Kyle Busch took the brunt of the criticism for a massive pileup in turn one that knocked out a handful of contenders in Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

During a restart on lap 175, Dale Earnhardt Jr., running third, spun his tyres in front of Martin Truex Jr., who had to slow to avoid contact with Earnhardt's Chevy. Busch, who was behind Truex, started to move to the inside but contact between the left front of his Toyota and the right rear of Truex's Chevy sent Truex spinning across the track and into the path of Jeff Burton.

The wreck eliminated Truex, David Ragan and Brian Vickers and severely damaged the cars of Burton (16th in points and fighting for a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup) and Kevin Harvick, both of whom returned to the track after extensive repairs.

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Truex blamed Busch and appeared ready to throw his helmet at Busch's car as it rolled past after the crash, but he restrained himself.

"Someone spun the tyres, and our lane didn't go," Truex said. "Kyle just lost his head like he usually does when something bad happens. He decided he wasn't going to lift. He was going to turn me on the straightaway for no good reason at all."

Vickers was even more emphatic.

"While I was in the (infield) care centre, I saw the replay, and it looked like the #18 (Busch) was just completely impatient -- very normal," Vickers said. "Just hooked the #1 (Truex) in the right rear and turned him in front of the field.

"If you wreck somebody on the straightaway, you kind of should be black-flagged for it, but that's NASCAR's call, not my call. I guess everybody just learns to expect Kyle doing something stupid -- stupid is forever."

To his credit, Busch didn't duck responsibility for the incident and apologised for triggering the wreck.

"The #88 (Earnhardt) spun his tyres on the restart, I went to choose a lane, went to the middle, and the #42 (Juan Pablo Montoya) and I got together a little bit," said Busch, who finished seventh and gained a position to eighth in the Cup standings. "That pinched me with the 1, and I spun the 1 out, and it was just mayhem from there. I hate it for all those guys, because I know they've got Chase contentions, too."

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News