TALLADEGA, Ala. -- AJ Allmendinger has flipped before at Talladega Superspeedway, so he knew what to think as he slid on his roof upside down Sunday with 19 laps remaining in the Geico 500.
"Get me the hell back over," Allmendinger said after walking out of the infield care center. "The actual flight [turning over] was nice -- it was better than some of the flights we take back home, so it wasn't too bad. It's just once you get stuck on your roof, it's just panic mode sets in. You see fluids leaking and get scared it's going to catch on fire.
"The safety crew was there quick. ... I've flipped here a couple of times. I've laid on the ground enough here. So I'm not a big fan of this place."
Allmendinger was running in the top-5 when it appeared he got into the back of Chase Elliott, whose car turned sideways and hit the wall. Allmendinger then passed Elliott, whose car in turn hit Allmendinger's car, which eventually hit the wall and turned upside down. Allmendinger spent a couple minutes in his car while it was flipped over on its roof before safety crews could turn the car over on its wheels, and he got out of the car.
The initial hit wasn't that bad, Allmendinger said. So he was fairly calm once the car stopped and the safety crew got to him -- and he just waited for them to turn his car back over after the 18-car accident. The race was red-flagged for cleanup for 26 minutes, 51 seconds.
"I've hit my head enough, and there's not a lot in there to be that worried about, but I didn't really want to take another head hit [by loosening my belts]," Allmendinger said. "They were there quick [to assist me]. If they weren't there that quick, I may have thought about trying to slide out. It kind of rolled over on to the window; there wasn't a lot of room that I was going to get out.
"All the safety crew did a great job and got me back over real quick."
NASCAR did a test last month at Daytona International Speedway to look at ways for cars not to get upside down, but when a car is sideways and gets hit, drivers are typically just along for the ride.
"When you're running second or third and spin in front of the whole field, at that point you kind of expect to get upside down," Allmendinger said. "There's nothing that NASCAR is going to do in that sense to make it any better. It just was going to happen.
"Everything that NASCAR does for safety, it works -- I'm fine."
Among the drivers knocked out of the race because of the accident were Allmendinger, Elliott, Joey Logano, Austin Dillon, Trevor Bayne, Danica Patrick, Martin Truex Jr., Erik Jones and Michael McDowell.
"[Allmendinger] had a big run and he kind of got to my bumper and just happened to be in a bad spot coming up off the corner and was skewed a little bit to my left rear," Elliott said. "And when that happens, it just unloads these cars too much."