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2013 Talladega NASCAR: Front Row in shock 1-2 win

But a restart there was all the same, with ten to go and ironically it was Kenseth who initially dropped back to fourth before recovering his momentum to go three wide with Johnson and Busch at 200mph. Regan Smith also arrived to make his presence felt, and everyone held their breath sensing disaster was imminent.

And it was. Another major wreck ensured following initial contact between Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and JJ Yeley, with Kurt Busch the most conspicuous casualty as the #78 was flipped and rolled into the air before landing on the hood of Newman's car. Danica Patrick's car was also extensively wrecked, and Clint Bowyer and Jamie McMurray were also caught up in the aftermath to a lesser degree.

"I saw that whole thing in my mirror - that was unbelievable," radioed Johnson, a note of understandable "I told you so" to his voice.

Now it was Kenseth's turn to plead for the race to be called - he'd just taken the lead with an audacious move before the cautions came out, putting him ahead of Edwards, Johnson and Smith. "What corner am I in again?" he radioed, to underscore just how dark it now was and how little visibility the drivers had.

Emerging from the infield medical centre, Ryan Newman was way more forthright in his words to the media: "They can build safer racecars, they can build safer walls, but they can't get their heads out of their asses far enough to keep them on the racetrack, and that's pretty disappointing," he fumed, adding that he was only speaking to reporters in order to let everyone know he was okay after the nasty wreck.

"I wanted to make sure I get that point across. Y'all can figure out who 'they' is. That's no way to end a race. Our car was much better than that. That's just poor judgement in restarting the race, poor judgement. I mean, you got what you wanted, but poor judgement and running in the dark and running in the rain.”

But the show had to go on, and would conclude with a green-white-chequered finish just like the Nationwide race had the day before. This time there was no last minute major wreck: but there was one heck of a major surprise instead, as out of no where the lowly Front Row Motorsports pairing of David Ragan and David Gilliland teamed up and swept past Edwards, Johnson, Smith and the rest to claim the win at the line against all the odds.

It's the first win for Front Row in the team's history, and Ragan's second career win; even Johnson, when told who'd won because he hadn't been able to tell himself because of the gloom, couldn't resist saying that the fairytale outcome for the tiny team was "awesome."

"It's a true David versus Goliath story and couldn't be prouder to play my role," said Ragan in victory lane afterwards. ""They're not all this easy, but this is special to get Front Row Motorsports their first win. It feels like I've never been here before.

"I've got to thank my teammates," he added. "If it wasn't for that final push from David Gilliland, I don't know what to say."




Related Pictures

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Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Fastenal Ford, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, lead the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron`s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 5, 2013 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Brian Vickers replaces Denny Hamlin as driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron`s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 5, 2013 in Talladega, Alabama (Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images)
Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Safety Ford, crashes into the wall while David Stremme (#30), Kevin Harvick (#29), Marcos Ambrose (#9) and Michael McDowell (#98) take avoiding action. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Having triggered the 14-car `Big One` on lap 44, Kyle Busch (#18) and Kasey Kahne (#5) are at the top of picture against the wall along with Casey Mears (#13) while Jamie McMurray (#1) and Martn Truex Jr. (#56) take avoiding action in turn 1. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #39 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 Peak Toyota, are involved in an incident after Kurt Busch, driver of the #78 Furniture Row / Beautyrest Chevrolet, flipped during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron`s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 5, 2013 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
David Ragan, driver of the #34 Farm Rich Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane with wife Jacquelyn Butler Ragan after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron`s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 5, 2013 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #20 GameStop Toyota, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, lead the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR XFINITY Series Drive To Stop Diabetes 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 18, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, races during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 3M Chevrolet, talks to his crew chief, Alan Gustafson, on the grid prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Comcast Business Toyota, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 17, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Sylvania/Menards Chevrolet SS, qualifies for ninth position Friday, April 17, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Menard is 16th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eighth position Friday, April 17, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Kahne is fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, qualifies for seventh position Friday, April 17, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Busch is 21st in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Friday, April 17, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Harvick leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 11, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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