NASCAR Talladega: Blaney takes frantic win in photo finish

Ryan Blaney has scored a first NASCAR Cup Series win of the season for Team Penske in the rescheduled Talladega race, pipping Ricky Stenhouse Jr in overtime at the superspeedway

NASCAR Talladega: Blaney takes frantic win in photo finish

With the race taking place to a backdrop of an FBI investigation after a noose was found in Bubba Wallace's garage on Sunday in a targeted racist attack, with three laps remaining Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick tipped Jimmie Johnson's Hendrick Motorsports' Chevrolet Camaro into a spin, to send the race into a single round of overtime.

Under a caution period with around 45 laps to run, the field pitted but teams were quick to warn their drivers that aggressive fuel saving was required, given a fuel window of 40 laps.

The likes of Tyler Reddick, Ryan Preece, Wallace and Alex Bowman all took turns in the lead, as the pack jostled for position in three-wide racing around the 2.6-mile superspeedway circuit.

Until the Johnson/Harvick caution, the leading pack of cars would not have been able to make it to the chequered flag, with Denny Hamlin even running out of fuel before limping home to the pits to take the overtime restart.

In the period of overtime, Stenhouse pushed Blaney into a lead he was ultimately not to lose, the #12 holding on to take his first win since the fall race at Talladega in 2019 by the narrow margin of 0.007s from Stenhouse's JTG Daugherty Camaro in a photo finish.

Behind, Aric Almirola was spun by contact with another car on the run out of Turn 4 and crossed the finishing line in his SHR Ford Mustang backwards, but was still enough to pip the recovered Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry of Hamlin by 0.085s, who in turn was ahead of team-mate Erik Jones by a similar margin.

Chris Buescher ran strongly in a race which featured 56 lead changes and 19 different leaders and was suspended for an hour owing to rain near the end of the first 60-lap stage.

Buescher's sixth place finish for Roush Fenway Racing was his best result since the season-opening Daytona 500, as Alex Bowman slipped from leading the race late on to take seventh for Hendrick Motorsports.

John Hunter Nemechek took a Cup career-best result of eighth for Front Row Motorsports as Kurt Busch and Harvick rounded out the top 10 for Chip Ganassi Racing and SHR, respectively.

Johnson recovered in his #48 Camaro for 13th place, ahead of Wallace - whom had an emotional pre-race as the entire field showed their support after the news broke on Sunday evening of a noose being discovered in the #43 pit-stall following Wallace's efforts for racial equality.

Blaney's Team Penske team-mates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski dominated the second stage of the race alongside Blaney, as the trio ran nose-to-tail for a majority of the segment.

However, following the lap 144 caution period, Logano and Keselowski dropped into the midfield, hoping their efforts to save fuel would pay off come the end of the race as others struggled.

But they did not as the #22 or #2 Mustangs could only manage 17th and 19th respectively, ahead of Reddick, who claimed his first ever stage win in the Cup Series in the first segment - albeit under the caution following the rain delay.

Pole-sitter Martin Truex Jr struggled in the race, and was an anonymous 24th, barely featuring after the early laps.

Results - 191 laps

Pos Driver Team Laps Gap
1 Ryan Blaney Team Penske 191 3h27m28.s
2 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. JTG Daugherty Racing 191 0.007s
3 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing 191 0.025s
4 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing 191 0.085s
5 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing 191 0.093s
6 Chris Buescher Roush Fenway Racing 191 0.114s
7 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports 191 0.171s
8 John Hunter Nemechek Front Row Motorsports 191 0.180s
9 Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing 191 0.199s
10 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing 191 0.206s
11 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports 191 0.314s
12 Ty Dillon Germain Racing 191 0.339s
13 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports 191 0.373s
14 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports 191 0.583s
15 Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing 191 4.931s
16 Corey LaJoie Go FAS Racing 191 5.567s
17 Joey Logano Team Penske 191 5.568s
18 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports 191 6.046s
19 Brad Keselowski Team Penske 191 6.619s
20 Tyler Reddick Richard Childress Racing 191 8.667s
21 Brendan Gaughan Beard Motorsports 191 9.355s
22 Cole Custer Stewart-Haas Racing 191 23.544s
23 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing 191 55.271s
24 Ryan Newman Roush Fenway Racing 191 31.305s
25 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing 190 1 Lap
26 Matt DiBenedetto Wood Brothers Racing 190 1 Lap
27 Quin Houff StarCom Racing 190 1 Lap
28 Daniel Suarez Gaunt Brothers Racing 190 1 Lap
29 Christopher Bell Leavine Family Racing 190 1 Lap
30 Gray Gaulding Rick Ware Racing 190 1 Lap
31 B.J. McLeod Spire Motorsports 190 1 Lap
32 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing 189 2 Laps
33 Timmy Hill MBM Motorsports 185 6 Laps
34 Garrett Smithley BJ McLeod Motorsports 185 6 Laps
35 Brennan Poole Premium Motorsports 178 Accident
36 J.J. Yeley Rick Ware Racing 178 13 Laps
37 Joey Gase Petty Ware Racing 141 Accident
38 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports 135 Accident
39 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing 133 Accident
40 Matt Kenseth Chip Ganassi Racing 127 Mechanical

shares
comments
NASCAR confirms FBI investigation into Wallace noose incident
Previous article

NASCAR confirms FBI investigation into Wallace noose incident

Next article

Wallace: NASCAR is changing and I'm still smiling

Wallace: NASCAR is changing and I'm still smiling
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Plus

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2021 NASCAR Cup title comes straight from the Hollywood blockbuster scripts. While Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons

NASCAR
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021