It only took 42 laps for the "Big One" to occur in Sunday's NASCAR race at Talladega Superspeedway.
The leaders were running in a large pack heading into Turn 1 when Kyle Busch, charging up through the middle groove, hit the rear of Kasey Kahne's No. 5 car. The contact turned Kahne into the outside wall and set-off a chain reaction that involved 16 cars.
"I just saw them wrecking above me," said Greg Biffle. "I thought about going to the left, I had plenty of room and probably should have but I didn't. I just stayed straight and moved down all I could and it wasn't enough. They got me in the right-rear and turned me the wrong way up into the wall, a pretty hard hit, but that's all you can do is hang on when stuff like that happens."
Sitting in his smoldering car, Busch radioed his team and acknowledged that he was the catalyst for the 16-car incident. He held the same sentiment a few minutes later when he was cleared from the infield care center.
"I had a run on the No. 5 and didn't expect him to drop down with me and I guess I just made contact with him," Busch said. "I'm just disappointed that I was involved in something that damaged so many race cars, especially this early."
Among the prominent names involved were Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, and Martin Truex Jr.
Also collected was Brian Vickers, who had just relieved Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 car and had driven his way into the top 10 after starting at the rear of the field following the driver switch.
Talladega was Hamlin's first race since sustaining a compression fracture in his back March 24 at Auto Club Speedway. Before the race he chose not to run the entire distance in fear of re-aggravating his injury and planned to step out of his car under the first caution period.
Matt Weaver contributed to this story.