Even if you aren’t a fan of NASCAR, you will love the kind of racing that goes on at the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega every year.
With speeds close to 200 mph and the best drivers in the world, this is the most exciting show on asphalt every season. “The Big One” is what they call the inevitable crash that collects half the field at this track, so that’s something to look for if you aren’t a fan of the actual racing.
Let’s be honest; even the most hardcore racing fans love seeing the crashes as long as everyone is safe.
Check back to this article for the complete post-race leaderboard, reaction and analysis from Talladega!
Update at 7:00 p.m. ET by Timothy Rapp
Brad Keselowski won this year's Aaron's 499, aided by a bit of a bump on the restart. The details, from Mike McCarter of AL.com:
On Sunday, Keselowski sped away from the field after a restart—aided by an aerodynamic push from Kyle Busch—on a green-white-checkered finish to win the Aaron's 499.
Busch said "we gave the win away" when he wasn't able to pass Keselowski on the third turn of the last lap.
Matt Kenseth, with teammate Greg Biffle on his bumper, had the lead going into the restart but got such separation from the field that it enabled Keselowski and Busch catch up.
It's Keselowski's second win of the season—he also won at Bristol in March.
Full race results and reaction to follow.
Race Results (via NASCAR.com)
|1 ||Brad Keselowski||Dodge||Miller Lite|
|2 ||Kyle Busch||Toyota||M&M's|
|3||Matt Kenseth||Ford||Best Buy|
|4||Kasey Kahne||Chevrolet||Farmers Insurance|
|5||Greg Biffle||Ford||3M / O'Reilly Auto Parts|
|6||Clint Bowyer||Toyota||Aaron's / Alabama National Champions|
|7||David Ragan||Ford||Front Row Motorsports|
|8||Trevor Bayne||Ford||Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center|
|9||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||National Guard / Diet Mountain Dew|
|11||Jamie McMurray||Chevrolet||Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats|
|12||Aric Almirola||Ford||Verifone Sail|
|13||David Gilliland||Ford||Taco Bell|
|15||AJ Allmendinger||Dodge||Shell / Pennzoil-AAA|
|16||Travis Kvapil||Toyota||Burger King / Dr Pepper|
|17||Paul Menard||Chevrolet||Turtle Wax / Menards|
|19||Michael Waltrip||Toyota||Aaron's "Color your way to Talladega"|
|20||Kurt Busch||Chevrolet||Phoenix Construction Services|
|21||Bobby Labonte||Toyota||Bush's Baked Beans|
|22||David Reutimann||Chevrolet||Tommy Baldwin Racing|
|23||Denny Hamlin||Toyota||FedEx Express|
|24||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet||Office Depot / Mobil 1|
|26||Joey Logano||Toyota||Dollar General|
|27||Robert Richardson Jr.||Toyota||North Texas Pipe|
|28||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||NAPA Auto Parts|
|29||Terry Labonte||Ford||C&J Energy|
|30||Dave Blaney||Chevrolet||Golden Corral|
|32||Juan Montoya||Chevrolet||Target / Kraft|
|33||Jeff Gordon||Chevrolet||DuPont 20 Years|
|34||Landon Cassill||Toyota||Burger King / Dr Pepper|
|36||Ryan Newman||Chevrolet||Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats|
|37||Bill Elliott||Toyota||NEMCO Motorsports|
|38||Tony Raines||Chevrolet||Little Joe's Autos|
|39||David Stremme||Toyota||Stock Car Steel and Aluminum|
|40||Regan Smith||Chevrolet||Furniture Row / Farm American|
|41||Joe Nemechek||Toyota||AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves|
|42||Josh Wise *||Ford||Morristown Driver's Service|
|43||Michael McDowell||Ford||Curb Records|
Nate Ryan of USA TODAY had this fun little tidbit after the race:
STATS NASCAR sees that tidbit and raises it some historical precedence:
Brad Keselowski's win marked the first time the a Roger Penske owned car won a Sprint Cup race at Talladega. #NASCAR— STATS NASCAR (@STATS_NASCAR) May 6, 2012
David Newton of ESPN noted that Keselowski pulled this one off sans controversy, unlike his win at the track three years ago. Oh, and he did it in style:
Here's the controversy from that race.
Is Talladega the Best Track on the Circuit?
Where: Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Alabama
When: Sunday, May 6, 12 p.m. ET
Live Stream: TrackPass
Listen: Motor Racing Network
1. No. 24 Jeff Gordon
2. No. 22 AJ Allmendinger
3. No. 9 Marcos Ambrose
4. No. 43 Aric Almirola
5. No. 5 Kasey Kahne
6. No. 99 Carl Edwards
7. No. 16 Greg Biffle
8. No. 14 Tony Stewart
9. No. 55 Michael Waltrip
10. No. 17 Matt Kenseth
11. No. 21 Trevor Bayne
12. No. 42 Juan Montoya
13. No. 2 Brad Keselowski
14. No. 39 Ryan Newman
15. No. 26 Josh Wise
16. No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.
17. No. 27 Paul Menard
18. No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
19. No. 48 Jimmie Johnson
20. No. 29 Kevin Harvick
21. No. 18 Kyle Busch
22. No. 11 Denny Hamlin
23. No. 1 Jamie McMurray
24. No. 15 Clint Bowyer
25. No. 13 Casey Mears
26. No. 38 David Gilliland
27. No. 30 David Stremme
28. No.32 Terry Labonte
29. No. 31 Jeff Burton
30. No. 20 Joey Logano
31. No. 78 Regan Smith
32. No. 34 David Ragan
33. No. 51 Kurt Busch
34. No. 10 David Reutimann
35. No. 98 Michael McDowell
36. No. 97 Bill Elliott
37. No. 87 Joe Nemechek
38. No. 36 Dave Blaney
39. No. 23 Robert Richardson Jr.
40. No. 33 Tony Raines
41. No. 83 Landon Cassill
42. No. 93 Travis Kvapil
43. No. 47 Bobby Labonte
With six career wins at Talladega, Jeff Gordon is not only the Aaron’s 499 pole winner, he is the favorite to steal the whole show. While Gordon’s recent track record at Talladega isn’t overly impressive, a third-place finish in this race in 2011 proves he has what it takes to start and finish at the front of the pack in Alabama.
Dale Earnhardt Jr
The definition of Dale Earnhardt at Talladega is feast or famine. While Junior has five wins on the track, none have come since 2004. With a newer team and a comfort level he has missed for years, Earnhardt will look to build on his fourth-place finish at last year’s event as a building block.
While it’s true that Tony Stewart only has one win at Talladega, this is a guy that has a stronger car now than he’s had since he was running Pontiacs. As much as one win can scare a betting man, his ten top-fives show that he is always there at the finish. It’s just all about being in the right spot at the right time.
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