Aggressiveness Causes Early Crashes at Talladega
Coming off a pair of back-to-back top-fives, Hemric was looking to continue the string of success this weekend after qualifying in the top-10. However, he was one of the eight drivers caught up in a crash with six laps to go in Stage 1 when Brennan Poole got loose while trying to make a move in the middle lane.
“We were just trying to log laps, and I thought we were going to miss it, but the 18 (Matt Tifft) got turned down across and hit me in the left rear,” Hemric said. “That was the end of our day as it ripped the right rear truck arm mount of our car.”
The second stage ended in a crash as well, with Aric Almirola tagging the back of Reed with one lap to go, collecting six cars in total. Reed came into the event confident after scoring the victory in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
“Aric got careless there, and he took the blame for it, but I think it being Saturday and him not racing here that often he was a little more careless,” Reed said. “I don’t think if it was Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. or somebody he races with every week in front of him that he would have done that. So I wish he would have taken a little more time, especially that early on, and give us a little more respect because we do race in the series every week.”
The pair of incidents were a repeat of the first restrictor plate race of the season at Daytona, where three muli-car crashes saw just 20 cars finish the race, with only three drivers avoiding all of the wrecks. Stage racing certainly has contributed to the events, with Blake Koch stating after the second one that he got caught up due to wanting track position, and “trying to get those stage points.”
Others competitors have blamed the low-downforce package, along with the bumpers not lining up on the cars, with Reed stating “you’re really at other people’s mercy on how they push you.” Richard Childress called out NASCAR over Hemric’s radio asking for NASCAR to do something about it.
“Just a lot of guys not using their heads,” Hemric said. “You’d think after seeing what happened in Daytona that they’d be a little smarter. Everybody was just way too aggressive.”
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