The beginning of the final stage got off to an eventful start in Sunday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Shortly following the restart on Lap 218 of 334, race leader Ryan Blaney got loose racing through Turn 4, causing the field behind him to stack up. As drivers shuffled for position three-wide through the tri-oval, Aric Almirola clipped Kyle Busch, causing Busch to slide into the rear of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr.
Truex’s No. 19 Toyota slammed into the outside wall on the frontstretch while Busch flew threw the infield grass to save the No. 18 Toyota.
“KFB,” Busch said after the race, candidly acknowledging his talents when asked how was able to drive through the grass without significant damage during the incident.
That caused an accordion effect further in the field as drivers tried to avoid the incident. The crash collected 12 cars in total, including Kevin Harvick, Chris Buescher, William Byron, Kurt Busch, Cole Custer, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Preece, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Bubba Wallace.
Truex was able to continue in the race following repairs, limping his car to a 32nd-place finish. Busch, the defending champion who has yet to score a victory or playoff points with eight races remaining in the regular season, rebounded to finish fourth.