TALLADEGA, Ala. — A pair of Davids slayed the Goliaths at Talladega Superspeedway.
David Ragan hooked up with teammate David Gilliland in a two-lap overtime sprint, and together they picked off some of the top drivers in NASCAR to drive to the front and push Ragan into Victory Lane.
It was the second career victory for Ragan — he also won at Daytona in July 2011 — and Gilliland finished second for a 1-2 finish for Front Row Motorsports.
The victory came a day after Regan Smith won the Nationwide Series race and Ragan was flooded with misfired congratulatory messages on Twitter.
“All fans- please send all congrats to (at)ReganSmith. Not this Ragan..... He is the Winner today!! Haha,” he tweeted Saturday night.
The race took seven hours to complete after rain stopped it for 3 hours, 36 minutes midway through the event. With darkness quickly closing in, contact between Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and J.J. Yeley triggered a frightening crash that sent Kurt Busch’s car airborne and on top of Ryan Newman’s car.
Newman has been in numerous harrowing accidents at Daytona and Talladega, where NASCAR uses restrictor-plates to control the speeds, and was sharp with his criticism after exiting the infield care center. He also criticized NASCAR for continuing the race with darkness closing in on the track so quickly.
“That’s no way to end a race,” he said. “That’s just poor judgment in restarting the race, poor judgment. I mean, you got what you wanted, but poor judgment and running in the dark and running in the rain. That’s it, thank you.”
NASCAR sent the race into overtime after the final accident for one attempt at a green-white-checkered finish, and the two Front Row drivers teamed up to steal the win and give Ford a sweep of the top three positions as Carl Edwards finished third.