"I was actually working well with Matt (Kenseth) getting up to the front through the middle. I am not really sure what happened. I was just kinda cruising along there in the middle. Matt got up there, I think behind, maybe the No. 11 and he went low and so I was just cruising on up the middle."

Gordon's team along with Kevin Harvick's No. 29 team were able to make repairs to their battered machines and return to the track. Gordon finished 37th and completed 128 laps, while Harvick finished 38th after running 127 circuits.

Clint Bowyer took the hardest impact in the pile-up and was checked out of the Infield Medical Center. He finished 39th after running only eight laps.

"I just got hit and spun in to the wall," Bowyer said. "It is just unfortunate, shouldn't be racing this hard this early.

"It was just one of those restrictor plate things for sure."

Along with Martin, David Gilliland, Scott Riggs and Jamie McMurray were unable to make repairs and return to the race. Martin was scored 43rd among the group that only completed six laps in the 188-lap race.

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