The Monster Energy Series drivers were at the big wild card race at Talladega as they tried to avoid the big one.
The race started off with Joey logano leading laps as it got three wide in the back. At lap 14 a group of Ford cars pits which included race lead Joey Logano. This had Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the lead for a while. At lap 27 it was caution time as Jamie McMurray, Mark Thompson, Erik Jones, and Jeffery Earnhardt wreck out of the race.
“Really just did not get to race today,” said Erik Jones.
“My fault,” said Jamie McMurray.
As the race continued it was a group of cars up front in a single line as it was three wide in the back for position. At the end of the stage it was Brad Keselwoski winning the first stage.
Denny Hamlin got to lead some laps in the second stage. At lap 67 a bunch of cars pit and Jimmie Johnson winds up getting some big time rear end damage trying to get on pit road and does not repair much of it at all. Matt DeBenedetto got to lead a bunch of laps under this time period before he finally made his pit stop. At lap 80 it was Denny Hamlin complaining off a loose wheel and as he was making a pit stop the caution came out for debris. Some cars pit putting Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the race lead for the first time today.
As the green flag racing continued Ryan Blaney was able to get the race lead and then go on and take the second stage win. The cars pit and Austin Dillion wins the race off pit road with a 2 tire stop.
The third stage had Ryan Blaney in the race lead for a while and then Chase Elliott took it over as cars started to become single file. With 44 laps left we get the start of green flag pit stops. On the next lap another group of cars pit. After the pit stops were over it was two wide racing for the race lead. With 37 laps left it was caution time again as Trevor Bayne hits the wall.
The race restarts and we get quickly back to caution as Clint Bowyer, Michael McDowell, Aric Almirola, and a couple more cars get together. With 24 laps left Joey Gase brings out the caution as he smacked the wall. With 18 laps left the race restarts and then on the next lap it was red flag time as a whole mess load of cars get involved in an accident. Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch, Danica Patrick, Austin Dillion, and whole bunch more get damage. The wreck left around 20 cars left on the track.
“Just wasn’t our day,” said Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
“I thought I was clear of it,” said Kyle Busch.
Kurt Busch said he was looking good in the Monster Energy Ford.
“Just was trying to get to the end,” said Martin Truex Jr. “Should have been more patient.”
After 12 minutes the red flag was lifted and the green flag racing continued with 12 laps to go. Chase Elliott takes it three wide to take the race lead. Then it was three wide racing for position for a short period of time then we got a new caution as Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick, and Joey Logano get together for a new red flag.
“I really don’t know what happened,” said Ryan Blaney.
With 8 laps left the race restarts and the wild racing still continues. Daniel Suarez gets to lead the race and with 6 laps left a new caution comes out with Chase Elliott tapping Daniel Suarez taking out Kyle Larson and Chris Buescher for the third red flag of the day.
Chase Elliott stated that he had a really big run.
After another lengthy red flag the cars started up again with Brad Keselowski in the race lead. With three laps left the race restarts. Brad started out with the lead as Ryan Newman on the high side took over the lead. In the back cars were shuffling position big time. We finally get to the final lap and Brad had a run on the high side to get the lead of the race late and then took the race win. Aric Almirola got spun out as he crossed the start/finish line.
“I survived,” said Brad Keselowski.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. stated that it was hard for him to keep track position.
“Led a lot of laps early in the race,” said Joey logano.