What the heck just happened? In Monday’s rain delayed 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, it was fitting that the driver who was sponsored by Dent Wizard ended up reigning supreme. Three big crashes marred the afternoon.
When all of the crashing was done, it was Ryan Blaney who surged to the race lead in the final few feet of the final lap of the race to take his third-career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win. Blaney’s win secures his place in the Round of 8 of NASCAR’s Playoff. The Round of 12 will conclude after next week’s race at Kansas Speedway.
For Blaney, it was sweet redemption after a season of frustration had left him win-less through the first 30 races of the year. Now, he has a realistic shot to rally for his first Cup Series championship.
Ryan Newman had the lead of the race on the final lap after a huge shove from Denny Hamlin, but down the front stretch, it was Blaney who had the momentum. Newman narrowly missed out on his first win since 2017 in a photo finish.
Hamlin finished third, Aric Almirola came home fourth and Michael McDowell was fifth in Monday’s race.
Austin Dillon, Corey LaJoie, Chase Elliott, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ty Dillon rounded out the top-10 finishers.
Each of the 12 drivers still battling for Playoff spots were swept up in incidents throughout the day.
Playoff drivers who finished outside the top-10 included: Joey Logano (11th), Kevin Harvick (17th), Kyle Busch (19th), Clint Bowyer (23rd), Brad Keselowski (25th), Martin Truex Jr. (26th), William Byron (33rd), Alex Bowman (37th) and Kyle Larson (39th).
Larson, like Blaney, is locked into the Round of 8 by way of his at Dover a week ago.
Post-Race Stat Pack:
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.