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

The only sour note in the post-race celebrations came from Brad Keselowski, who ended up in 15th place at the line having restarted in the top ten. "Me thinks if someone looked at what happened on that restart they might feel differently about that finish," he tweeted. "I'm happy as hell a small team won. Doesn't change the fact that the restart was blatantly wrong.

"#34 swapped lanes before restart," he explained. "Mad as hell about that finish. We were suppose to line up 10th when the #34 switched lanes entering 3 before green. That lane won." Ironically, Ragan blew his first shot at a Cup win at Daytona in 2011 by committing just such an offence and being penalised five laps from the end of the race.

Ragan refuted any allegations of a repeat of his previous misdemeanour: "NASCAR makes the call on where we line up at, and I listen to what NASCAR has to say,' he said. "Brad was just trying to snooker us and get the preferred lane, and eventually he decided he should do the right thing and he restarted ninth and I restarted tenth, so there's no controversy.

"NASCAR will set him straight eventually," Ragan added. "He maybe won't admit it, but he knows that he lined up in the right spot and I lined up in the right spot." But it didn't matter anyway - NASCAR had called the race and Ragan had the victory.

With Ragan and Gilliland appropriately sweeping the front row at the line, Carl Edwards was left in third just a hundredth of a second behind with Michael Waltrip finishing in fourth place ahead of Jimmie Johnson.

"That was crazy," said Edwards. "I blocked everybody I could, I was doing everything I could. I blocked Matt and I thought, 'Oh, we've got it.' And then I saw Jimmie coming and I blocked him and I thought, 'Who is that back there?'

"David did everything but wreck me," Edwards revealed. "He did everything right and I still thought he was gonna wreck when he was looking in his mirror and he almost hit the apron and he wiggled coming to the line, so I thought we still might get this thing. But it's awesome for David Ragan ... It's the most fun I've had at Talladega."

"I thought that between the #99 and the #20 and ourselves and the #51, that we would settle the race between us," admitted Johnson. "I was racing the #38 earlier and he had plenty of speed, but they came up on us so fast that I could see Carl trying to block and he finally said there's no real way to block the speed that they're bringing. Those two had blown by and David had made it back to the chequered flag - it's really cool for that team."

The race result means that Edwards closes the gap on Johnson in the points standings, but only by two points: Johnson still has a 41 point margin over the rest of the field after ten Cup races of 2013.

Meanwhile Matt Kenseth was left ruing 'what might have been' after he lost out badly in that final GWC sequence, dropping to eighth place behind Regan Smith and Martin Truex Jr. by the time he crossed the line despite having led for a total of 142 of the 192 laps of the race.




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)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, and the rest of the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 17, 2014 in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS finished second. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with a burnout after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
With General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, holds the Michigan Heritage Trophy after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. In 2013, MIS began awarding the Michigan Heritage Trophy as a recognition and celebration of the automobile and it`s importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with his crew after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field at the start of the Nationwide Childrens`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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