NASCAR returned to the Superspeedway's with a vengeance on Sunday as Bobby Hamilton held off a pack of 28 cars to win his first race since Martinsville 1998 and score Andy Petree's first NASCAR Winston Cup victory as a team owner in a wild race at Talladega.

On a weekend where the loss of Dale Earnhardt was felt more keenly than most, the NASCAR Winston Cup drivers put on an outstanding show of hard, clean racing that 'The Intimidator' would have been more than proud of as Sunday's Talladega 500 ran caution-free and featured 37 lead changes amongst 26 drivers (both a record for this race), with just 1.4-seconds covering the first 28 cars across the finish line after 188 pulsating laps.

When the dust settled at the ed of the race t was Bobby Hamilton who was making his way to victory lane after passing Tony Stewart on the penultimate lap and then cutting off attacks from every possible angle as cars ran three and four abreast throughout the field for the entire day. What was more pleasing during NASCAR's first Superspeedway event since the fateful Daytona 500 two months ago was that every one of the 43 starters kept the racing clean and although the field ran closely in the draft for the entire race, only in the final 20 laps did most competitors really begin to show their hand after erring on the side of caution previously.

Stewart's No.20 Home Depot Pontiac was the man on the point from lap 162 to lap 187 with help from Kurt Busch, who kept his No.97 Roush Racing Ford glued to the rear of Stewart's machine throughout that period as everyone clung to the low line of the race track. Everyone except Hamilton that is who took a leaf out of the late Dale Earnhardt's book as he constantly kept to the high line ensuring that those below him remained boxed in as he made his play for victory.

Stewart and Busch came home second and third in line, a season's best for Stewart and a career best for Busch and neither driver was disappointed after a fine effort while Mark Martin and Bobby Labonte completed the top five.

Hamilton's APR team-mate Joe Nemechek completed a fine day for the fourth year team in sixth position overall while Johnny Benson dropped from third to seventh in the final shuffle and was the first finisher home who didn't lead a lap. Dale Earnhardt Jr led for 33 laps during the middle portion of the race but a slow final stop cost him dearly even though the No.8 Budweiser Chevrolet rose from 22nd to eighth in the final ten laps.

Jeff Burton was another driver to fall back in the final laps and he came home in ninth while Mike Wallace completed the top ten after a fine run from 43rd and last on the starting grid in the Ultra Motorsports Ford.

Full report to follow.