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Large wreck unfolds late in Stage 2

Kurt Busch goes for a wild ride as playoff contenders Clint Bowyer and Brad Keselowski are caught up in the chaos. Bowyer sustains too much damage to continue in the race while Keselowski emerges largely unscathed.

Multiple Cup playoff drivers were involved in a large wreck wreck near the start-finish line with 12 laps left in the second stage Sunday at Talladega.

The wreck occurred as the field raced through the frontstretch tri-oval. It began when Clint Bowyer turned Jimmie Johnson, who was at the front of the middle lane. It unleashed a chain reaction that saw Kurt Busch’s car go airborne over Cole Custer’s car as they crossed the start-finish line.

Busch, who won last week at Las Vegas to advance in the playoffs, landed on all four tires and was able to exit his car.

Busch told NBC it was “one of the wildest rides I’ve ever been in.”

“I saw his tire mark on my roof as I was getting out,” Custer told NBC. “Pretty wild.”

Also involved in the wreck were Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Ryan Preece, Brendan Gaughan, Ryan Blaney, Brennan Poole and Daniel Suarez.

Gaughan, making the final start of his career, was eliminated.

Bowyer, who entered in the race 20 points below the cutoff to advance to the Round of 8, was eliminated from the race.

“Obviously, didn’t mean to wreck (Johnson),” Bowyer told NBC. “You’re going hard, three wide, people are behind you pushing. I was hoping he would save it, but he didn’t and we all wrecked.”