Blaney beats Newman in thrilling photo finish at Talladega

Ryan Blaney survived a wreck-marred, rain-delayed NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway to emerge with his first win of the 2019 season.

Blaney beats Newman in thrilling photo finish at Talladega
 Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Miller Lite, Aric Almirola, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Smithfield Racin' for Bacon, Ryan Newman, Roush Fenway Racing, Ford Mustang Wyndham Rewards, Daniel Suarez, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Haas Automation, and Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Shell Pennzoil
Pit road rain delay
Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally, Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide / Amazon Echo Auto, Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet Camaro McDonald's, Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro NAPA Night Vision
 Austin Dillon, Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet Camaro American Ethanol / RCR 50th, Kurt Busch, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet Camaro Monster Energy, Brad Keselowski, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Miller Lite, Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry M&M's Hazelnut, Matt DiBenedetto, Leavine Family Racing, Toyota Camry One Bite, and Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Rush / Mobil Delvac 1
 Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Ally, Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide / Amazon Echo Auto, Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing, Chevrolet Camaro McDonald's, Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro NAPA Night Vision
 Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro NAPA Night Vision, Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro Nationwide / Amazon Echo Auto
Race Winner Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang
Ryan Blaney, Team Penske, Ford Mustang
Chris Buescher, JTG Daugherty Racing, Chevrolet Camaro
Parker Kligerman, Gaunt Brothers Racing, Toyota Camry

Ryan Newman got a shove from Denny Hamlin into the lead on the last lap in Monday’s 1000Bulbs 500 but Blaney edged Newman by seven one-thousandths of a second at the line to grab his third career victory.

 

"It's been an amazing effort the last two days to be honest with you," Blaney said. "Spinning out early yesterday (while pitting) and winning the big one today. I can't thank (Aric) Almirola there for helping me out there at the end.

"That big push that Newman and (Hamlin) got, I knew I wasn't going to be able to block it. They were coming so fast. I just wanted to stay on the bottom and I kind of pulled (Hamlin) off (Newman) there and I tried to make it up front against (Newman) and we hit above the (yellow) line and it kind of pushed me below the line.

"It's a big judgment call and you never know. But I definitely wasn't going below the line before we made contact. We're moving on man - it's pretty cool."

Asked what it meant to him to win at Talladega, Blaney said, "It means a ton. I've been coming here since I was really young, watching my dad run pretty good here a lot. Then driving for the Wood Brothers here. Man, it's a cool feeling. This new infield, it's so special being in Victory Lane. I love coming here and love it even more now."

After a tough race at Dover, Del., last weekend Blaney had a difficult path to advance to the next round of the playoffs but he made it a lot easier with his win.

The victory automatically sends him into the Round of 8 regardless of how he finishes in next weekend’s cutoff race at Kansas Speedway. He joins Kyle Larson as the only other driver locked in through wins (Larson won at Dover).

Newman ended up second, Hamlin was third, Aric Almirola was fourth and Michael McDowell completed the top-five.

Rounding out the top-10 were Austin Dillon, Corie LaJoie, Chase Elliott, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ty Dillon.

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, all of the lead-lap cars elected to pit on Lap 112 with Brad Keselowski the first off pit road.

When the final stage went green on Lap 117, Keselowski was followed by Clint Bowyer, William Byron, Blaney and Joey Logano.

On Lap 122, Bubba Wallace went up the track and tagged Blake Jones, then hit the wall to bring out a caution. 

 

A few cars pit but when the race returned to green on Lap 126, Bowyer continued to lead followed by Keselowski, Blaney and Kyle Busch.

Kyle Busch got a shove from Jones to move into the lead after the restart. On Lap 127, Logano got a shove from Erik Jones in Turn 3 to move back into the lead.

A caution was put out on Lap 132 for debris on the backstretch, which appears to be the remains of a tire from Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 19 Toyota. Most of the lead-lap cars elected to pit under the caution.

On the restart on Lap 138, Stenhouse led the way followed by Kyle Busch, Logano, Matt Crafton and Blaney.

With 40 laps remaining in the race, Stenhouse remained out front followed by Logano, Blaney, Kyle Busch and Almirola.

On Lap 151, Kyle Busch drove into the lead on the bottom lane in Turn 1 with Elliott and Byron in tow behind him.

Bowyer spun off Turn 3 on Lap 153 to bring out another caution. His No. 14 Ford briefly got stuck as his rear wheels were lifted off the banking. 

All of the lead-lap cars elected to pit, with Byron the first off pit road. When the race returned to green on Lap 158, Byron was followed by Chris Buescher, Stenhouse, Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch.

With 29 laps to go, Stenhouse got a push to the lead in the outside lane, then dropped in front of Byron on the inside lane.

On Lap 163, Byron got hit from behind and turned into Logano on the backstretch in an incident that collected several other drivers including Daniel Suarez, Ryan Preece, Kurt Busch, Crafton and Jones.

 

The race returned to green on Lap 170 with Stenhouse out front followed by Ragan, Kurt Busch, Buescher and Kyle Busch.

Suarez spun off Turn 4 on Lap 172 which brought out another caution. The race returned to green on Lap 176 with Stenhouse out front followed by Kurt Busch, David Ragan, Matt DiBenedetto and Kevin Harvick.

With a shove from DiBenedetto, Kurt Busch powered to the lead on the outside lane on Lap 176.

After 178 laps, Kurt Busch remained out front of DiBenedetto with Stenhouse tucked behind them both.

On Lap 180, Stenhouse navigated around DiBenedetto and Busch to retake the lead.

On Lap 183, Kurt Busch turned Kyle Busch while trying to push him and Kyle cut to the right into Keselowski and sent Brendan Gaughan’s No. 62 into a flip but he ended up landing on all four wheels. 

 

DiBenedetto, Harvick, Buescher and Ragan were both involved as well. Blaney emerged from melee as the race leader. The race was red-flagged for several minutes to clean the track of debris.

When the race returned to green on Lap 187, Blaney was followed by Almirola, Ty Dillon, Newman and McDowell.

Read Also:

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Laps Led
1 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 188   35
2 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 188 0.007 3
3 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 188 0.059  
4 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 188 0.060 3
5 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 188 0.150  
6 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 188 0.179 1
7 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 188 0.250  
8 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 188 0.289 19
9 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 188 0.333 32
10 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 188 0.370  
11 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 188 0.401 16
12 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 188 0.650  
13 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 188 0.767  
14 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 188 1.016 1
15 96 United States Parker Kligerman  Toyota 188 7.842  
16 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 188 9.137  
17 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 188 16.604  
18 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 188 49.770  
19 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 188 1'15.313 7
20 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 187 1.058 1
21 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 187 1 lap 1
22 27 United States Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 187 1 lap  
23 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 186 2 laps 13
24 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 185 3 laps 1
25 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 182 6 laps 22
26 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 182 6 laps  
27 62 United States Brendan Gaughan  Chevrolet 181 7 laps  
28 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 181 7 laps 16
29 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 181 7 laps  
30 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 181 7 laps  
31 77 Jones Blake  Chevrolet 179 9 laps  
32 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 168 20 laps  
33 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 162 26 laps 13
34 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 162 26 laps 1
35 51 United States Austin Theriault  Ford 162 26 laps 1
36 66 United States Joey Gase  Toyota 161 27 laps  
37 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 106 82 laps  
38 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 106 82 laps 2
39 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 106 82 laps  
40 52 United States Spencer Boyd  Chevrolet 53 135 laps  

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