Cole Custer: “I didn’t know he was flipping at first. Because, you’re just kind of looking at what’s in front of you. And, he was above me.”
Playoff driver Kurt Busch drove to victory lane last week at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. That’s fortunate because on Sunday he ended up in the air with a 3,500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
On lap 108, Clint Bowyer was pushing Jimmie Johnson through the tri-oval. With little banking in that section of the track, cars get light. And that’s exactly what happened.
The backend stepped out on Johnson as Bowyer pushed on his bumper. He wrestled it back straight but we he then hit again in the left rear bumper. Johnson was turned to the inside of the track.
As Johnson slid down the track, he clipped Kurt Busch in the left rear. Busch was turned hard right into the outside wall.
Busch slammed the outside wall. Cole Custer then drove into the right side door of Busch as he sat perpendicular on the track with cars coming at 200mph.
Busch was catapulted into the air by the energy. The roof flaps deployed and in the opposite way of an airplane, the car was shoved back toward the earth.
10+ cars were collected. Kurt Busch, Danial Suarez, Cole Custer and Clint Bowyer were immediately out of the race. Austin Dillon and Jimmie Johnson retired later due to the crash damage.
Drivers comment on the Talladega crash
Jimmie Johnson radio after the crash: “What was he thinking?! Oh, I’m destroyed. I just got drove through, like 6 times by the No. 14. What the fuck was he thinking?
Clint Bowyer: “Well, you gotta go. You gotta push him.”
“The No. 22 and the No. 21 were trying. Obviously, they gave up on it for some reason. I mean, as soon as I got to him, I pushed him in the front and the whole rear of the car went down.”
“Before I knew it, he was tank swapping all over the place. I don’t know if that was how they had their car built or whatever. But, as soon as you got close to him, he was all over the place.”
Bowyer added, “Obviously, didn’t mean to wreck him. But, you’re three wide, going hard and people are behind you pushing. I was hoping he’d save it, but he didn’t. We all wrecked.”
Cole Custer: “They just all started pushing really hard on the bottom and the middle. When they started spinning I was like, ‘Hopefully, I can make it passed it.’ But, we didn’t.”
Cole Custer was the car that drove under Kurt Busch.
“I didn’t know he was flipping at first. Because, you’re just kind of looking at what’s in front of you. And, he was above me.”
Custer added to NBC Sports, “I saw his tire mark on my roof when I got out. So, that was pretty crazy. Glad he’s ok, obviously they have a lot of safe things in these cars. So, thankful for that.”
Kurt Busch: “It’s a wild ride. That’s the nature of this sport. You’re on top one week with a win and everything’s fantastic.”
“Then, this week you’re at Talladega. I was doing my job as a Chevy helper, running top 5. Then, the next thing I know, I’m going for one of the wildest rides I’ve ever been in.”
Kurt Busch added, “Thanks to NASCAR’s safety. It’s just Talladega, those wild rides always continue.”