Dale Money | October 15th, 2019
Ryan Blaney would need every bit of that front bumper, in beating out fellow Ford driver Ryan Newman by 0.007 seconds in the sixth closest finish in Monster Energy history. Blaney would lead the front of the pack with a two-lap restart, and with drafting support from Aric Almirola it was enough to get him that gap he needed on the field.
With one lap to go a big push from Denny Hamlin, in turn, three would give Newman the jump he needed to push him to the front with a sizeable lead. Blaney to his credit would be able to fight his way back and both drivers would continue bumping each other to the finish line. This is his first victory of the season and third of his career.
Parker Kilgerman and Chris Buescher would crash out on the front stretch coming to the finish line. Hamlin and Almirola would finish just 0.059 and 0.060 seconds back respectively. Michael McDowell, Austin Dillon, Corey LaJoie, Chase Elliot, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Ty Dillon rounded out the top ten.
The win gets Blaney into the round of eight, which should be a huge sigh of relief it was only last weekend at the Monster Mile in Dover he would end up finishing in 35th place after a broken suspension. He entered Talladega 22 points under the cut-off and now joins Kyle Larson in the round of eight, quite the turn around indeed.
It was a race that took two days and would destroy a number of good playoff cars before all was eventually decided. Sunday got far as the end of stage one before a heavy downpour would push it till Monday afternoon, William Byron would clinch that opening stage.
Monday would bring out three major wrecks, including a multi-car pileup with only 24 laps left in the race. It would end up being a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Joey Logano was sitting comfortably in a top-five spot and that’s when the unavoidable happened, Byron would be sent sailing into the side of Logano after some contact with Kurt Busch. This would inevitably cause a big chain reaction, also involved in the wreck were Daniel Suarez, Ryan Preece, Erik Jones, Matt Crafton, and Joey Gase.
Logano’s car was still viable enough, that his pit crew was able to get some quick repairs in and salvage the damage as best they could. He would be able to creep back up to just outside the top ten and finish 11th. Clint Bowyer would win stage two but then would blow a tire sending him spinning out, he would end up losing a couple of laps after getting wedged and would need a hand getting free.
Byron, Bowyer, and Elliot are each 20+ points below the cut off line and will have one last opportunity to get themselves into the next round quite possibly it will come down to a win or your out scenario. The round of 12 will close out in Kansas.
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