David Ragan claimed his second NASCAR Cup series win by heading an unlikely 1-2 for Front Row Motorsport in a rain-delayed race at Talladega.
During the green-white-checker two-lap dash to the finish, Ragan and teammate David Gilliland hooked up and timed their run to perfection as dusk fell over the superspeedway. Together they blasted by Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth, who between them had dominated a race that featured two huge crashes and a long rain interruption.
Edwards held on for third, ahead of part-time racer Michael Waltrip, Jimmie Johnson and Regan Smith.
Having led the vast majority of the laps, Kenseth fell to eighth at the flag.
Denny Hamlin returned to action for the first time since his back-breaking crash at Fontana in March. He lasted 23 laps behind the wheel of the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota before handing over to Brian Vickers as planned pre-race. Vickers worked his way into the top 10 when he was involved in the first big multi-car accident. The incident was sparked when Marcos Ambrose bumped Kyle Busch into Kasey Kahne, who spun the Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet into the outside wall and back into the pack.
A number of potential race winners - Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle - sustained heavy damage in the accident, which involved 13 cars in total.
The race was then red-flagged with 63 laps to go as a rain shower drenched the track. Following a lengthy delay it resumed, but Juan Pablo Montoya was out of luck again as his Ganassi Chevy refused to fire up. A new ECU was installed and he rejoined the fray three laps down.
As the race entered its final phase there was another huge crash, this one caused when Ricky Stenhouse Jr made it four-wide as he attempted to pass JJ Yeley. There simply was not room and Yeley was tipped into the unlucky Kurt Busch, who was launched into a series of rolls.
He crash-landed on the roof of Ryan Newman's Stewart Haas Chevy, causing havoc among the following pack. There was a scrapyard's worth of bent metal, but all the drivers escaped unharmed.
Results - 192 laps:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. David Ragan Front Row Ford 3h26m02.000s
2. David Gilliland Front Row Ford + 0.213s
3. Carl Edwards Roush Fenway Ford + 0.227s
4. Michael Waltrip Waltrip Toyota + 0.293s
5. Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Chevrolet + 0.307s
6. Regan Smith Phoenix Chevrolet + 0.403s
7. Martin Truex Jr Waltrip Toyota + 0.416s
8. Matt Kenseth Roush Fenway Ford + 0.416s
9. Scott Speed Leavine Ford + 0.489s
10. Aric Almirola Petty Ford + 0.492s
11. Jeff Gordon Hendrick Chevrolet + 0.518s
12. David Stremme Swan Toyota + 0.594s
13. Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Ford + 0.616s
14. Marcos Ambrose Petty Ford + 0.645s
15. Brad Keselowski Penske Ford + 0.730s
16. Dave Blaney Baldwin Chevrolet + 0.750s
17. Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Chevrolet + 0.755s
18. Clint Bowyer Waltrip Toyota + 1.018s
19. Josh Wise Front Row Ford + 25.197s
20. Bobby Labonte JTG Daugherty Toyota + 30.895s
21. Michael McDowell Parsosn Ford + 1 lap
22. Landon Cassill Circle Sport Chevrolet + 1 lap
23. Jamie McMurray Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet + 1 lap
24. Casey Mears Germain Ford + 1 lap
25. Juan Pablo Montoya Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet + 3 laps
26. Paul Menard Childress Chevrolet + 4 laps
27. Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Chevrolet + 5 laps
28. Jeff Burton Childress Chevrolet + 5 laps
Terry Labonte FAS Lane Ford 185 laps
Kurt Busch Furniture Row Chevrolet 182 laps
JJ Yeley Baldwin Chevrolet 182 laps
Ryan Newman Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 182 laps
Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Chevrolet 182 laps
Hamlin/Vickers Joe Gibbs Toyota 148 laps*
Joey Logano Penske Ford 143 laps
Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Ford 141 laps*
Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Toyota 138 laps*
Travis Kvapil BK Toyota 128 laps*
Joe Nemechek NEMCO Toyota 53 laps
Kevin Harvick Childress Chevrolet 47 laps
David Reutimann BK Toyota 43 laps
Kasey Kahne Hendrick Chevrolet 42 laps
Trevor Bayne Wood Brothers Ford 22 laps
* Running again at chequered flag