Keselowski Gets It Done at Dega

Via Getty Images

By Jason Schultz

The Aaron’s 499 Sunday Afternoon in Talladega, Alabama featured some great racing. A late move allowed Brad Keselowski to pull away from Kyle Busch and take the checkered flag for the second time in his career at Talladega Superspeedway. This race featured numerous storylines and some frustrated drivers. Early in the race we saw Regan Smith, Ryan Newman and Jimmie Johnson all have some sort of engine problem that forced all three to exit the race early. Michael Waltrip racing in his first race of the season took the lead for the first time on lap 25; he led 25 laps by the end of the race and finished nineteenth.

A strategic move had multiple drivers hanging in the back early including Jamie McMurray, Paul Menard, Kevin Harvick and Juan Pablo Montoya. The first round of green flag pit stops began on lap 57 with Denny Hamlin pitting solo and eventually costing Hamlin a lot of ground. After the green flag pit stops had ended there was a four car break away that included Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon.

On lap 120 Kurt Busch took his first lead of the day. Kurt Busch was driving a car with a similar paint scheme to a car featured in the hit movie ‘Talladega Nights” staring Will Ferrell. Ferrell’s character “Ricky Bobby” was a driver of the “Me” car in a race at Talladega. The famous Talladega “Big One” occurred with 46 laps to go when Aric Almirola driving the No.43 got down on the apron and came back up on the track in front of Dave Blaney. Blaney then spun up into traffic. Other drivers that were involved in the accident were Carl Edwards, Terry Labonte, Juan Pablo Montoya, Landon Cassill, Trevor Bayne, Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard and Joey Logano.

When Martin Truex Jr. tried to avoid the wreck ahead he slid up the hill a little and then attempted to swerve underneath the wrecked cars and Truex Jr. got into Jeff Gordon and Gordon was turned hard right up into the outside wall, hitting hard and ending his day. Gordon later commented about the incident by saying “that’s just the way our seasons going.”After this accident Mr. Rick Hendrick was down to two chances of winning his 200th Sprint Cup Series victory today with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne. The next caution came out with 12 to go when Marcos Ambrose bumped Casey Mears sending Mears spinning and eventually Mears spun down the track and got into Trevor Bayne, spinning Bayne out.

A few laps after the restart Brad Keselowski attempted to switch lanes but while attempting to do it Brad got into the back of Kurt Busch spinning him out and ending Kurt’s chances of winning today and bringing out the caution once again. Coming to the restart with 4 laps to go the top five was Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard, Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle.

Just after the leaders passed the start/finish line mayhem broke loose. Denny Hamlin got into A.J Allmendinger spinning Allmendinger into Paul Menard. Hamlin spun up the track into Tony Stewart then drivers like Harvick, Waltrip and Bowyer who were trying to avoid the wreck made contact with the spinning Menard. Teammates Bowyer and Waltrip were left with little damage and able to continue in the race but Harvick had enough damage to end his day. Robert Richardson Jr. in the No.23 also had a good amount of damage to end his day.

Coming to the restart, Kenseth and Biffle were lined up on the outside and Keselowski and Kyle Busch were lined up on the inside. We only needed one attempt at the green-white-checkered finish to end the race. Biffle pushed Kenseth to the lead, much like the end of this year’s Daytona 500. Kyle Busch pushing Keselowski passed the Biffle and Kenseth duo and then took the white flag. When Kyle got loose entering turn 3 he lost contact with Brad Keselowski and couldn’t recover. Brad Keselowski went on to take the checkered flag.

Keselowski sounded like he planned this all out in victory lane by saying “…Had this move worked up in my mind.” A classic Talladega race left rising star Brad Keselowski in victory lane for the second time this season. Next week the Sprint Cup Series tackles Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina for a race that promises excitement.

Standings

  1. Greg Biffle
  2. Matt Kenseth
  3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  4. Denny Hamlin
  5. Kevin Harvick

Results via Nascar.com

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 13 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 47/4 194 Running
2 21 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M’s 43/1 194 Running
3 10 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Best Buy 43/2 194 Running
4 5 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Farmers Insurance 41/1 194 Running
5 6 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M / O’Reilly Auto Parts 40/1 194 Running
6 24 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota Aaron’s / Alabama National Champions 38/0 194 Running
7 32 34 David Ragan Ford Front Row Motorsports 37/0 194 Running
8 11 21 Trevor Bayne Ford Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center 0 194 Running
9 18 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet National Guard / Diet Mountain Dew 36/1 194 Running
10 29 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 35/1 194 Running
11 23 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats 33/0 194 Running
12 4 43 Aric Almirola Ford Verifone Sail 32/0 194 Running
13 26 38 David Gilliland Ford Taco Bell 31/0 194 Running
14 3 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Stanley 30/0 194 Running
15 2 22 AJ Allmendinger Dodge Shell / Pennzoil-AAA 29/0 194 Running
16 41 93 Travis Kvapil Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 29/1 194 Running
17 17 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Turtle Wax / Menards 28/1 194 Running
18 25 13 Casey Mears Ford GEICO 27/1 194 Running
19 9 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota Aaron’s “Color your way to Talladega” 26/1 194 Running
20 33 51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Phoenix Construction Services 25/1 193 Running
21 42 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Bush’s Baked Beans 23/0 192 Running
22 34 10 David Reutimann Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing 22/0 192 Running
23 22 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express 22/1 192 Running
24 8 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Mobil 1 21/1 190 Running
25 20 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Rheem 20/1 184 Accident
26 30 20 Joey Logano Toyota Dollar General 18/0 184 Accident
27 39 23 Robert Richardson Jr. Toyota North Texas Pipe 0 182 Accident
28 15 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 16/0 166 Accident
29 28 32 Terry Labonte Ford C&J Energy 15/0 143 Accident
30 38 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Golden Corral 14/0 142 Accident
31 7 99 Carl Edwards Ford Fastenal 13/0 142 Accident
32 12 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target / Kraft 13/1 142 Accident
33 1 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 20 Years 11/0 142 Accident
34 40 83 Landon Cassill Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 10/0 141 Accident
35 19 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s 10/1 61 Engine
36 14 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats 8/0 42 Engine
37 36 97 Bill Elliott Toyota NEMCO Motorsports 7/0 37 Electrical
38 43 33 Tony Raines Chevrolet Little Joe’s Autos 6/0 32 Engine
39 27 30 David Stremme Toyota Stock Car Steel and Aluminum 5/0 30 Transmission
40 31 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row / Farm American 4/0 15 Engine
41 37 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves 0 7 Vibration
42 16 26 Josh Wise * Ford Morristown Driver’s Service 2/0 5 Rear Gear
43 35 98 Michael McDowell Ford Curb Records 1/0 2 Vibration
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