Adding to the excitement of the green-white-checkered flag finish, Brad Keselowski outwitted Kyle Busch coming out of turn three to take the win in the Aaron’s 499 from Talladega Superspeedway.
This victory was the first for Dodge, Keselowski’s manufacturer in his No. 2 Penske Racing ride, at Talladega since Dave Marcis won there in 1976.
Kyle Busch finished second and seemed a bit stunned. Busch’s position, pushing the leader in the last lap of a restrictor plate race, typically results in a win with a slingshot move in the last milliseconds of the competition.
Busch explained, “I got to Turn 3, and I got disconnected from him, got unhooked. I hated that happened — thought we had a shot to win that thing. I’m not sure he [Keselowski] did anything. If he did, he’s pretty smart, but I think our stuff just came unplugged.”
Keselowski said in a post-race interview, “I had this whole plan if I ever got in that situation where I was leading. I thought about it and thought about it, dreamed about what to do, and sure enough, going into 3, it was just me and Busch. And I knew the move I wanted to pull. I went into Turn 3 high and pulled down off of Kyle and broke the tandem up. That allowed me to drive untouched to the checkered flag. It wasn’t easy to convince myself to do that, but it was the right move. I’m glad it worked.”
Whatever Keselowski and his team are doing they are doing well as this was their second victory of the 2012 season. This was his sixth career victory in Cup and his second win at Talladega; his first win ever came at the superspeedway in 2009.
Matt Kenseth, who led the most laps on Sunday and was the leader during the final restart, had to settle for third. Kasey Kahne turned in another strong finish with fourth, and Greg Biffle took home fifth.
Clint Bowyer placed sixth, David Ragan had a strong showing in seventh, and 2011’s Daytona 500 Champion Trevor Bayne came in eighth. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was ninth and Jeff Burton sewed up the tenth position.
Troubles plagued Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman who left the race with oil pump problems.
Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr., Carl Edwards, Juan Pablo Montoya were caught up in one of Talladega’s “Big Ones” and became casualties.
Another accident collected the likes of Denny Hamlin, Paul Menard, Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, and veteran Michael Waltrip.
Kurt Busch, looking desperately for a great run to attract sponsors, was running well until Lap 181 when contact with his former teammate Keselowski took him off the pace.
Greg Biffle holds on to the lead of the NASCAR Sprint Cup points. Matt Kenseth improved his position by two to take second, seven points behind his teammate. Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin each fell one spot to third and fourth respectively. Kevin Harvick ascended two spots to land in the Top 5 in fifth.
Martin Truex Jr. tumbled one place to sixth. Tony Stewart bumped up one spot to seventh. Jimmie Johnson gave up two spots to land in eighth. Kyle Busch found himself moving up two positions to ninth. And Clint Bowyer jumped two spots to bring up the Top 10 in points in tenth.
Carl Edwards lost two places to land in eleventh and Brad Keselowski moved up one to take over the twelfth spot. As the warmer weather settles in, the race for the Chase heats up considerably.
The action leaves Alabama for South Carolina and the famed “Lady in Black”, Darlington Raceway. The broadcast begins on Saturday, May 12th at 6:30pm EST on Fox for the Bojangles’ Southern 500.
Be sure to tune in to Fox for all of the drama at Darlington and then return here for my race recap!
Chief 187™ is a writer, columnist, blogger, and creator of the widely successful Chief 187™ Chatter. Her work has been featured on the Indie Republic Network. In addition to NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Recaps and Friday Music Blogs, Chief 187™ has posted many articles based on interviews with musicians and MMA fighters. To follow Chief 187™ on Twitter follow @Chief187s. To purchase Chief 187™ gear visit http://cafepress.com/Chief187. To find all of the places Chief 187™’s works are featured visit http://Chief187.com.