Regan Smith Edges Out Kasey Kahne in Wild Finish at Talladega

By Joseph Wolkin

The Aaron’s 312 was probably one of the most eventful races in NASCAR Nationwide Series history. On a disgusting day filled with rain and cold weather, NASCAR’s second tier series was delayed over three hours until it finally went green after five o’ clock central time. Well, the race was just about as crazy, if not crazier than the weather.

Regan Smith was crowned the winner of the Aaron’s 312 at the Talladega Superspeedway in a three-wide battle for the win. Unofficially, Smith beat his teammate, Kasey Kahne, by nine one thousandths of a second and Joey Logano by 10 one thousandths of a second. The win puts Smith in great position as long as it isn’t overturned. However, even if it is, he will still hold the points lead. Smith now leads Sam Hornish Jr. by 27 points in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings.

The entire race was eventful. There were 16 different leaders with 47 lead changes throughout the day. It probably would’ve been more, but the race was shortened due to darkness. This occurred a few years ago when Greg Biffle was declared the winner at the Kansas Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series when it was too dark to race.

Jeffrey Earnhardt and Kyle Larson collided early in the race as Larson blew a tire entering turn three, which killed his day. Pole sitter, Travis Pastrana, and Reed Sorenson also wrecked a few laps after the halfway point. Pastrana admitted after the wreck that he made a mistake and was very disappoint in how his day ended. Danica Patrick also wrecked early on as she was out of the race on the 16th lap.

Championship contenders struggled throughout the race at Talladega. Elliott Sadler was in the top-five for the majority of the race until he began to experience engine woes. Fortunately enough for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver, he was able to finish 12th even though he caused a multi-car incident at the end of the race. Sadler got into his teammate, Brian Vickers, on the front stretch coming to the checkered flag, which created a massive pile-up. Involved in the wreck were Sadler, Vickers, Alex Bowman, Landon Cassill and more.

Another major incident occurred a few laps prior to the finish, which was the reason the race was shortened. There were several multi-car wrecks towards the end of the race. A few of them involved championship contenders as well. Hornish Jr. was involved in one of them and as a result finished the day back in the 25th position without leading a lap. Unofficially, Justin Allgaier is third in points with Sadler and Parker Kligerman tied for fourth.

Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.

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