After an eventful weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers and teams can wipe the blood off their wounds, and begin to heal those bruises that they may have received in the 24 car pileup on the last lap of Sunday’s race.
As always, there was plenty of drama for the race fans to be entertained with. Kurt Busch got parked after trying to speed away with medical equipment on top of his car after he spun out and took a hard lick to the inside wall.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch and Trevor Bayne got caught speeding down pit road during green flag pit stops early, putting themselves a lap down. They were able to make up their mistake by racing hard and getting the lap back after a caution for debris.
All was calm at the track until a late caution with 8 laps to go, when Kevin Harvick spun Jamie McMurray in the tri oval that set up a green-white checker flag. When racing resumed, it left two laps for 29 drivers to make a move that would put them in victory lane and by no disappointment 4 wide was going to be the only way some drivers could even have a chance.
Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth seemed to be the cars to beat at the end, but a head of steam was found by restrictor plate specialist and team owner Michael Waltrip as he got a helpful push from the Geico machine of Casey Mears. Tony dropped his car down just a little to block off Waltrip’s move and it lead to a last lap roll over disaster for all but a few teams.
Matt Kenseth somehow missed all the action and cruised to his 2nd restrictor plate win of the season. Jeff Gordon finished 2nd with Kyle Busch 3rd. Drivers scattered all over the race track tried all they could to limp back to the start finish line in their beat’n and battered race cars. Jimmie Johnson caught a ride back to the pits on the side of Dale Jr.’s car leaving his broke down machine on the racetrack for NASCAR to haul back to the garage.
Dale Jr. suggested NASCAR make rule changes in the future to stop the need to push, saying it is dangerous to the drivers and very unhealthy for the future of NASCAR. Dale may have a point in what he was saying – remember, we lost his dad when Sr. put a block on the rest of the field to insure victory for DEI.
Chris Creighton is a member of NASCAR media and a writer for RantSports.com. You can also follow me on Twitter as @FlagofCaution for all the latest news and updates in the racing community.