It took more than 24 hours after rain delayed the Talladega race, pushing its last two stagesÂ from Sunday to Monday, but we finally got a result for the fifth race of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
And it was worth the wait.
After a massive crash with seven laps to go set up a green-white-checkered to finish the race, a wild last two laps ended with Ryan Blaney beating Ryan Newman to the line in a photo finish â aÂ .007-second margin of victory.
The results of Monday’s race at Talladega left Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Clint Bowyer and William Byron below the playoffs cut line entering next week’s race at Kansas. Blaney, of course, locked himself into the next round of the playoffs with his win.
Sporting News is tracked live race updates and highlights from the 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Monday. Below are the results.
|9.||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|
|26.||19||Martin Truex Jr.|
4:58 p.m. ET: Checkered flag. Unbelievable ending. Ryan Blaney barely edged Ryan Newman to get the win in a photo finish.
4:57 p.m. ET: Restart with two laps to go.
4:53 p.m. ET: The red flag was lifted, and the caution was brought back out. Ryan Blaney was listed as the leader, followed by Aric Almirola, Ty Dillon, Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell.
4:37 p.m. ET: Caution (and then a red flag).Â Huge crash with seven laps to go. Kyle Busch, who was in the middle lane and getting pushed by his brother Kurt Busch, spun toward the end of the backstretch and collected almost the entire field. During the crash,Â Brendan Gaughan flipped once and landed back on all four wheels. Also involved were Brad Keselowski, David Regan, Matt DiBenedetto, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Preece, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. andÂ ChrisÂ Buescher.
4:30 p.m. ET: Restart with 13 laps to go.
4:23 p.m. ET: Caution. Daniel Suarez, damaged from a prior incident, spun by himself in Turn 4. Out of time on his damaged vehicle clock, he took his No. 41 Ford to the garage.
4:21 p.m. ET: Restart on Lap 170.
4:07 p.m. ET: Caution. Another big crash. Kurt Busch bumped the back of William Byron, sending the 24 car into Joey Logano’s No. 22 on the backstretch and collecting a handful of cars. Also involved in the accident wereÂ Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones,Â Matt Crafton and Ryan Preece.
4:02 p.m. ET: Restart on Lap 158.
3:53 p.m. ET: Caution. Clint Bowyer spun by himself in Turn 3 due to cut right-side tires and got stuck on the aprin of the track. He eventually got going but was twoÂ laps down by the time he was able to roll away.
3:40 p.m. ET: Restart on Lap 138.
3:29 p.m. ET: Caution on Lap 132 for debris on the backstretch. Martin Truex Jr.’s left-frontÂ tire was ripped apart by his damaged fender, leaving rubber all over the track. (Denny Hamlin got the free pass.)
3:24 p.m. ET: Restart on Lap 126.
3:17 p.m. ET: Caution. Bubba Wallace was notÂ clear ofÂ Blake Jones when he drifted up toward the backstretch wall, andÂ the 43 sandwiched the 77, sending Jones into a spin.
3:12 p.m. ET: Stage 3 began on Lap 117. The field went three wide after about a lap.
2:58 p.m. ET: Stage 2 ended under caution. Clint Bowyer took the stage win.
2:52 p.m. ET: Caution. Massive crash with four laps left in Stage 2. Alex Bowman, who was in the lead and blocking Joey Logano, got a huge shove and was turned around toward the end of the backstretch. Bowman spun back into the field and collected a handful of cars, including Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson and Ryan Preece.
“I threw a block that I shouldn’t have blocked,” Bowman said of the incidentÂ on theÂ NBCSNÂ broadcast after being cleared from the infield care center.Â “They had a bigger run than I realized. Apologize to all the cars that got torn up. That’s on me.”
Added Johnson, via Autoweek:Â “Its just plate racing.Â I saw the 88 on the apron and knew we would have a problem when he (merged)Â back up.”
2:40 p.m. ET: Denny Hamlin, Corey LaJoie,Â Martin Truex Jr., Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Matt Crafton and BrendanÂ GaughanÂ were hit with penalties for speeding on pit road.
2:38 p.m. ET: Cars started coming down pit road for the first green-flag pit stops of the day (fuel-only stops). The Chevys pitted on Lap 90,Â (most of) the Toyota’s pitted on Lap 91Â and the Fords waited a couple extra laps before pitting on Lap 94.
2:30 p.m. ET: Denny Hamlin, who lost a hood flap early in Stage 2, told his team he was concerned about the hood making it through the race. Hamlin was told he had no choice but to ride it out. He backed out of the main draft to the back of the pack.
2:15 p.m. ET: Green flag. Stage 2 began, and the field immediately went three wide.
2:07 p.m. ET: Ryan NewmanÂ penalized (sent to back of the pack) for pitting too soon. He stopped as the cars were rolling off pit road for the restart of Monday’s race.
2:02 p.m. ET: Engines were fired for Monday’s race at Talladega.