Kyle Busch avoids a last-lap wreck to earn a NASCAR Cup Series win at Talladega Superspeedway in the GEICO 500.
With the short track stretch behind the NASCAR Cup Series, the field looks to Talladega Superspeedway. A racetrack that needs no introduction as no driver has an easy day at the longest track in the campaign.
It is a stressful weekend for many teams with the unknowns that lay within the two-and-a-half-mile superspeedway. With any high-speed race, a day can be ruined or made depending primarily on luck. That is why every driver has a chance if they are in the race.
Pole Sitter, Denny Hamlin Leads the GEICO 500
Denny Hamlin brought the race to the green flag, but the field was not able to race for long. Michael McDowell lost his right rear tire and brought out the first caution on the second lap. The race restarted on lap seven and went on a thirty-six-lap green flag run.
Bubba Wallace was climbing into the lead to hold down his lane for most of this run. Green flag pits began to cycle, but Chase Briscoe had some issues slowing down at the entrance of pit road. He was spinning around, then stalled to bring out another caution.
Chase Elliott moved into the lead with twelve laps remaining in the first segment. He and Alex Bowman battled each other for multiple laps until Elliott was able to take sole possession of the lead. He controlled the final three laps to win the first stage.
Denny Hamlin Battles with Kevin Harvick to Start the Second Stage
The stage kicked off with Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick battling for the lead. Ten laps into the segment, Martin Truex Jr moved into the front and led for 14 laps.
A third lane eventually formed, and it was Bubba Wallace leading the charge to make it to the front. The Chevrolets, Toyotas, and Fords all came down pit road separately, and the Chevrolets cycled into the front.
Chase Elliott was leading the Chevy line, but the Fords were picking up the pace. The field eventually moved back into a two-wide formation with Chase Elliott battling Aric Almirola on the final lap of the segment. Almirola was able to edge Elliott at the line to win the second stage.
Harrison Burton Wrecks after Taking the Lead
Stage three started in a fury with Harrison Burton wrecking from the lead. Five other drivers were involved including Austin Dillon and Joey Logano. Ryan Blaney took over as race lead as they went into a long green flag run.
The field ran three-wide and eventually shuffled back to two-wide with no real momentum being gained. Blaney continued to lead deep into the race.
With five laps remaining, Joey Logano tried to jump up top and was spun around to bring out another crucial caution as the race enters overtime. After the first overtime restart ended in a wreck, the field had a second chance to end the race.
Kyle Busch Avoids a Last-Lap Wreck to Earn a NASCAR Cup Series Win at Talladega
Ryan Blaney controlled the final restart, but it was Bubba Wallace soaring to the lead to take the white flag. Wallace was trying all he could do to block Blaney, but Blaney turned Wallace going through the first turn. Bubba Wallace collected Brad Keselowski on his way down the track. It ended with Kyle Busch racing cleanly to take the lead. The caution flag came out and the race was called official. Kyle Busch avoided the last-lap wreck to win the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Kyle Busch claims his second win of the season in a dramatic finish on Sunday evening. Ryan Blaney looked like he was going to take the race to the white flag at least until a caution came out with five laps remaining. It is not a true superspeedway race without it ending in overtime. Kyle Busch did not have the best race on Sunday, but he was upfront when it counted. That is all it takes at Daytona or Talladega. Kyle Busch was able to avoid that last-lap wreck and brought his No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet home to victory.