Harvick on first wreck at Talladega: Many driving ‘way above their head’

Dustin Long/NBC Sports
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The first major wreck of Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway occurred on Lap 11 of the scheduled 188-lap event.

Drivers involved included Denny Hamlin, Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick, Michael McDowell, Ryan Newman, Matt Tifft, Jimmie Johnson and Bubba Wallace.

The incident began when Wallace attempted to bump draft Blaney, who moved to his left at about the same time.

Wallace’s car wiggled, got loose and shot up the track, right into the side of McDowell’s Ford. The others were collected in the resulting pileup.

“All I was trying to do was wreck avoidance,” Wallace told Fox Sports. “I had such a big run on (Blaney), the 22 (Joey Logano) and he checked up a little bit.

“I went to the bottom to where I was safe. I don’t know if I crossed his bumper, but it got him wiggled and shoved me further down than I wanted to go. I went up back up to stay off the apron and it just unloaded. It was unfortunate, but I tried not to wreck my buddy Ryan and it cost us our day and others. So I apologize. I was just trying to ride and not wreck somebody, and wrecked myself.”

Harvick told NBC Sports’ Dustin Long, “”There are a lot of people that are way above their head and I think that obviously proved it.” Harvick also said “can’t push” to Walllace when the Richard Petty Motorsports driver approached him.

Wallace, McDowell’s and Tifft’s cars were all knocked out of the race.

McDowell told Fox Sports, “It was just pretty early on and being that aggressive, and unfortunately for us, we were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn’t really see what happen, just saw the 43 (Wallace) coming up the race track. That was about it.

“We were real hopeful for today and to be out so early on is very disappointing. But it’s out of our control. That’s part of superspeedway racing.”

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