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Bowyer nips Burton at the flag in Talladega

NASCAR Sprint Cup
Sunday, October 23, 2011


Clint Bowyer
The Chevys Jeff Burton and Clint Bowyer pulled away from the pack after the final restart with 3 laps to go and then coming to the trioval on the final lap Bowyer jerked the wheel left and got under Burton and won the drag race to the finish line to win Sunday's Talladega 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race.

Bowyer surged past Richard Childress Racing teammate Jeff Burton through the tri-oval on the final lap at Talladega Superspeedway to win Sunday's Good Sam Club 500.

Bowyer, who will leave RCR for Michael Waltrip Racing next season, beat Burton to the finish line by 0.018 seconds to record his first victory of the season and the fifth of his career.

Dave Blaney, pushed by Brad Keselowski, ran third, with Keselowski taking the flag in fourth in a race that saw only five drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup finish in the top 24.

Red Bull Racing teammates Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne finished fifth and six, followed by Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Michael Waltrip and Martin Truex Jr. Carl Edwards came home 11th and extended his lead in the Chase to 14 points over Matt Kenseth, who finished 18th.

A six-car wreck on Lap 104 did major damage to the Chase chances of Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. As the lead pack of cars sped through the tri-oval, a push from Marcos Ambrose turned Richard Petty Motorsports teammate AJ Allmendinger, triggering a crash that crumpled the hood of Harvick’s Chevrolet and knocked in the driver’s side of Busch’s Toyota.

Harvick lost two laps during multiple pit stops to repair his car, and Busch spent 11 laps in the garage before bringing his hobbled car back on track on Lap 118.

Two early incidents broke up potent drafting combinations. On Lap 67, Joey Logano spun off Turn 4 in close quarters with Trevor Bayne, who was trying to get to pit road. Before Logano could complete another lap, his left front tire exploded, destroying the left front fender of his Toyota.

That left Busch, who had been drafting with Logano, to pair up with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Hamlin, a prospect considered so unlikely before the race that the organization hadn’t established radio channels that would allow Busch, Hamlin and their spotters and crew chiefs to communicate freely.

Stewart lost his partner, teammate Ryan Newman, when Newman spun off Stewart’s bumper in the tri-oval. With heavy front-end damage, Newman lost a lap on pit road as his team repaired the car and two more laps on the racetrack before taking his car to the garage after 97 laps.

Coincidentally, Stewart then teamed with Logano, who was driving the No. 20 Home Depot car that carried Stewart to Cup championships in 2002 and 2005. Logano pushed Stewart to the lead on Lap 101, before the pileup in Turn 1 on Lap 104 ended the brief partnership between Hamlin and Busch and changed the complexion of the race and the Chase.

Roush Fenway Racing leaves Talladega Superspeedway holding the first and second positions in the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup point standings. Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle hung in the back of the field for the majority of Sunday’s 500-mile Sprint Cup race, before making their move in the race’s waning moments. The result was an 11th- place finish for Edwards that saw him expand his Chase point lead to 14; the highest margin this season in the Chase. Biffle finished 14th.

Matt Kenseth and David Ragan employed a completely different strategy in the race, running up front much of the day with Kenseth leading a total of 21 laps. The pair however got separated on the final restart, finishing 18th and 28th. Still, Kenseth was able to advance to second in the Chase points; 14 behind teammate Edwards.

“First of all, I have to say that Greg Biffle is amazing,” said Edwards after the race. “He’s an unbelievable driver and the best teammate a guy can hope for.

“This race is insane,” added Edwards of the race that saw 27 lead changes. “Greg and I had laid back. We wanted to get a Ford to victory lane, but we just thought our best shot was to be out of the wrecks. He (Greg) just does an unbelievable job. The communication was unreal and I hope we can work together at these races from now on.”



Str No. Driver Team Laps Status
1 3 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet 100 Years Chevrolet 188 Running
2 25 31 Jeff Burton Caterpillar Chevrolet 188 Running
3 41 36 Dave Blaney Golden Corral Chevrolet 188 Running
4 16 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Dodge 188 Running
5 30 83 Brian Vickers Red Bull Toyota 188 Running
6 26 4 Kasey Kahne Red Bull Toyota 188 Running
7 12 14 Tony Stewart El Monterey/Office Depot Chevrolet 188 Running
8 31 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Office Toyota 188 Running
9 23 15 Michael Waltrip Aaron's/DarrellWaltripNASCARHallofFame Toyota 188 Running
10 37 56 Martin Truex Jr. NAPA Auto Parts Toyota 188 Running
11 9 99 Carl Edwards Subway Ford 188 Running
12 7 27 Paul Menard Serta/Menards Chevrolet 188 Running
13 36 00 David Reutimann Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota 188 Running
14 18 16 Greg Biffle 3M Ford 188 Running
15 4 21 Trevor Bayne(i) Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford 188 Running
16 38 51 Landon Cassill(i) Phoenix Construction/Thank A Teacher Chevrolet 188 Running
17 42 13 Casey Mears GEICO Toyota 188 Running
18 11 17 Matt Kenseth Jeremiah Weed Ford 188 Running
19 19 9 Marcos Ambrose Stanley Ford 188 Running
20 1 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet 188 Running
21 17 38 Travis Kvapil(i) Long John Silver's Ford 188 Running
22 40 34 David Gilliland World Hunger Relief/ Ford 188 Running
23 15 42 Juan Pablo Montoya Energizer Chevrolet 188 Running
24 35 20 Joey Logano The Home Depot Toyota 188 Running
25 6 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. DietMountainDewPaintthe88/NationalGuard Chevrolet 188 Running
26 2 48 Jimmie Johnson mylowes Chevrolet 188 Running
27 5 24 Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet 188 Running
28 8 6 David Ragan UPS My Choice Ford 188 Running
29 39 1 Jamie McMurray Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet 184 Running
30 22 78 Regan Smith Furniture Row Chevrolet 180 Accident
31 24 43 AJ Allmendinger Best Buy Ford 179 Running
32 13 29 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John's Chevrolet 179 Running
33 34 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Halloween Toyota 175 Running
34 32 32 Terry Labonte C&J Energy Ford 175 Running
35 21 47 Bobby Labonte Scott Products Toyota 173 Accident
36 14 22 Kurt Busch Shell Pennzoil Dodge 173 Accident
37 43 7 Robby Gordon SPEED Energy/MAPEI Dodge 173 Rear Gear
38 10 39 Ryan Newman U.S. ARMY Chevrolet 172 Running
39 33 71 Andy Lally # TRG Motorsports Ford 162 Accident
40 29 66 Michael McDowell HP Racing, LLC Toyota 6 DNF
41 27 87 Joe Nemechek(i) AM/FM Energy Pellet & Wood Stoves Toyota 4 DNF
42 28 55 JJ Yeley Front Row Motorsports Ford 3 DNF
43 20 97 Kevin Conway(i) Extenze Toyota 2 DNF

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