Tony Stewart Wins AMP Energy 500 at Talladega
After just barely surviving a mass of collisions at the AMP Energy 500 on Sunday, October 5, an exuberant Tony Stewart managed to take home the winner’s trophy. This was his first ever win at Talladega Superspeedway and Stewart certainly had a lot to be thankful for after a very difficult and trying race.
The Talladega Superspeedway is known for its ability to produce excitement – lots of it. The race held here on Sunday was certainly no exception to the rule. Things got really hair-raising just fourteen laps from the end of the race when Carl Edward’s Ford lost grip on the track and spun out. This created a chain-reaction, which left a number of cars spinning all over the track. Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Matt Kenseth were amongst those caught in the mess. All four of them are engaged in the battle for NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, so the tangle would have caused a fair amount of frustration. Juan Pablo Montoya, Dave Blaney, Michael Waltrip, Travis Kvapil and Reed Sorensen were less fortunate and were either sidelined or seriously damaged in the incident. By the end of it, Tony Stewart was able to pull out ahead of the pack. But he wasn’t about to have it easy. Rookie Regan Smith was hot on his tail for most of the remainder of the race and he even made a last-minute attempt to pass the two-time champion. Unfortunately for Smith, passing below the yellow line is prohibited in NASCAR rules.
Despite his attempts to get into first place on the last lap, it was Smith’s teammate Paul Menard who eventually crossed the finish line in second place. Officials didn’t take Smith’s unruly behaviour very well and, as punishment for his rule violation, Smith was moved back to 18th place. David Ragan finished third, Burton claimed fourth place and Bowyer finished fifth. The race set a new all-time record for leaders in a race with 27 drivers taking the lead during the course of the race. The ever-changing race leaders gave the crowds plenty to cheer for and there wasn’t a dull moment at Talladega that day!