|Brad Keselowski celebrates his sixth career Sprint Cup race (Courtesy Getty Images)|
When the race went green, Matt Kenseth was able to grab the lead with a bump from teammate Greg Biffle. Tony Stewart had other plans however, and worked his way in between the 17 and 16. Kenseth was able to lead until lap 25, when Michael Waltrip got a huge push from Denny Hamlin to take the lead. Waltrip was running in the 55 car, which was vacated by Mark Martin for this race.
At around lap 44, Ryan Newman began to overheat, and his Chevrolet soon began to push water out of the engine. Newman took his car to the garage, and his crew went to work on getting him back out. On lap 58, Denny Hamlin pulled off the track to begin a round of green flag pit stops. By lap 62, everyone pitted and Jimmie Johnson inherited the lead. Johnson's lead only lasted two laps, when his car began to smoke and his engine let go. Johnson's crew chief Chad Knaus said that it was a broken belt. Johnson's crew took the car to the garage, while Dale Earnhardt. Jr. inherited the lead from his Hendrick Motorsports teammate.
|Johnson's day ended early with engine problems (Courtesy Getty Images)|
|"Shake and Bake" (Courtesy Getty Images)|
With about 50 laps to go, many drivers began to run out of fuel. This problem caused the Big One. On lap 141, Aric Almirola got into Dave Blaney who shot across the track into Juan Pablo Montoya and Carl Edwards. The wreck also collected Landon Cassil, Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr., Terry Labonte, and Joey Logano. Paul Menard led the field to the green flag. Menard was on pit road when the caution came out, and he inherited the lead when everyone else pitted under the caution.
|The first "Big One" (Courtesy Getty Images)|
On lap 176, Casey Mears spun around after contact from Marcos Ambrose. As he was trying to save it, he clipped Trevor Bayne and turned him around. The restart came with 9 laps to go, and Matt Kenseth led the field to the green flag. On lap 181, Kurt Busch got turned by Brad Keselowski going through the trioval. Then, in a move that had shades of Ricky Bobby, he drove up pit road the wrong way to get to his pit stall.
The restart came with four laps to go, with Kenseth and Keselowski the leaders. The race didn't go green for long, as AJ Allmendinger tried to block Denny Hamlin and started a melee at the front of the field. Also involved were the cars of Paul Menard, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Tony Stewart, Michael Waltrip, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, and Robert Richardson. Under the caution, Denny Hamlin's left rear tire erupted and tore the rear window out of the car, as well as spreading foam and everything else inside the car all over the track.
The caution set up a green-white-checker finish, and it put some stress on Brad Keselowski, who was going to be close on fuel. Matt Kenseth led Keselowski to the green flag with two laps to go. When the field took the green, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle blew away from the field, and it may have cost them the race. The field caught up to them and sped by, with the tandem of Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch pulling away from everyone else. Kyle Busch pushed Keselowski into Turn 3, and got off the back bumper of the 2 car. It seemed like Busch was going to use the draft to slingshot around him, but he couldn't get close enough. Keselowski was able to hold off the field to win the second Talladega race of his career.
|Brad Keselowski pulls away from Kyle Busch (Courtesy Getty Images)|
After a month-long stretch of races without wrecks, Talladega did not disappoint, delivering two Big Ones. Next week, the Sprint Cup Series races on Saturday night under the lights at "The Track Too Tough to Tame," Darlington Raceway. The Bojangles' Southern 500 will be run next Saturday, and can be seen at 6:30 on FOX.
|Courtesy Getty Images|