Ragan Shocks Talladega Crowd with Pass on Final Lap

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) -- David Ragan used a sweeping last-lap pass in overtime to pull a huge upset victory Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.

He got a push from teammate David Gilliland to slide past Carl Edwards to the front and he and Gilliland held on for a 1-2 finish for Front Row Motorsports.

It came at the end of a race that took seven hours to complete after rain stopped it for 3 hours, 36 minutes midway through the event. With darkness quickly closing in, contact between Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and J.J. Yeley triggered a frightening crash that sent Kurt Busch's car airborne and on top of Ryan Newman's car.

NASCAR sent the race into overtime for one attempt at a green-white-checkered finish, and the two Front Row drivers teamed up to steal the win.

Matt Kenseth left another restrictor plate race pondering what could have been.

Kenseth finished eighth after 190-plus mostly terrific laps and a frustrating finale. No wonder Kenseth described the day as both encouraging and exasperating.

He led 142 laps, while Jimmie Johnson was second among the lap leaders with 16.

Kenseth also led a race-high 86 laps at Daytona in February before engine problems led to a 37th-place finish.

He apologized to team owner Joe Gibbs outside the hauler. Kenseth, who won on both big speedways last year, refused to blame the lengthy rain delay, wet conditions or fading light at the finish.

Denny Hamlin's return to the racetrack ended safely and early.

Hamlin climbed out through the roof panel and let Brian Vickers take over in the No. 11 Toyota when the first caution came out after Trevor Bayne's blown engine Sunday.

The driver switch was swift enough that the team was able to stay on the lead lap.

Hamlin was cleared Thursday after missing four races with a compressed fracture of a vertebra in his lower back.

Before the race, crew chief Darian Grubb told him, "Buddy, good to have you back," then reiterated his plan.

Grubb told him, "We'll ride this out until we get a caution then come in and do a swap."


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