Front Row Motorsports Goes 1-2 At Talladega

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david ragan 2013 Talladega.jpgAfter one of the most amazing finishes of the NASCAR year on Saturday the Sprint Cup drivers took to the track. The race started on time, but the drivers had to avoid the big one and rain that was forecasted to fall sometime in the afternoon.

The race started off with cars getting three wide right out of the gates. Then at lap 3 it was two wide racing up front. Martin Truex Jr. started out leading the race and then Matt Kenseth got up front to the race lead. At lap 7 it was single wide racing up front. At lap 20 it was unscheduled pit stop time for Dale Earnhardt Jr. as he wound up with some damage from a hit with Travis Kvapil. The first caution though came out at lap 22 as Trevor Bayne and his car was smoking big time.

Most of the leaders pitted and Denny Hamlin made a change in drivers over to Brian Vickers. Nine cars though stayed out at least a lap before pitting. The race restarted with Matt Kenseth in the race lead. After a small bunch of laps it was major wreck time as Kyle Busch helps Kasey Kahne spins out. Then they both help take out the Denny Hamlin car, Casey Mears, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Marcos Ambrose, Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, David Reutimann, Jeff Burton, and more.

"I'm all right", said Kyle Busch. He also stated he wanted to go on the outside, but before he could do it he wound up wrecking him(Kasey Kahne).

"I'm fine," said Kasey Kahne.

As the cars pitted a bunch of cars took four tires just to be safe.

The race restarted again with Matt Kenseth leading the race. Ryan Newman though got hot and took over the race lead. Than at lap 59 Matt Kenseth was back to the race lead as the race started to move to long single line of cars up front. At lap 88 the first round of green flag pit stop stops started. At lap 90 the cars in the top five pitted. After the pit stops were over Matt Kenseth was back to leading the race.

Rain at this time was close to the track as the pit stops were occurring.

As the green flag racing continued it was one long single line of cars with Matt just logging laps as the leader. With around 72 laps left the cars up front started to go two wide and Jimmie Johnson took over the race lead. After a few more laps Ricky Stenhouse Jr. with a couple of more Ford cars too over the race lead. Then Carl Edwards took over the race lead as the caution came out for rain. At the time of the caution it was close to a second round of green flag pit stops.

At lap 125 the cars stopped on pit road and tarps got to be put on tops of the cars as we went to a red flag condition around 3:18 PM. The rain delay even with the new Titan drying system took over 3 hours and 30 minutes before they could get back to racing. The Juan Pablo Montoya car though had trouble restarting and went behind the wall to get it started again.

When the pit road finally opened cars came down for service with Joey Logano winning the race off pit road. Kurt Busch and a few other cars stayed out, but over the next few laps some of them start pitting.

With 58 laps left the race finally restarted and Bobby Labonte was leading the race while it was three wide in the back. After a few laps Matt Kenseth got the lead back. Then the high line with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at the front of it started to get hot.

With 45 laps left the car Joey Logano was driving went south and then it got single file up front. A second group of cars a few seconds back started to go to the low side in the corners and caught the lead pack with 30 laps left. With 22 laps left Matt Kenseth a bunch of other cars pit. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. both picked up a penalty for entering pit road too fast on pit road. After the pit stops were over Jimmie Johnson was the race leader. The caution finally came out with 15 laps left as Michael McDowell smacked the wall.

This caution brought only a few cars down pit road for service. The race restarted with 10 laps left with Jimmie Johnson leading the race. With 8 laps left Regan Smith made it three wide with a monster move to pass a bunch a bunch of cars to take the race lead. Then with six laps left the second big one occurred that was wilder than the first. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. tries to go four wide, but J.J Yeley got hit and then took out Kurt Busch who went in the air and landed on the car on Ryan Newman. Bobby Labonte, Martin Truex Jr., Jamie McMurray, Danica Patrick, and more got damage from this wreck.

"I was trying to win the race," said J.J. Yeley. "Got hit in the right rear corner."

"That is no way to tend the race," said Ryan Newman.

This brought out the green-white-checkered finish and the only one NASCAR is going to use. Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards started out leading the final two laps. Then on the final lap David Ragan with help from his teammate David Gilliland got hooked up for the push of their careers to take the race lead. They were so fast they both wound up passing Carl and Matt. They both survived to finish one-two to give Front Row Racing its first win ever in NASCAR.

"This is a true David vs. Goliath moment here," said David Ragan.

"What a great day for Front Row Motorsports," said David Gilliland. His second place finish is the best of his career.

"Disappointing ending to the day," said Matt Kenseth who finished eighth.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard Ginn published on May 5, 2013 8:28 PM.

Regan Smith Wins A Very Wild Talladega race. was the previous entry in this blog.

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