AJ Allmendinger shouldered the blame of causing a massive crash on the final lap of Sunday’s race at Pocono.
Perhaps he did it because he felt pressured. Perhaps he did it because he’s simply a nice guy and truly felt he caused the accident. Either way, AJ should not have taken blame for the crash.
The wreck occurred when Kasey Kahne tried to make a pass on Allmendinger. Allmendinger threw a block, and Kahne took his #9 Ford into the grass. When he did so, he lost control of his car, and spun out in front of half the field, resulting in a massive pile-up that almost sent Kahne’s car over the outside wall.
To say Allmendinger caused the crash, however, is ludicrous.
For starters, Allmendinger was trying to hold his position, which is why he threw a block on Kahne. I can’t even say the two are teammates anymore, since Kahne has already announced his departure from the team will occur at the end of this season.
There’s nothing wrong with blocking, as long as you don’t get wrecked. Kahne had a lot of options, one of which was wrecking Allmendinger; an option he elected not to exercise.
Kahne could have split Allmendinger and the car he was racing, Sam Hornish Jr. He could have backed off and tried the pass again in turn 3, or simply held his 12th-place position.
Kahne also could have stopped moving down the race track when he had two wheels in the grass, instead of sticking all four in the grass; a move that was destined to fail.
But while Kahne had several options, Allmendinger had only two: Block, or don’t block.
What was AJ supposed to do? Let Kahne just go around him? I understand the risk of blocking. Like I said though, the only risk of blocking is getting wrecked; something Allmendinger was clearly ready to do in order to try and hold onto his top 10 spot.
After Allmendinger threw the block, Kahne had the next move. He could have wrecked Allmendinger, but chose not to. Whether or not that’s because he’s a nice guy is irrelevant. Once Allmendinger made his block, the next move was Kahne’s, and he chose to stick all four of his wheels in the grass.
That’s not AJ Allmendinger’s fault, and neither was the crash. To say AJ caused the last-lap crash at Pocono is ludicrous. Clearly, the blame falls on Kahne.
It was his move.