Ryan Blaney edged Ryan Newman in one of the closest finishes in NASCAR history, as every playoff driver found trouble on Monday.
Ryan Blaney beat Ryan Newman by mere inches in an incredible finish at the 1000Bulbs.com 500.
Everyone expected the “Big One” at Talladega Superspeedway to cause havoc for NASCAR’s playoff drivers on Monday after Sunday’s race was rescheduled.
Yet no one could have foreseen the carnage or the type of finish as Blaney pipped Newman at the finish line for his first victory of 2019 and third of his career.
The margin of victory – 7/1,000ths of a second – is the sixth-closest finish of all-time in NASCAR’s top series.
While the victory clinches Blaney a spot in the Round of 8 in the NASCAR playoffs, other playoff drivers were not so fortunate, as all 12 were involved in one or more multicar crashes or other mayhem.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) October 14, 2019
Clint Bowyer won Stage 2 after he managed to avoid “the Big One” on lap 106 when Alex Bowman – who was running in second place – got turned around on the backstretch while trying to block a charging Joey Logano.
Playoff drivers Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson were also caught in the crash.
The yellow flag came out with 36 laps remaining after Bowyer went for a solo spin off Turn 4 and needed a wrecker to help get his car unstuck from the steep banking. A few laps later, another big crash erupted when a chain-reaction pileup in the lower drafting line got Byron loose, and he turned into Logano, as the two collected several other cars. While Logano returned to the track, Byron was finished for the day.
With less than 10 laps remaining, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski were involved in another big crash, which saw Brendan Gaughan go briefly airborne.
Blaney led the way on the restart with two laps remaining and held off the rest of the field as yet another multicar crash broke out on the final lap.