Talladega – Some Rain, A Ride and Ragan

Front Row Motorsports made the last lap run around to take the one and two spots at Talladega.

However, there was more going on at the Aaron’s 499. Some rain held it back. Some cars got tangled. Some tempers were tugged.

You could leave it at that as it sums up the day at Talladega. Everything else is just marbles next to the outside wall.

Or is it…?

The “Big One”, the Talladega Shuffle that seems to always come, happened early at lap 43 as Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne bumped and spun involving 14 other cars in the high speed bumper dance. Busch said over the radio it was his fault with the move on Kahne that set it in motion.

However, fast forward to the latter laps and you get the “Big One – The Sequel”. The #17 of Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. scraped the wall bouncing J.J. Yelley into the #78 of Kurt Busch and the ride begun…

Busch’s #78 went around, rolled and wound up giving Ryan Newman an inspector’s view of the chassis as the #78 became an unscheduled passenger on board the #39. Others were caught in the spin cycle and were knocked about including Bobby LaBonte, Danica Patrick, Jamie McMurray and Clint Bowyer.

The restart following this mash-up put a bit of a shuffle on for position as David Ragan shuffled about while Brad Keselowski questioned the move. As it turned out, NASCAR set the positions which Ragan knew and Keselowski did not.

Twitter lit up with Keselowski after the race and again after Brad was set straight on the restart positions.

Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards traded off the lead in the final laps after the restart. Jimmie Johnson gave it a run but could not get around. The last lap put David Ragan on the bumper of Carl Edwards, which was a move for the #34 from back in 4th or 5th. Ragan’s team mate, David Gilliland in the #38, was giving the push that put them both by Edwards to take the checkers one and two with Ragan in the winner’s circle.

After the #78 piggy-back, Ryan Newman was leaving the med center and was noticeably upset. He had some words that NASCAR apparently did not like but a ruling has come that he will not be fined as the comments squeaked by the guidelines about criticism.

The race also saw the return of Denny Hamlin to the #11 even if it was just for the start, a pit and a trade off back to Brian Vickers. The move gives Hamlin some points for starting and also sets in motion a full time return with Darlington as the target.

Racing at Talladega is always a fan spectacle but that same excitement in the stands often falls to mixed emotions for the drivers. There is always some sense that a “Big One” will come and, from a driver’s view, it’s a lottery draw as to who gets collected in it.

This time, the lottery put David Ragan and David Gilliland in position to bring it home for Front Row Motorsports. We missed an underdog win at Richmond as Juan Pablo Montoya lost position due to a crash he wasn’t involved in.

Talladega gave us an underdog in the winner’s circle. We’d like to see that happen more often.