Driver Kevin Harvick has been accused by fans and drivers of intentionally engineering a massive pile-up during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Oct. 25 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama (video below).
The crash caused the race to end under a caution warning, giving Joey Logano the win, and second place to Dale Earnhardt Jr., who led for 61 laps before the mass collision, notes the Associated Press.
Harvick reportedly told his crew via radio that his car had a problem accelerating, but he stayed in the race and hit Trevor Bayne, which set off a chain reaction.
"Harvick is a really good driver," Bayne opined after the race. "I think he knows the limits of his car and where it's at, so that's why I think it was intentional."
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"It was a pretty tough ending," added driver Matt Kenseth, who was also taken out. "[He] knew he was blowing up and told everybody he was going to stay in his lane. It just feels like we kind of lost control of the situation."
"The 4 could only run about 30 miles an hour, I think he saw people coming and he knew he was so probably going to be 30th, the last car on the lead lap, so he caused the wreck," claimed driver Denny Hamlin, who also got knocked out.
However, NASCAR president Mike Helton said: "There is no evidence right now that there was anything that the 4 car did that was questionable."
Harvick claimed that his car's problem was a broken exhaust pipe, and added, "[A]t the end, I was trying to get out of the way."
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Jalopnik.com reports that NASCAR fans, who normally look forward to crashes, tweeted their displeasure:
"Talladega was bulls--- how it ended I just feel like someone else should have win but it's no biggie"
"Wow Harvick got away with that. Wrecking to win. Time to watch football instead of this crap. @nascar #Talladega"
"Wow I just lost a lot of respect for Harvick. That's absolutely pathetic, just like what Newman did last year. #NASCAR #Talladega"