A typical Talladega weekend for fans involves late night partying, lots of great food, and an enjoyable experience. A typical Talladega weekend for teams means either surviving to the finish, bringing home a torn up car, or bringing home a soaked trophy from victory lane.
Sunday afternoon, that's exactly what happened.
The pack returned to the sport's biggest track, and it provided both great racing, but also showcased a minor flaw in the package for restrictor plate racing. Temperatures were running hot for many cars, forcing more holding back than usual. The heat in Alabama did not help much, but it made for a big discussion as the race wore on.
By the end of the race, 19 cars were out due to damage or engine issues, but once again it came down to who was in the right place at the right time at the end of the race.
The one who thought he was in the right spot...Kyle Busch. Running second entering the final two corners, he had the best opportunity to slingshot for the win.
But, the leader had other ideas. Brad Keselowski decided to try something he thought about, ran through his mind, and had the opportunity to attempt at the end of the race. Break the tandem, kill the momentum, cruise to victory...worked to perfection.
It's the second time this year the Blue Deuce was in victory lane, and Keselowski's second win at Talladega.
The writers, for the most part, survived the lottery that is Talladega, however did not see much in the way of changes in the standings. Here's how they stack up after the Aaron's 499:
James Broomhead (366) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 9th (1)
Billy Fellin (360) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 9th (2)
Rob Tiongson (359) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 9th (3)
Sal Sigala Jr. (356) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 9th (1)
Kara Martin (351) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 9th (1)
Misan Akuya (351) Jamie McMurray finished 11th (1)
Christopher Leone (350) Clint Bowyer finished 6th (0)
Kelly Crandall (332) Clint Bowyer finished 6th (1)
Dustin Parks (308) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 9th (1)
Michael Hirshbein (306) Kyle Busch finished 2nd(1)
Patti Rodisch (288) Tony Stewart finished 24th (0)
Ryan O'Hara (273) Jeff Gordon finished 33rd (0)
Next Race: From a race track where so many elements are out of one's control to a track that simply cannot be tamed. Next weekend is all about the important women in one's life...their mothers. The track being visited, The Lady in Black.
No track compares to the one being visited on Saturday night, as NASCAR makes it's annual trip to South Carolina to make the lone visit to the historical Darlington Raceway. One groove track, and one where a scrape on the right side isn't damage...it's a badge of honor.
Writers, it's officially time to earn your Darlington Stripe. Picks for the Bojangles Southern 500 are due by Thursday, May 10, at 10 p.m. ET.