Kyle Busch was fourth in line behind Almirola, Bowman and Joey Logano when the wreck began. Busch’s car briefly left the ground as it slid to the inside of the track and collected Blaney.
Almirola was eliminated from the race. He had entered the event 27 points behind the cutoff to advance to the Round of 8.
Austin Dillon, who entered the race last on the playoff grid, was also involved
Chris Buescher wound up with the stage win, the first of his career.
“I’m OK, ” Almirola told NBC. “I know I got hit from behind and turned into the outside fence. It’s such a shame.”
Busch, who entered the race nine points behind the cutoff, would experience another setback on Lap 8 of Stage 2, when his left front tire shredded, causing further damage to his car. He was able to continue after his team made repairs.