Jarrett Wins Dramatic Talladega

Dale Jarrett won his first race in over two years as he took victory in a dramatic UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday

Jarrett Wins Dramatic Talladega

Jarrett spent a large part of the day near the back of the lead lap group as he had planned, before making a run to the front in the closing laps. Jarrett led only two laps all day, lap three and the final one, in a race which saw 50 lead changes among 20 drivers.

The battle for the win was already intense when Ken Schrader spun on lap 185 of the scheduled 188 lap distance, pushing the race into a green-white-checker finish. As the field took the restart with two to go, Matt Kenseth led from Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, Dale Jarrett and Jamie McMurray, who had looked strong in the closing laps.

Kenseth looked set for victory initially but as they went into turn one on the last lap, Stewart, Kenseth and Jarrett were three wide. Stewart and Jarrett were still side-by-side as they exited turn two, before Jarrett edged ahead. Meanwhile as this was happening at the front, Kyle Petty crashed coming off turn two, bringing out the caution, which guaranteed Jarrett victory.

However, for much of the second half of the race Tony Stewart appeared to be the likely victor, until he got shuffled out of the lead in a race which had seen plenty of action in the first half of the race, as is often the case at Talladega.

Two major crashes in the first 70 laps ended the hopes of chasers Rusty Wallace, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin, as well as traditional strong runners at Talladega in the shape of Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Michael Waltrip.

Both crashes saw a driver roll, Michael Waltrip going over in the first incident which began when Jimmie Johnson made contact with Elliott Sadler, while Scott Riggs went on a wild ride as he rolled several times following contact from Ryan Newman on Casey Mears.

Kurt Busch bizarrely suffered a flat tyre while leading the race and grazed the wall, but his crew did a great job to repair the car and Busch finished the race in eighth.

All the action meant that Tony Stewart moved up four places to take over the lead in the standings, just four points ahead of Ryan Newman. Rusty Wallace only lost one place despite losing five laps making repairs, while next is Jimmie Johnson who was the points leader at the beginning of the race.

The biggest loser of the day was Mark Martin who fell from fourth, 21 points off the lead, to ninth, 138 points off the pace, after he finished 41st when his day ended in the first major crash of the day.

Result of UAW-Ford 500, Talladega Superspeedway:

Pos  Driver              Make        Laps
 1.  Dale Jarrett        Ford        190
 2.  Tony Stewart        Chevrolet   190
 3.  Matt Kenseth        Ford        190
 4.  Ryan Newman         Dodge       190
 5.  Carl Edwards        Ford        190
 6.  Brian Vickers       Chevrolet   190
 7.  Sterling Marlin     Dodge       190
 8.  Kurt Busch          Ford        190
 9.  Joe Nemechek        Chevrolet   190
10.  Kevin Harvick       Chevrolet   190
11.  Bobby Labonte       Chevrolet   190
12.  Jamie McMurray      Dodge       190
13.  Kasey Kahne         Dodge       190
14.  Jeremy Mayfield     Dodge       190
15.  Dave Blaney         Chevrolet   190
16.  Travis Kvapil       Dodge       190
17.  Scott Wimmer        Dodge       190
18.  Ricky Rudd          Ford        190
19.  Mike Wallace        Chevrolet   190
20.  Bobby Hamilton Jr   Chevrolet   190
21.  Jeff Green          Dodge       189
22.  Tony Raines         Dodge       189
23.  Robby Gordon        Chevrolet   189
24.  Kyle Petty          Dodge       188
25.  Rusty Wallace       Dodge       185
26.  Ken Schrader        Dodge       183
27.  Greg Biffle         Ford        172
28.  Martin Truex Jr     Chevrolet   170
29.  J.J. Yeley          Chevrolet   165
30.  Kevin Lepage        Ford        160
31.  Jimmie Johnson      Chevrolet   158
32.  Mike Bliss          Chevrolet   149
33.  Kyle Busch          Chevrolet   146
34.  Elliott Sadler      Ford        128
35.  Jeff Burton         Chevrolet    71
36.  Scott Riggs         Chevrolet    65
37.  Jeff Gordon         Chevrolet    65
38.  Casey Mears         Dodge        65
39.  Kerry Earnhardt     Chevrolet    57
40.  Dale Earnhardt Jr   Chevrolet    19
41.  Mark Martin         Ford         19
42.  Michael Waltrip     Chevrolet    19
43.  Mike Skinner        Ford         19

The Chase for the Cup - Standings:

Pos  Driver            Points  Change
 1.  Tony Stewart      5519     +4
 2.  Ryan Newman       5515     +1
 3.  Rusty Wallace     5443     -1
 4.  Jimmie Johnson    5437     -3
 5.  Greg Biffle       5421     +1
 6.  Carl Edwards      5419     +2
 7.  Matt Kenseth      5408     +2
 8.  Jeremy Mayfield   5407     -1
 9.  Mark Martin       5381     -5
10.  Kurt Busch        5339      =
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