Live From Talladega

OK. Here’s your top 10: Busch, Montoya, Hamlin, Ragan, Vickers, Kvapil, Mears, Newman, Bowyer, Earnhardt Jr. Look for my exciting column in Monday’s Journal.

Well, crap, I got so caught up in the end, I forgot to update with the finish. Busch won when Michael McDowell spun out at the start/finish line on the white flag lap. It ended under caution. The rest of the top 10 later. Although if you’re following the race here instead of on TV, the radio or, don’t complain.

We had another caution. Now three to go, Kyle Busch leads.

13 to go: Finally had a big wreck. Stewart got hemmed in by four or five other cars and got into Earnhardt. Six cars in all suffered damage: Stewart, Kurt Busch, Earnhardt, Bobby Labonte, Jamie McMurray and Martin Truex Jr. Kyle Busch leads.

18 to go: Ryan Newman now leading. He’s never won here.

Lap 160: Caution comes out after Menard gets spun by Juan Pablo Montoya entering the tri-oval. Nice save by Menard, though, who didn’t hit the ball or any other cars. Hamlin leads.

Lap 144: Caution No. 3. Stewart’s right front tire went down in Turn 1, and he scraped the wall. He’ll still be on the lead lap, as everyone’s pitting, mostly gas only.

Here we go again. A new leader almost every lap. After 141, Earnhardt is leading.

Lap 124: Earnhardt still in front after a round of gas-only pit stops. Had our second caution for debris in Turn 4.

Lap 102: Earnhardt still leading, trailed by Stewart and Hamlin. The field is divided into three separate packs, but we’ll see what happens with upcoming pit stops. Not as boring as the fall race, when they all ran together single file.

Earnhardt and Stewart have been trading the lead. Drivers are now running two- and three-wide after a few laps of single file. They tend to go back and forth like that.

Lap 86: Jimmie Johnson, who was running at the very back, led for a lap but got hung out to dry. Stewart’s up front again.

Lap 65: A round of pit stops, and Stewart’s back up front. Over a 15-lap span, eight drivers accounted for nine lead changes (Denny Hamlin led twice).

Paul Menard(!) takes the lead on lap 51. Dale Earnhardt Jr. right behind pushing him.

Tony Stewart took the lead on Lap 1 and still has it on Lap 28. Matt Kenseth is out. Pretty cloudy, but looks like the rain will hold off.

Jeff Gordon just got booed during driver intros, and it’s almost time to start the Aaron’s 499 (what a dumb name). Anyway, I’m here for your blogging pleasure. Joe Nemecheck is on the pole.

Stay tuned!


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