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Watermelon Man Chastain Wins in Wild Finish at Talladega | NASCAR


Trackhouse Racing went again to victory lane at Talladega.

There was one other final lap go to win the race at Talladega however this one was completely different. Ross Chastain discovered himself sitting in third place coming to the end line, however when Kyle Larson tried to make a go on the chief Erik Jones, he was not but away from Kurt Busch, opening the door for Chastain.

When the mud settled from the carnage on the end line, it was the motive force of the No. 1 Chevrolet that got here out on high. It is the second profession victory for Chastain, having simply earned his first win final month at Circuit of the Americas. The Watermelon Man had a 0.105-second margin of victory over second-place finisher Austin Dillon.

“I’m always the one going to the top too early and making the mistake and there at the end, with like eight to go, I was like, I’m not going up there again. I did that a couple times today,” Chastain stated. “I was like, I’ll just drive the bottom. I’m not going to lose the race for us. They just kept going up and moving out of the way!”

“Are you kidding me? I’ve wrecked myself so many times and gotten into it with guys,” Chastain stated. “Justin Marks and what he laid out for us was ambitious. I had no idea what to expect other than I knew I had my group from last year. Sponsors are believing in us. We started the year with a lot of races open. We’re almost full now, and it’s because of the vision of Justin Marks.”

Kyle Busch, who stole his first win of the season final weekend at Bristol, grabbed a third place end right this moment whereas Larson ended up in 4th. Martin Truex Jr, who’s now winless in 69 profession superspeedway races, rounded out the highest 5.

Jones led 25 laps on Sunday and was main coming to the end line, however Larson’s transfer prompted him to go excessive and block, which allowed a number of drivers to get beneath him. He managed a sixth place end however was understandably dissatisfied with the end result.

“That last lap, right? I’ve been close here so many times,” Jones stated after the race. “I felt pretty good, but that top line was getting momentum. Looking back, I wish I’d stayed on the bottom. I tried to defend Larson. It is what it is, just trying to win the race. I’m happy to run up front and lead laps. I just would really love to get that No. 43 to victory lane and thought today might be the day. Just couldn’t quite close it out.”

Larson made the move, but soon realized it was probably the wrong one to make. “I felt like I did a pretty near-perfect job for me at a superspeedway until the last lap there,” he said. “I should have faked going high and gone back low. I had that run there. Just that little inexperience there, probably.”

Larson’s teammate Chase Elliott had a solid day after starting near the back of the field and ended up finishing 7th. Michael McDowell recorded an 8th place finish for Front Row Motorsports while Alex Bowman and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top ten. Ryan Blaney, Justin Haley, Aric Almirola, Corey LaJoie, and William Byron completed the top 15 finishers.

Kurt Busch was ready to pounce at the finish line but the contact with Larson sent him hard into the outside wall, triggering the big crash that left many drivers with subpar results. He and teammate Bubba Wallace finished 16th and 17th after racing at the front of the field for most of the afternoon. Their team owner Denny Hamlin was right behind them in 18th after running out of fuel just two laps from the finish.

One of the biggest disappointments today was the finishing position of pole sitter Christopher Bell. After a decent day on the track, Bell’s day was ruined on the final pit stop. As he was exiting pit lane, he was run into by teammate Kyle Busch. The contact sent Bell into a spin, and while he was able to continue, his 22nd finishing position was not representative of his pace.

Brad Keselowski finished behind Bell in 23rd, but that was due mostly to his own mistakes. The co-owner and driver of the No. 6 Ford Mustang was penalized for speeding on pit road twice during the race. Tyler Reddick’s day ended early in the race with engine trouble. Other drivers finishing near the back of the field were caught up in race incidents.

Just before the end of Stage 1, Daniel Hemric’s engine let go in the middle of Turn 4 which caused him to spin in front of Dillon, then collecting Chase Briscoe and Chris Buescher. Wallace, who won here last year, took the Stage 1 victory under caution.

The biggest crash of the race came after a restart with 31 laps remaining in Stage 2 when Wallace got into the back of Joey Logano, which sent him into the outside wall, then back into the rest of the field. That accident collected Ty Dillon, Cole Custer, Daniel Suarez, Austin Cindric, Harrison Burton, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Byron ended up winning Stage 2 as Hendrick cars finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 6th.

“Barely touched him,” Wallace stated over the radio. “It stinks. Just Talladega, I don’t know,” Logano stated of the incident. “Some people love it, can’t say that I do.” The excellent news for Logano and drivers with that very same opinion is that the following superspeedway race does not come till August 27 when the sequence heads again to Daytona.

The schedule strikes from one distinctive race monitor to a different subsequent weekend, as groups and drivers head to Dover Motor Speedway. Coverage of Sunday’s DuraMAX Drydene 400 begins at 3 PM ET on FS1.



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