Busch Rallies For Talladega Win
In many ways, it was a typical day at the Talladega Superspeedway. Close racing through much of the day, several close calls, a big wreck, and the set up for an exciting finish. A last lap caution, for that big wreck, may have taken that last one away. As hard as it may be, there is one thing you have to have some of to win there: Patience. That was what Kyle Busch needed to help him take the win at the Aaron's 499 Sunday afternoon. It was his second Sprint Cup win of the season.
Kyle would fall behind a lap when he was blocked by another car on pit road, unable to get to his stall. He had to go back around the track to the pits. He would make up the lap by getting the free pass on the day's second caution. He led 12 of the 188 laps. He did have a bit of a close call in the final laps when he went below the yellow line, which could've been a penalty. But, NASCAR judged that he was forced below that line, thus he was not penalized.
The day saw the race slowed eight times for 23 laps. Five of those cautions occurred in the final 27 laps of the race. Two of those were caused by multi-car crashes. On lap 175, Dale Earnhardt Jr. lost control and hit Bobby Labonte. Dale was able to finish, but along with Labonte, four others were involved. Included in that was Tony Stewart. Tony himself brought out a caution on lap 145 when he had a tire go down and hit the wall. Stewart led a race high 67 laps, but finished 38th. It was a tough ending to a week in which Stewart made headlines off the track, sparking rumors and speculation about his future with Joe Gibbs Racing.
On the final lap, another multi-car crash. This one involving eleven cars, including Jimmie Johnson and points leader Jeff Burton. That final caution froze the field, forcing the race to end under caution. Burton would get credit for 12th place. His lead in the standings dropped to 22 points over Kyle Busch. Johnson finished 13th.
Another typical thing about Talladega racing: Many lead changes. The race saw the lead change hands 52 times among 20 drivers. Aside from Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr. led 46 (finished tenth), Denny Hamlin 37 (finished third) with the others leading five or fewer laps.
One more thing you see at Talladega is drivers you might not expect finishing among the top spots. Sunday was no exception. Those surprises included Juan Pablo Montoya (finished second), David Ragan (fourth), Brian Vickers (fifth), Travis Kvapil (sixth), and Casey Mears (seventh). Other top finishers were Ryan Newman (eighth) and (ninth). Other notable finishes were in 19th, Kasey Kahne in 23rd, Kevin Harvick in 24th, pole sitter in 25th, former Talladega winner Michael Waltrip in 27th, Carl Edwards in 40th, and way back in 41st.
NASCAR will now get ready for some action under the lights at in Virginia. The Nationwide Series will take the track Friday night with the Sprint Cup racing .