The boys put on a good show at Talladega, with a record number of lead changes and plenty of action throughout most of the race. Predictably, the end came down to multiple multiple-car pileups and three attempts at a green-white-checkered finish.
My picks all had interesting days:
1. Kasey Kahne: The poor guy received a huge amount of bad luck. First, he had a bad sparkplug and fell through the field. He got it fixed, and later led the race for awhile. Then he had trouble getting on pit road and went a lap down. Got his lap back, only to get dinged in someone else’s accident. Got back on the lead lap again, only to get bashed in one of the big late crashes. Finished 21st.
2. Clint Bowyer: I didn’t see much of Bowyer today, but he came home a solid 7th.
3. Greg Biffle: Biffle took it easy early, then surged to the front late. He was in position for a great finish, but on the final restart he faded. He may have run out of gas.
4. Jeff Burton: As suspected, Burton had a great car, but he was collected in the same late crash that took out Jeff Gordon.
5. Kevin Harvick: Harvick ran around at the back much of the day. With roughly 50 laps to go, he charged to the front, and then won it with a thrilling last-second pass.
6. Dale Jr.: Earnhardt also had a great car, stirring memories of his dominance several years back. He was in position to get a great finish but didn’t get with a fast line on the final restart.
7. Jamie McMurray: Like Harvick, McMurray bided his time, then charged. He was good for the win until Harvick edged him at the line.
The Gibbs Toyotas looked strong today, including sophomore Joey Logano. Keep them in mind for the July race in Daytona and the fall bash-up at Talladega.
David Reutimann also had a good machine. Heck, so did teammate and semi-retired Michael Waltrip (until he was collected in a crash). Keep those guys in mind at upcoming plate races as well.
My Yahoo! Fantasy Picks
Bah! Biffle was set to score mucho points, but as discussed above…
Kurt Busch salvaged a rough day with a solid 8th place finish.
Hooray, Harvick and McMurray run 1-2!
As discussed, Kahne suffered through a terrible day. Keselowski didn’t seem to have much today, and then he was snared in one of the late pileups anyway.
Regan Smith looked pretty good. He motored up to the front mid-race, and even led a bit. Unfortunately, his engine then puked.
Scott Speed didn’t show much today, and then appeared to get caught up in a crash. He rallied to finish 15th though.