David Ragan survives chaos to win at Talladega

David Ragan. Pic: Jared C. Tilton/ NASCAR

David Ragan. Pic: Jared C. Tilton/ NASCAR

David Ragan shot to the front on the final lap to win a rain-delayed Aaron’s 499 at Talladega that was laced with typical Alabama mayhem.

Ragan managed to dart clear and beat team-mate David Gilliland with Carl Edwards third in a green-white-checkered finish that stretched four laps beyond the scheduled 188-lap race distance. It was Ragan’s second Sprint Cup win.

“I’m kind of a low-key guy, but, man, I don’t know.  First off, I’ve got to thank the Lord.  Without him nothing is possible,” Ragan said.

Matt Kenseth led on the restart but ultimately finished eighth with Michael Waltrip, Jimmie Johnson, Regan Smith and Martin Truex jr who finished fourth-to-seventh all getting ahead of him.

Australian Marcos Ambrose was right in the race in the Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, running seventh with 10 laps remaining.

With six laps to go JJ Yeley was hit from the outside by Ricky Stenhouse jr who was trying to squeeze into a tight gap. It triggered the start of a spectacular shunt where Kurt Busch rolled and landed on top of Ryan Newman. Ambrose escaped being wiped out by the skin of his teeth.

“I’m just really proud of my team for keeping me going.  We were involved in two big wrecks and managed to finish 14th with the car.  It’s not the day we wanted, but it’s a day we’re proud of,” Ambrose said.

The spectacular end came after a delay of more than three-and-a-half hours frustrated the fans and teams when officials pulled the red flag when the rain came.

After the incredibly long delay it was decided to restart the race under caution on lap 125.

Officials did not wave the green flag until lap 130 with Bobby Labonte taking the lead from David Gilliland.

Ambrose, Jeff Gordon and Juan Pablo Montoya were forced to start off the back of the pack after pitting too early.

A few laps later Ambrose helped Ricky Stenhouse jr work his way back up to the front courtesy of the high line.

By lap 152 Stenhouse jr was in third just in front of Ambrose who were chasing Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards.

Earlier Denny Hamlin decided to make the most of a caution period on lap 23 and vacate the cockpit, handing over the wheel to Brian Vickers.

Hamlin suffered a back injury in a crash at the superspeedway in California in March and was returning for the first time after missing four races. With Hamlin starting at Talladega he made himself eligible to earn whatever points Vickers would rake in.

The decision to bail out early was merely precautionary given the nasty nature of multi-car wrecks at the Alabama track.

Vickers however did not have much of a run before being involved in a multi-car wreck when contact between Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne drew in more than a dozen cars and was classified in 34th.


 1 David Ragan Front Row Ford 3h26m02.000s
 2 David Gilliland Front Row Ford     + 0.213s
 3 Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford     + 0.227s
 4 Michael Waltrip Waltrip Toyota     + 0.293s
 5 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet     + 0.307s
 6 Regan Smith Phoenix Chevrolet     + 0.403s
 7 Martin Truex Jr  Waltrip Toyota      + 0.416s
 8 Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford       + 0.416s
 9 Scott Speed Leavine Ford       + 0.489s
10 Aric Almirola Petty Ford       + 0.492s
11 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet       + 0.518s
12 David Stremme Swan Toyota       + 0.594s
13 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford       + 0.616s
14 Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford       + 0.645s
15 Brad Keselowski Penske Ford       + 0.730s
16 Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet       + 0.750s
17 Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet       + 0.755s
18 Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota       + 1.018s
19 Josh Wise Front Row Ford        25.197s
20 Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota        30.895s
21 Michael McDowell Parsosn Ford       + 1 lap
22 Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet       + 1 lap
23 Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet       + 1 lap
24 Casey Mears Germain Ford       + 1 lap
25 Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet       + 3 laps
26 Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet       + 4 laps
27 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       + 5 laps
28 Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet       + 5 laps
Terry Labonte FAS Lane Ford         185 laps
Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet         182 laps
JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet         182 laps
Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet         182 laps
Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet         182 laps
Denny Hamlin/Brian Vickers Joe Gibbs Toyota         148 laps*
Joey Logano Penske Ford         143 laps
Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford         141 laps*
Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota         138 laps*
Travis Kvapil BK Toyota         128 laps*
Joe Nemchek NEMCO Toyota         53 laps
Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet         47 laps
David Reutimann BK Toyota         43 laps
Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet         42 laps
Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford         22 laps

*Running at the finish

POINTS: After 10 of 36 rounds

Pos Driver Points
1 Jimmie Johnson 383
2 Carl Edwards 342
3 Dale Earnhardt jr 324
4 Clint Bowyer 316
5 Brad Keselowski 314
6 Kasey Kahne 299
7 Aric Almirola 293
8 Paul Menard 290
9 Kyle Busch 285
10 Greg Biffle 280
11 Matt Kenseth 279
12 Kevin Harvick 276
13 Martin Truex jr 269
14 Jeff Gordon 269
15 Jamie McMurray 267
16 Ricky Stenhouse jr 256
17 Ryan Newman 242
18 Joey Logano 237
19 Jeff Burton 235
20 Kurt Busch 231
21 Marcos Ambrose 225
22 Tony Stewart 224
23 Mark Martin 207
24 Casey Mears 203
25 Juan Pablo Montoya 201
26 David Ragan 192
27 Danica Patrick 180
28 Bobby Labonte 177
29 David Gilliland 173
30 Dave Blaney 173
31 Denny Hamlin 155
32 J.J. Yeley 148
33 David Stremme 146
34 David Reutimann 141
35 AJ Allmendinger 122
36 Landon Cassill 116
37 Travis Kvapil 106
38 Scott Speed 71
39 Michael McDowall 70
40 Michael Waltrip 63
41 Terry Labonte 52
42 Tommy Hill 34
43 Ken Schrader 29
44 Scott Riggs 6
45 Brian Keselowski 4


VIDEO: Late race wreck

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