With 84 laps remaining in the Good Sam 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, the championship picture has changed for two of the chief contenders.
Kevin Harvick was one of several drivers involved in a crash triggered when Marcos Ambrose spun his Richard Petty Motorsports teammate A.J. Allmendinger in front of a group of cars. Kyle Busch (another title contender), Jamie McMurray, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Paul Menard were also involved. McMurray and Montoya, along with Menard and Harvick, had been among the strongest of the "two-car tandems" during the race.
Harvick, who entered the race second in the standings, has significant damage to the nose of his Chevrolet. Carl Edwards, who entered the race with the lead, stands to gain a number of points so long as he can avoid being involved in a similar situation. Edwards has run outside the top-30 for the entire race, preferring to hang out near the tail of the field to avoid being caught up in any accidents in the race's early stages.
This is the third time teammates have come together during the race. Joey Logano bounced off Busch and spun as the cars approached pit road. At lap 80, Tony Stewart turned teammate/employee Ryan Newman, sending Newman through the frontstretch grass and doing heavy damage to his Chevrolet.