Danica Patrick was spun by Austin Dillon on Lap 255 and pit road was opened two laps later. But somehow, an ambulance appeared at the entrance to pit road, causing cars to dodge it and some hitting the brakes, causing an accordion-like wreck that involved Kenseth and Bowyer and several other cars, including Erik Jones and Joey Logano, whose cars suffered less damage.
The impact caused Kenseth’s radiator to be damaged, while Bowyer’s front end also suffered damage.
While Bowyer was able to get back on track after his pit crew taped over the damage, Kenseth’s car was taken to the garage.
That was especially disappointing as Kenseth had led 89 laps up to that point and had a strong car that likely could have challenged for the win.
“We were all just coming to pit road and I saw an ambulance sitting there,” Kenseth told NBCSN. “Everybody was stopping and I just couldn’t get stopped. I didn’t see it in time and ran into the car in front of me.”
There was also a tow truck on the track but it was further back of the ambulance and was not a factor in the incident.
After he climbed out of his race car, Kenseth added, “I don’t think they should open pit road if there’s an ambulance parked there. It’s a very narrow entry. Pit road speed is pretty fast – 45 miles an hour or something – and, you know, still I shouldn’t have hit the car in front of me, but I can’t say I was expecting to see an ambulance blocking me.”
Even with the wreck, which looked like it might cost Kenseth a berth in the playoff, he still managed to qualify on points and will be one of the 16 drivers that begin competition for the NASCAR Cup championship next Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway.
Here’s the video of the Patrick-Dillon wreck that prompted the caution.
Kenseth’s run-ins with ambulances continued after the race: