Ryan Blaney emerges from the carnage to win by inches at Talladega

TALLADEGA, ALABAMA - OCTOBER 14: Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 Dent Wizard Ford, takes the checkered flag ahead of Ryan Newman, driver of the #6 Wyndham Rewards Ford, to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 14, 2019 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

One Ryan went home happy, another Ryan not so much Monday.

It took an entire day thanks to rain and 9 caution flags, but it was Ryan Blaney who survived to win by inches at rain-delayed NASCAR Cup race at Talladega Monday.

The win was the first of the season for Blaney and the third of his career.  It comes a week after a DNF and 35th place finish at Dover that left Blaney at the bottom of the 12 driver Playoff grid and needing a miracle to advance to the next round.

That miracle came Monday with the win that automatically advances him to the next round.

Blaney was leading on a two-lap shootout after the races 9th caution and a red flag period, and was leading at the white flag, but Ryan Newman with a huge push from Denny Hamlin on the backstretch who took the lead entering turn 3.

Newman appeared to be stretching his lead out heading to the finish line, but Blaney got a push from Aric Almirola and build up enough momentum to get to Newman, inching past at the line to win by .007 of a second.

“They were coming so fast,” Blaney said.  “I figured I gave up the bottom, they were just going to leave me in the middle.  I decided to stay with Aric (Almirola).  He was a great pusher all day.”

“I kind of went up and pulled the 11 (Denny Hamlin) off the 6 (Ryan Newman),” he added.  “He was so far out in front.  Yeah, then we kind of got together on the front.  He kind of pushed me below the yellow line.  I wasn’t going to go there after what happened in the truck race.  Kind of got forced down.  Worked out.”

Newman was left wondering what happened.

“I mean, just close,” he said.  “I told Aric (Almirola), I said they spent $50 million redeveloping this place.  I should have threw in 50 bucks for them to move the start/finish line, repainted it or something.”

Hamlin was making his own charge on the outside but had to settle for third, Almirola was fourth and Michael McDowell fifth.

While the desperation for this round is over for Blaney, for 10 of the 12 Playoff drivers it only intensified.

Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., William Byron, Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson were all involved in accidents during some point of the race.  Byron, Bowman and Larson all ended the day in the garage outside the top 30.

The carnage wasn’t limited to Playoff drivers however as only 26 cars of the 40-car field were left running at the checkered flag.

The first caution came at lap 108 when Alex Bowman, who was fighting for the lead in a three-wide battle, was pushed by Logano who was running up on the back of him entering turn 3. Bowman was sent spinning up and into the wall sweeping up a total of 10 cars including Larson.  Bowman and Larson were done for the day at that point.  Elliott had heavy damage but was able to continue.

The second multicar accident happened on lap 164 when Kurt Busch got into the back of Byron, again entering turn 3, and spinning him out and sweeping up 9 cars. Byron who had won Stage 1 on Sunday just as the rains came and the race was delayed, was done for the day.

The final multicar accident came with just 6 laps to go when Kurt Busch spun out his brother Kyle entering turn 3 again.  Kyle spun up the track and took out Brad Keselowski while ahead Brendan Gaughan was sent airborne in the front of the pack. In total 11 cars were involved, and NASCAR was forced to throw the red flag.

The final restart came with 2 laps to go and Blaney, who led the most laps on the day 35, winning.

“Super fun the last couple days,” Blaney said. “Moving on, pretty cool.”

Austin Dillon was sixth, Corey LaJoie seventh, Elliott was eighth while Ricky Stenhouse Jr. who led 32 laps was ninth with Ty Dillon rounding out the top 10.

Logano holds the final Playoff spot over Bowman who is 18 markers below; Elliott follows 22 behind; Bowyer, who did win Stage 2 Monday, is 24 behind while Byron is 12th 27 points behind.

The series heads to Kansas for the Round of 12 elimination race next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race Results 1000Bulbs.com 500

Talladega Superspeedway

Talladega, Alabama

Sunday, October 13, 2019

1. (9)  Ryan Blaney (P), Ford, 188.

2. (13)  Ryan Newman, Ford, 188.

3. (40)  Denny Hamlin (P), Toyota, 188.

4. (5)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 188.

5. (22)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 188.

6. (20)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 188.

7. (33)  Corey LaJoie, Ford, 188.

8. (1)  Chase Elliott (P), Chevrolet, 188.

9. (7)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 188.

10. (21)  Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 188.

11. (10)  Joey Logano (P), Ford, 188.

12. (34)  Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, 188.

13. (16)  Matt Tifft #, Ford, 188.

14. (25)  Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 188.

15. (32)  Parker Kligerman(i), Toyota, 188.

16. (14)  Paul Menard, Ford, 188.

17. (15)  Kevin Harvick (P), Ford, 188.

18. (30)  Ryan Preece #, Chevrolet, 188.

19. (26)  Kyle Busch (P), Toyota, 188.

20. (23)  Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, Accident, 187.

21. (29)  Daniel Hemric #, Chevrolet, 187.

22. (38)  Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 187.

23. (8)  Clint Bowyer (P), Ford, 186.

24. (27)  Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet, 185.

25. (6)  Brad Keselowski (P), Ford, Accident, 182.

26. (18)  Martin Truex Jr (P), Toyota, 182.

27. (28)  Brendan Gaughan(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 181.

28. (24)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, Accident, 181.

29. (17)  David Ragan, Ford, Accident, 181.

30. (31)  Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, Accident, 181.

31. (35)  Blake Jones, Chevrolet, 179.

32. (19)  Daniel Suarez, Ford, Accident, 168.

33. (3)  William Byron (P), Chevrolet, Accident, 162.

34. (11)  Erik Jones, Toyota, Accident, 162.

35. (37)  Austin Theriault, Ford, Accident, 162.

36. (36)  Joey Gase(i), Toyota, Accident, 161.

37. (2)  Alex Bowman (P), Chevrolet, Accident, 106.

38. (4)  Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, Accident, 106.

39. (12)  Kyle Larson (P), Chevrolet, Accident, 106.

40. (39)  Spencer Boyd(i), Chevrolet, Engine, 53.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  136.644 mph.

Time of Race:  3 Hrs, 39 Mins, 35 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.007 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  9 for 43 laps.

Lead Changes:  47 among 19 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   B. Keselowski (P) 1-4;K. Busch (P) 5-6;A. Dillon 7;K. Busch 8-18;R. Blaney (P) 19-33;E. Jones 34;A. Almirola 35;B. Keselowski (P) 36-40;R. Newman 41-43;B. Keselowski (P) 44-45;K. Busch 46;C. Elliott (P) 47-49;D. Hemric # 50;W. Byron (P) 51-53;J. Logano (P) 54;W. Byron (P) 55-58;B. Wallace 59;R. Blaney (P) 60-72;J. Logano (P) 73-77;C. Elliott (P) 78-83;B. Keselowski (P) 84-86;C. Elliott (P) 87-89;B. Keselowski (P) 90-93;A. Almirola 94-95;J. Johnson 96-97;C. Elliott (P) 98-101;J. Logano (P) 102-103;C. Elliott (P) 104-106;C. Bowyer (P) 107-111;C. Buescher 112;B. Keselowski (P) 113-116;W. Byron (P) 117;C. Bowyer (P) 118-125;K. Busch (P) 126;J. Logano (P) 127-133;A. Theriault 134;R. Stenhouse Jr 135-142;J. Logano (P) 143;R. Stenhouse Jr 144-150;K. Busch (P) 151-153;L. Cassill(i) 154;W. Byron (P) 155-159;R. Stenhouse Jr 160-175;K. Busch 176-179;R. Stenhouse Jr 180;K. Busch (P) 181;R. Blaney (P) 182-188.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Ryan Blaney (P) 3 times for 35 laps; Ricky Stenhouse Jr 4 times for 32 laps; Brad Keselowski (P) 6 times for 22 laps; Chase Elliott (P) 5 times for 19 laps; Kurt Busch 3 times for 16 laps; Joey Logano (P) 5 times for 16 laps; William Byron (P) 4 times for 13 laps; Clint Bowyer (P) 2 times for 13 laps; Kyle Busch (P) 4 times for 7 laps; Aric Almirola 2 times for 3 laps; Ryan Newman 1 time for 3 laps; Jimmie Johnson 1 time for 2 laps; Austin Theriault 1 time for 1 lap; Daniel Hemric # 1 time for 1 lap; Austin Dillon 1 time for 1 lap; Chris Buescher 1 time for 1 lap; Bubba Wallace 1 time for 1 lap; Erik Jones 1 time for 1 lap; Landon Cassill(i) 1 time for 1 lap.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 24,22,88,17,2,42,48,41,1,12
Stage #2 Top Ten: 14,22,2,3,41,12,37,24,1,18