By: Becca Cottingham
Headline Photo From: RocketCityNow.com
Talladega started with roughly eight drivers moved to the back of the field due to adjustments or a driver change. Bubba Wallace was following Ryan Blaney and got a run. He went to pass the number 12 and ended up losing control. It collected five drivers with various degrees of damage. Jimmie Johnson appears to have had a tire go down and it shot him up into the wall. The big issue coming into the end of Stage one is fuel. Most all of the Chevy teams have moved backwards in order to try to save fuel to get to the end of the run. Drivers were told to back off on their throttle levels which are monitored in the pit box. Several teams came in for a splash and go. Aric Almirola got penalized for too fast entering. He then locked his tires up to do his pass through penalty that flat spotted the tire. Ty Dillion earned his second stage win for the season. Other drivers were on the apron of the track due to loss of fuel pressure. These cars are built with about half a lap reserve in a second pump. Multiple drivers are having to start stage two for pitting to early.
Chase Elliott brought us to the green flag to start stage two for the second set of fifty-five laps. He saw that Alex Bowman was getting a great run and allowed Bowman to pass. Then the Fords linked up and brought the outside line through the field. Green flag stops happened with eleven Chevy’s in order to not have a fuel issue. This track is very much an unknown. These drivers and teams appear to not know what to expect either, which is making for some great racing. The individual car markers had a meeting it appears with all teams. Team Chevy told their drivers to work together. We will see if this pays off at the end of the race. So far this has been beneficial to team Chevy and team Ford. The second stage was pretty smooth compared to the first stage. The calm before the storm that will probably be stage three. Chase Elliott was able to take the lead over around sixteen laps to go in stage two. He then he held the pack off to get the stage win.
We started stage three still being somewhat cautious, but that I am sure will soon end. As all drivers will truly be racing for the win at Talladega Superspeedway. Three and four wide and tandem drafting was a huge theme of stage three. We saw team Chevy hold the first six spots on the inside lane for the first several laps. It appears they truly took it to heart to work together. The group of Fords appear to do better in the outside lane and pull out of the single file draft to charge to the front. We see the battles back and forth between the two teams. We seen multiple lead changes one where Erik Jones lead multiple laps. We had green flag pit stops. Brad spun out getting into his pit stall, but the stop was completely legal as he was still fully in the stall. Then David Raegan overshot his pit stall and stopped in Erik Jones trying to back up. All the craziness started with less than twelve to go. With seven to go Chris Buescher lost control and hit the wall taking out multiple other drivers. NASCAR called for a red flag for clean up from the accident. Then when we got back under green flag racing Kyle Larson goes for a wild ride with multiple flips. With the multiple accidents we were able to see how far NASCAR safety requirements truly have come. Kyle Larson was able to walk away from one of the craziest wrecks in NASCAR in a while. We ended the race under caution as the white flag had come out and the accident happened behind Chase Elliott. Chase Elliott was able to bring Chevy to victory lane.
The Next Race:
Sunday, May 5: Dover International Speedway for the Gander RV 400 at 2pm