The Big One Gathers Race Contenders Early

TALLADEGA, AL - MAY 05:  (L-R) Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, Brian Vickers, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, David Reutimann, driver of the #83 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Budweiser Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, David Stremme, driver of the #30 Lean 1 Toyota and Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, are involved in a wreck during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 5, 2013 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

TALLADEGA, AL – MAY 05: (L-R) Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, Jeff Burton, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, Brian Vickers, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, David Reutimann, driver of the #83 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Budweiser Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, David Stremme, driver of the #30 Lean 1 Toyota and Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet, are involved in a wreck during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 5, 2013 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Talladega, Ala., — A lap 44 crash collected 16 cars that included race contenders Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch during Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.

The crash was triggered when Busch caught the right rear of Kahne while both were running in the front of the pack. The contact sent Kahne into a spin in front of Busch and then collected a pack of cars running toward the front and mid-pack.

Brian Vickers (driving the No. 11), Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Marcos Ambrose, Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, David Reutimann, Jeff Burton, Casey Mears, David Stremme, Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex, Jr. and Scott Speed were all caught up in the crash. Most cars were able to make repairs to mostly cosmetic damage while under caution, and return to the track. Harvick, Kahne, Busch, Biffle, and Reutimann were sent to the garage with significant damage. Vickers was able to return to the track several laps down.

Busch said he wasn’t sure what exactly happened, but did take responsibility over the team’s communication.

“I don’t really know what happened,” said Busch. “I know I got in the back of the No. 5 (Kasey Kahne) and I guess I wastrying to go to the outside of him, but he just moved up in front of me and I wasn’t expecting it and I tried to go to the outside of him and before I could get to the outside of him I got in the back of him.”

“I just hate that I caused a hell of a melee for everybody,” Busch added. “A lot of cars got torn up and it’s way too early in the race to be doing any of those sorts of moveswhether he made it or I made it.”

Kahne, who was running ahead of Busch, said he felt a lot of momentum coming from behind.

“I felt the No. 18 (Busch) pushing me and next thing I knew I was spinning,” said Kahne. “You just can’t push with these cars.

“We learned that at Daytona,” Kahne added. “He was pushing me and spun me in the wall and then it happened again.”

Kahne said the two drivers did not speak in the infield care center.

“I think we both probably understand what happened and we’ll figure it out from there,” Kahne said.

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