At Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500 race at Talladega Superspeedway, a shady move by one driver caused a domino-effect crash that wiped out half the competitive field. And here I thought people watched NASCAR just praying for a pileup, but the fans are furious about this one.

Here’s the final-moments wreck:

AP’s Jenna Fryer says NASCAR established that it would “make just one attempt to finish the race under green-flag conditions.” Joey Logano was winning on what then would have been the “final” restart. But a minor crash further back in the pack caused officials to rule the restart not official, thus lining the cars up to make another attempt at the single green-white-checkered attempt.

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Now since you can’t win crossing the line under caution, this meant the Dale Earnhart Jr. and the rest of the pack would have another shot at winning the race.

That is, until Kevin Harvick caused another crash, put a whole bunch of cars into the walls, and caused another caution. Logano took the green before the caution flew this time, enabling the GWC finish to be deemed the one official attempt and ending the race.

The reason fans are so pissed is that everybody in the Talledega grandstands seems to think Harvick caused the second crash on purpose in order to seal a spot in the next round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Officials haven’t made a ruling on that though.

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Here’s what went down:

And here’s how NASCAR fans seem to feel about it:

At this point Harvick’s team denies wrongdoing:

And the NASCAR brass doesn’t seem to think poor sportsmanship was at work here either. Mike Helton is the organization’s Vice Chairman:

Nevertheless, Harvick’s crash did keep him in The Chase, NASCAR’s playoffs, while eliminating many of his rivals. Hence, the fan conspiracy theories.

More as we have it.


Contact the author at andrew@jalopnik.com.