Last lap yellow leads to Hamlin win
Qualifying at Talladega generally means nothing. That was never more obvious than this year’s Aaron’s 499 from Talladega Superspeedway. Brian Scott, a Nationwide regular used the complete chaos of Knock Out qualifying to work with his Richard Childress Racing teammates to put him on the pole.
The pole wouldn’t be enough though as Scott wouldn’t lead a single lap and then would be caught up in a accident that started due to Brad Keselowski losing control of his car thanks to an aero issue combined with loose handling causing a multi-car wreck. Loose handling was the complaint of the day as Jimmie Johnson also started multiple car accident due to becoming loose.
The race though would see Greg Biffle, who led a race high 58 laps battling Denny Hamlin coming to the white flag. They’d never see the checkered as an accident involving the 51 and the 23 cars. NASCAR threw the yellow as the cars were rolling into turn three, giving the win to Hamlin.
Let me start with this. I have ZERO issue with NASCAR throwing the caution that ended the race. It was the right call to do so. What I do have a big problem is why did NASCAR throw the caution so late? For some reason I decided to go back and look at the race finish to get all those questions answered.
The wreck starts with the 51 going into the grass right before Denny Hamlin crosses the finish line. NASCAR could have thrown the caution then to set up a G-W-C. However, how was NASCAR to know that this wouldn’t be a self cleaning wreck and allow the drivers to run back to the finish? The answer is they couldn’t. They had to let this thing finish out before they could make a judgment call.
So why was the caution so late?
As Justin Allgaier came back onto the track a piece of the front end of the car somewhere along the way. Whether it landed there or fell off the car was fairly close to dead center of the track. As NASCAR looked over the track the cars were already rocketing down the back stretch on a hurried pace for turn 3. NASCAR threw the yellow within a few feet of turn 3 and ending the race.
I’m sorry NASCAR conspiracy theorist, but they got this one right. End of story.
The Top 5 were: 1st Denny Hamlin, 2nd Greg Biffle, 3rd Clint Bowyer, 4th Brian Vickers and 5th AJ Allmendinger.
2014 Race winners that are all but guaranteed a spot in the Chase: Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano lead all winners with 2 wins each. One race winners include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, and Denny Hamlin. We are up to 8 different race winners thus far.
The next race is the 5-Hour Energy 400 from Kansas Speedway. This race is the first race to be run under the lights of Kansas Speedway, coming to us on Saturday Night at 7:30 PM on FOX. The defending race winner is Matt Kenseth.
Sadler makes peace with ‘Dega
Talladega has not been kind to Elliot Sadler. He’s generally on his roof more then he’s on his tires. So when he started on the front row with teammate Sam Hornish Jr. who won the pole for the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway he was a bit nervous as is usual.
However, Elliot would lead a race high 40 of 117 laps and hold off a hard charging Chris Buescher. They would be pushed Regan Smith and David Ragan who were also attempting to try and make their own moves. Elliot finally after years on his roof finally finished on his tires and won at Talladega, possibly coming to peace with ‘Dega.
The Top 5 were: 1st Elliot Sadler, 2nd Chris Buescher, 3rd Regan Smith, 4th David Ragan, and 5th Sam Hornish Jr.
Chase Elliot is still managing to hold onto the points lead by one point to Elliot Sadler and three points to JRM teammate Regan Smith.
The Nationwide series is off next weekend.
Camping World Trucks
The trucks are back! They return to the track at Kansas Speedway at 8:30 PM on Friday with the race airing on Fox Sports 1. The defending race winner is Matt Crafton.
The IndyCar series is also back this weekend! They will race at the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the road course of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This will be the inaugural race for the series on this course configuration.
The race will air at 3:30 PM Saturday on ABC.
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