Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski are out of the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway after being in a three-car incident on the first green-flag lap of Stage 2.
The wreck involved Johnson, Keselowski and Clint Bowyer.
The race was restarting on Lap 88 when Keselowski got loose underneath Bowyer and made contact with Bowyer’s No. 14 Chevrolet, which caused the two cars to spin. Johnson was unable to avoid hitting Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford with the right front of his No. 48 Chevrolet.
The damage sent Johnson to the garage with his third DNF of the year. Kentucky is one of three active Cup tracks Johnson has not won at.
“Just dicey on the restarts,” Johnson told NBCSN. “(Keselowski) got into the corner, he was sideways before he got there. I felt like the car on the outside left him some room. … I thought I almost had him missed and I just clipped him with my right front. It broke something in the suspension and took me into the fence.”
Keselowski, a three-time winner at Kentucky, now has five DNFs this year.
“I just got in an aero wake and it pulled me around,” Keselowski said. “The air pulled me around. It sucks. I feel bad for everyone on the Miller Lite Ford team and I think I tore up two or three other guys and that sucks for them. I don’t know. It is kind of a tough spot to be in on these tracks where they are kind of one groove. You can’t just lay up everytime. You give up too many spots or get ran over from behind. If you drive in with someone close to you the car just spins out. It just sucks but it is what it is. We have to find a way around it and we didn’t today.”
The race went back under caution on the ensuing restart when Trevor Bayne and Kasey Kahne made contact in Turn 1. Kahne backed into the outside wall. The damage ended his day as Bayne continued on. Bayne’s race ended after he caused the fifth caution of the race when he spun in Turn 4 on Lap 113.