(WOMR file photo)
“Blazingly Bad” Brad Keselowski got a push from Kyle Busch on the green-white-checkered restart to win the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega.
Keselowski’s win was his second at Talladega, remember the Edwards in the catchfence race a couple of years ago, the sixth of his young career, and the first victory at Talladega for Dodge in 36 years. The last win for Dodge at Talladega came when Dave Marcis won the race in 1976!
Keselowski’s victory ended a wild final quarter of the race, which extended six laps past a scheduled 188 because of a flurry of late cautions.
As the field began a round of green-flag pit stops with 45 laps left, a massive chain-reaction wreck in Turn 3 eliminated a handful of contending cars, including pole-sitter Jeff Gordon.
Contact between Aric Almirola and Dave Blaney triggered the crash, which also collected Martin Truex, Carl Edwards and Juan Montoya, among others.
“It was like a wreck at a stoplight,” Edwards said. “Everybody started checking up and hitting each other.”
With the herd thinned considerably, Paul Menard led the field to a restart on lap 151. Hamlin, who had gotten back on the lead lap via “the Lucky Dog” when NASCAR called the caution on lap 143, surged to the front, where he swapped the top spot with Brad Keselowski.
Kenseth restarted at the back of the field under a penalty for pitting too soon under the lap 143 caution, but he quickly worked his way forward, wresting the lead from Denny Hamlin on lap 167, with Keselowski and AJ Allmendinger lined up behind him.
Five laps later, Hamlin found an opening between Kenseth and Keselowski and took second, but a lap 175 wreck that started when Casey Mears cut a tire, scrambled the field for a restart with nine laps left in regulation.
As the field crossed the finish line on lap 181, contact from sent Kurt Busch spinning into the inside wall at the entry to Turn 1. Kenseth led the field to a restart on lap 185.
This green flag restarts only lasted a mere few hundred feet. As soon as the leaders crossed the start line, Hamlin ducked to the inside and Allmendinger tried to block Hamlin in the middle lane. The result was a hooligan. Hamlin’s nose was already up to Allmendinger’s left rear tire, the contact between those two, Hamlin and “The Dinger”, also took out Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, and Michael Waltrip, as well!
When the clutter was cleared up, and the green flag flew for the final time, it was a green-white-checkered, a two lap sprint race. On the restart, Matt Kenseth got a great start with the help of his team-mate, Greg Biffle. In fact, it was too great of a start and gaping lead. Because of the great start that Kenseth had gotten, it actually allowed Kyle Busch to latch onto the bumper of “Blazingly Bad” Brad Keselowski. With that “Bad Brak” and Kyle were off like they were shot out of a cannon, marching into the lead. By the time the white flag waved, Keselowski and Busch were running one and two, respectively.
Over the last five races at Talladega, the leader coming out of turn four was not the winner of the race. However, “Bad Brad” was not to be overhauled coming out turn four Sunday! Ol Kylie did not have anything for the driver of the Penske Racing Coors Lite #2 Dodge, Keselowski!
Check out the unofficial results of the Aaron’s 499 at the Talladega Superspeedway.
Here is the Sprint Cup standings after the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!