Big races typically come with big wrecks. The 2013 Coca-Cola 600 was no exception. Held every year at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina, the Memorial Day weekend race was packed with tons of big-name drivers who were all pushing as hard as they could to secure those top spots.

When race cars start going three wide around the turns, that’s when you know things are about to get really interesting. The drivers had 75 laps to go when sparks flew down the racetrack. The main three drivers involved in the crash were Mark Martin, Aric Almirola, and Jeff Gordon, but as they wrecked along the track, they managed to take out Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Casey Mears, and Bobby Labonte in the process.

Here’s what happened: Almirola takes the inside lane under Martin and Gordon as they go three wide into the turn. They come up to the straightaway after the turn, and Martin tries to get out of the middle of the sandwich by going inside to hit the dog leg. While doing so, he clips Almirola, causing him to spin right into Jeff Gordon. Both Gordon and Almirola crash into the wall and sparks fly everywhere. Since they were so close, Stenhouse, Mears, and Labonte have nowhere to go and get wrapped up in the carnage. All of the drivers spin out on the track, and each car receives a ton of damage in the process.

Although unfortunate, these types of things do happen in racing. Luckily, no one was hurt in the wreckage, and it gave the crowd quite the show that evening. Stenhouse even managed to fight his way back up to 14th position after everything that happened, which is pretty impressive. I’m sure Almirola was pretty frustrated with the whole situation, but at that point, there’s not much you can do.


This post was originally published on May 13, 2020.

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