Talladega NASCAR Finish Uncertain Until the End
By Dave Hascall
Talladega, AL (Apr. 23) The end of many races on the NASCAR Cup schedule is uncertain until the end, but Sunday’s race at Talladega was something no one expected. Many drivers took turns in the top five, surging forward and falling back as different lines prevailed. After several late cautions, some drivers might be short on fuel. Going into overtime, 23XI Toyota (owned by Denny Hamlin and NBA star Michael Jordan) driver Bubba Wallace moved around surprise leader Kyle Busch, taking friend Ryan Newman with him on the white flag lap. Wallace threw several blocks on Blaney. The last block proved disastrous; Wallace spun, bouncing off of Blaney and collecting many cars behind. The field was frozen, and Busch, with the lead, was going to be the victor if his fuel held. It did, picking up his second win of the year and another for Chevrolet. Behind Busch were the Fords of Blaney, Chris Buescher, Chase Briscoe (who was lapped at one point), and Brad Keselowski. Chase Elliot and Aric Almirola won the first two stages. Almirola’s move to win the second stage showed how a car a few spots back can push to the lead, leaving the leader with few options to block.
No drivers were injured in Sunday’s Cup race, but Saturday’s Xfinity race was even wilder, with several hard accidents. Jeb Burton was excited to be in Victory Lane for the small Jordan Anderson team, but two flips marred the race. Blaine Perkins barrel-rolled his car six times, and race leader at the time, Daniel Hemric, rolled his car over as well. Perkins was transported to a local hospital after climbing from his car. He was released today.