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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