Sunday afternoon's race at Bristol Motor Speedway came to a screeching halt on Sunday afternoon near the end of Stage 2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s car spun into the wall before ricocheting back onto the track. This sparked a massive collision that damaged or wrecked eight cars.
The incident occurred when the drivers were going around a turn. Matt Kenseth in the No. 42 Chevrolet lost his grip and lost momentum. Stenhouse moved to the left in his No. 47 Chevrolet and Jimmie Johnson tapped him from behind, spinning the car into the wall. Several other drivers could not avoid Stenhouse and hit him. Officials halted the race while cleaning up the area and towing the No. 47 Chevrolet.
Big crash at Bristol! pic.twitter.com/LQX4xASctq— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) May 31, 2020
Kurt Busch's car took some damage while skirting pass the wreck, but he remained active in the race once action resumed. Jimmie Johnson also continued to race after only suffering minor front end damage. However, several other drivers could not continue.
Rookie Tyler Reddick, 17th in the Cup Series standings, ended the day early, as did Alex Bowman. Cole Custer was the fourth driver to leave the race early due to this massive pile-up. Although all of the drivers were able to walk away from their cars without any injuries.
This was the second incident that forced drivers out of the action. Ryan Blaney, who was a favorite to win the Supermarket Heroes 500, spun out midway through Stage 2. The majority of drivers avoided him, with the exception of Ty Dillon. The driver of the No. 13 Chevrolet had nowhere to go and slammed into Blaney's car. This collision ripped the front end off and knocked both drivers out of the race.
Bristol Motor Speedway is a track known for hectic races and close-quarters action. Sunday's event only furthered this belief. There were several caution flags throughout Stages 1 and 2, including at the very beginning.
Veteran driver Ryan Newman barely avoided a massive wreck of his own during the eighth lap of the race. He went inside around one of the turns and caught his tires on the traction compound. The No. 6 Ford Mustang spun out and narrowly avoided colliding with other cars. Newman brought his vehicle to a stop short of the concrete wall without suffering damage.
While Newman continued racing following his early-race incident, the drivers involved in the massive wreck were not as lucky. They left the race early and headed to their RVs. The action continued as Chase Elliott won Stage 2.