A broken curb on the Indianapolis road course led to a multi-car crash in Sunday’s inaugural Cup Series race.
William Byron, running fourth, was the first driver to spin off Turn 6 on lap 79. Unfortunately for Byron, he was the first driver to come across the damaged area after being hit and broken by the third-place driver and Byron’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Kyle Larson. It shot Byron wide off the corner, and he spun across the track to the right.
Behind Byron came a spinning Kyle Busch. Then came Joey Logano across the grass and nose-first into the tire barrier.
“I’m okay,” said Logano. “Thank God those tire packs were there. The hit wasn’t that hard at all. The tires absorbed a lot of it. I don’t believe in luck, but that time I feel like it was just bad luck. Wrong place at the wrong time, and unfortunately, it ended our day. We had a decent run coming to us and maybe a top-five finish for our Shell/Pennzoil Mustang, and the next thing I knew, I was airborne and headed to the wall.
“I had a lot of time to think about it. I was just along for the ride as a passenger, knowing what the end result was going to be. All the fans were cheering right there. They were happy to see me get out, which was good to see. It will be an exciting finish to watch on TV, I guess.”
Under the ensuring red flag, officials removed the curbing for the rest of the race. Track president Doug Boles was also on-site to help with the cleanup efforts.
“Just a bunch of carnage, that’s for sure,” said Christopher Bell, who was also involved. “Whenever you are packed up like that, racing, you are just kind of following the guy in front of you. I didn’t really see much, just a bunch of crashing.”
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The Turn 6 curb was the site of various issues throughout the day and damaged numerous cars. Safety officials and cleanup crews had to fix the curb or remove parts and pieces from underneath throughout the day after being ripped off cars.
“It was so weird; I’ve never had that experience,” Byron said. “It was basically like I hit a wall. I came through that corner the same every single lap, we were running fourth there behind Larson, he went over that curb in the exact same spot. After he hit it with his right rear, it like peeled up. As soon as I got there, I hit something. It just threw me completely off line. It tore the front end right off of it.”
Nine cars were involved in the accident when the dust and smoke cleared. It resulted in a 19 minute, 14-second red flag.