Budweiser Shootout was a crash-fest
The Budweiser Shootout might want to go back to its original name -- the Busch Clash.
Known 32 years ago as the Clash, Saturday night's 33rd running of the race became the Crash.
Nearly half of the field had wrecked by the midway point.
One-quarter of the 24-car field was claimed on Lap 28 when three drivers darted for the same piece of real estate on the backstretch just before Turn 3.
"We were hooked in the right-rear quarter-panel," Dale Earnhardt Jr. said. "I was watching it and I saw this gold car come at me. I thought I had it saved for a second, but it's hard to drive them that fast when they're out of control. It was too many race cars going for the same piece of real estate there."
The No. 78 Chevrolet of Regan Smith was on the high side with Junior's No. 88 at the bottom with Carl Edwards trailing them.
Smith drifted down and when Junior slowed all three appeared to come together, sending all of them sliding into a collage of crumpled metal.
"We were all just battling for position," Edwards said. "We were at least three-wide and I had my car up against Dale Jr.'s as best I could and the (No.) 78 was on the outside. I was in the middle and I don't think he knew my nose was in there. I was probably hidden by the (No.) 88 and he just kept coming down. I was like, 'No, no, no, no,' and then he got me across the right-front. I probably could have stabbed the brake and backed out of there, but I didn't know exactly what was going on behind me."
The aftermath gathered Kevin Conway, Juan Pablo Montoya and Joey Logano.
Eight circuits later, on Lap 36, Mark Martin got into the back of Kyle Busch, sending them to the garage just beyond the midway point.
"There's plenty of film (Saturday) for the highlight reel," Busch said. "We were hoping to go out with a bang and I guess we went out with a bang."
On Lap 48, Tony Stewart got into Michael Waltrip, who hit the wall and went to the garage. News-JournalOnline