By Lou Modestino
The 8 hours of Talledega
David Ragan was a 100-1 shot going into Talledega's NASCAR Sprint Cup race on Sunday. But he ended up being at the right place at the right time in the green and white checker that brought that NASCAR Sprint Cup race to a merciful end. Leading when it really counted, the Georgia driver proved a point that almost anybody left in that field had a chance at that win. But you also had to be on top of your game and lucky enough to survive up to the end in order to be in contention. Another factor that made the final laps of the race tense as that the track was quickly running out of daylight.
"I'm a low key guy. I'd just like to thank everyone that helped me get here. I don't know what else to say, " said the winner. It was also Ragan's second career win. Equally suprised at his performance was his teamate and runner-up Dave Gilliland. "I'm very proud of my team. This is awesome. I didn't dare to back off," said the second place finisher. As it turned out both were able to work together to finish one-two in the final laps of that long afternoon grind.
Both drivers were among the survivors who were able to avoid those huge crashers that eliminated many of the top runners in the field. Replacing those cars for the teams is very expensive even for the well sponsored organizations. For some teams not as wealthy, those wrecks that totally destroy the racing cars can put them out of business. Given the way the races are run, we don't see any solution on those restrictor plate tracks.
When all of the dust settled, Jimmie Johnson was still in the Sprint Cup point lead. "In a race like this, you have to be up in the top 4 to 6 in order to have a chance at a win.,' he said.
Complicating the race was a three hour and forty-six minute rain delay. NASCAR, it seemed, was determined to give the fans a complete race. The race got the red flag with just 63 laps remaining in that wreck-filled race. One of the attributing factors was four-wide racing which played a major part in destroying a good part of the field.
On the under card, Ragan Smith won the Nationwide race followed by Joey Logano and Kasey Kahne which finished under a yellow flag. Smith also leads the Nationwide points over Sam Hornish, Jr.
Down in Rio, Canadian James Hinchcliffe won his second IZOD Indy Car race of the season when he was able to pull off a last lap pass over Takuma Sato. In the other two previous Indy Car races, Hinchliffe had two dnf's. Penske driver Helio Castro-Neves, though, still leads the point chase as the next race on that schedule moves to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Across the Atlantic, Dani Pedrosa won the FIM MotoGP at the Jaurez circuit in Spain.
Check Jayski.com to see what's happening over the Mother's Day weekend which will be rather thin.