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Vickers puts blame on Kenseth

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Associated Press
February 28, 2011
— NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers normally don’t race each other too hard early in the season, particularly early in races.

That wasn’t the case at Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday.


With cars bouncing off walls and each other, Phoenix looked a lot like Talladega for while. Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne was an early victim. Robbie Gordon spun and damaged his car, and Carl Edwards got knocked out for a while when Kyle Busch appeared to get loose and bumped him.


The big one came on Lap 67.


Cambridge native Matt Kenseth triggered it when he went up the track a little and made contact with Brian Vickers, knocking his car loose. Vickers tried to gather his car, but got sideways, setting off a chain-reaction wreck that sent cars careening into the walls on both sides of the track.


The red flag came out and so did the wreckers after 13 cars were involved, leading to a 14-minute delay while officials cleaned the mess up.


“We’re all smarter than this, we’re all better race car drivers than this,” said Clint Bowyer, who was collected in the wreck. “We’re driving like idiots. Everybody is taking two tires, four tires—everybody is on completely different agendas right there and we never could get going. It’s just stupid.”


Kenseth didn’t seem to hit Vickers hard, but it was enough to get his car loose. Kenseth thought he had given Vickers enough room, and his crew agreed during a call on the


radio.


Vickers saw it a different way.


“The 17 ran us into the wall, door slammed us into the corner coming out of Turn 2, just 67 laps into a very, very long race,” Vickers said. “I felt like it was unnecessary and I’m sure it will come back to him.”


Kenseth finished 12th.


Janesville native Travis Kvapil was involved in the same accident. His car couldn’t be repaired and he wound up 39th.



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