By: Pete Pistone – @PPistone | MRN.com on April 10, 2016 | 2:00 A.M. EST
13 cars were listed as being involved in the incident on lap 294. (Photo: Getty Images)
A multi-car accident swept up several drivers in Saturday night’s Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Austin Dillon was the catalyst for the melee when he got loose on the backstretch. The Richard Childress Racing driver did not pit on lap 288 with many of the leader and was running on worn tires as the field came off Turn 2.
Denny Hamlin raced to the inside of Dillon and got close and caused the No. 3 Chevrolet to bobble just enough to trigger a chain reaction behind him.
Unfortunately for RCR, Dillon’s teammates Paul Menard and Ryan Newman got caught up in the accident that also saw Trevor Bayne, Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Clint Bowyer, Brian Vickers and Michael Annett involved of the 13 total cars swept up.
“We were on older tires and I was trying to get all I could there,” Dillon explained. “It’s part of trying to win a race. We put ourselves in a position to be out front, thinking that two laps wouldn’t mean much, but it did. That’s part of it. The good Lord kept me safe tonight and gave me a good race car. You have to be gracious in defeat. We’ll come back next week with another fast car and hopefully we can do the same thing we did today, and that’s run up front.
“It tore up a bunch of race cars. We had a good car. I just wish we could re-do it. But heck, we’re learning. We had another fast race car. We’ll go on from here.”
Stenhouse Jr. qualified well and was running in the top 10 for much of the night. But he ended up finishing 16th after his involvement in the accident.
“It looked like at first I thought he was gonna come down the track and then it looked like he was gonna stay up on the top,” Stenhouse Jr. said of Dillon. “I kind of committed to turning underneath thinking he was gonna stay at the top, then all of a sudden he came down and I got as much brake as I could and avoided him as much as I could. We just barely clipped him ever so slightly and it got us too much damage.”