(WOMR file photo)
I re-ran the Aaron’s 499 from Talladega Superspeedway, just to closely watch the final 20 laps, and to try to focus in on the key winning players of the day.
I kept looking for the Front Row Motorsports #34 Ford driven by the eventual winner, David Ragan. For all of those last laps leading up to the last “big one” involving Kurt Busch’s rollover, and successful greased landing on top of Ryan Newman’s car, Ragan was in the middle of the trailing small pack of cars about 8 seconds behind the leaders!
At the restart for the green-white-checkered final, David Ragan lined up in the 10th position, that is on the outside fifth row. With the white flag waiving, one lap to go, Ragan was racing in the fifth spot. Not until David Gilliland latched onto Ragan’s rear bumper, going into turn #3 on the final lap, did it appear that Ragan was going to have an opportunity to advance his position.
Gilliand had just enough of a run on the rest of the pack to shove Ragan into the lead,coming out of turn #4 on the final lap. With the finish line not in the tri-oval like Daytona, but about a 1/4 mile further down the track towards turn #1, it became a drag race for Ragan to maintain his minimal lead over the rest of the pack! Quite to the dismay of all who were watching the race, Ragan held off the remaining pack to score the huge victory for his “David type” race team!
As has often been said by people that are more seasoned, more informed, and much more knowledgeable than I am, and fortified by David Ragan taking on the roll of “the dragonslayer” Sunday at the Aaron’s 499, “it was much better to lucky than good”!
If the race had gone green for the remaining laps, neither David Ragan, nor David Gilliland would have been a factor in the outcome of the race! David Ragan was not the fastest, nor the most dominant race car at Talladega. Nevertheless, he was the luckiest driver at Talladega Sunday, with the help of his teammate, David Gilliand, thereby collecting the big check and the big trophy!
Just as a side note, David Ragan’s odds for a victory at Talladega Superspeedway Sunday was a 100-to-1!
So the Aaron’s 499 was truly a case of “the Davids (plural) vs. Goliaths (plural)!
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK