TALLADEGA, Ala. — Brad Keselowski won a demolition derby at Talladega Superspeedway, where multiple wrecks caused two cars to go airborne and led to millions of dollars in damage to race teams.

Keselowski’s cruise to the checkered flag was anticlimactic compared to all the other trouble Sunday.

“Racing has always been that balance of daredevils and chess players; this has always been more of a daredevil-type track,” said Keselowski.

Chris Buescher’s car flipped three times in an early crash, and Matt Kenseth was turned upside down in the waning laps. In Kenseth’s accident, Danica Patrick hit hard into an energy-absorbing wall that seemed to buckle upon impact. She appeared shaken after the hit.

“I would say that’s probably the most scared, trying to hop out of a car with the fire on the inside. I haven’t had fire on the inside before,” she said. “I have a pretty decent bruise on my arm and my foot, and my head feels like I hit a wall at 200 (mph). My chest hurts when I breathe.”

There were 21- and 12-car accidents in the final 28 laps. And, as Keselowski crossed the finish line, another wreck in the back of the pack punctuated the sloppy day. NASCAR’s box score showed 35 of the 40 cars were involved in some sort of accident.

Only 21 of the 40 cars finished on the lead lap, and 12 cars were ruled out of the race.

Second-place finisher Kyle Busch said he looked in his rearview mirror at one point and only saw four cars without some sort of damage.

“I hate it. I’d much rather be at home,” said Busch, the reigning Sprint Cup Series champion. “I’ve got a win (this season). I don’t need to be here.”

Austin Dillon finished third and said he enjoyed the race, even though it was nerve-wracking. Dillon was in his own horrific crash at Daytona last July and said the style of racing at restrictor-plate tracks creates an atmosphere of danger.

“We all have to do it. I don’t know how many really love it,” Dillon said. “I know our moms, wives and girlfriends don’t like it. We don’t like to be part of crashes. If people are cheering for crashes, man, it’s not a good thing.”

Patrick was in the top 10 with eight laps remaining when she was hit by another car and turned into Kenseth, who went airborne.

Defending race winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. brought his favorite car to Talladega in search of his first win of the season. But he wrecked on Lap 50 and had to go to the garage. He eventually returned to the track, but his steering wheel mysteriously came off in his hand. He had to steer the car with his hand on the steering column as he put the wheel back on. Then he was collected in a wreck with Carl Edwards. He finished last.

“Hell, I’m going home. I’m done,” he said. “I think we need to park the car for a while, too.”