Aarons 499 results: where they finishedMay 4, 2014 No Comments
By: Mark Schafer
A yellow flag brought the race to an abrupt halt 3/4ths of the way down the backstretch. With debris littering the frontstretch, NASCAR threw the caution flag that awarded the win to Denny Hamlin, who won his first race of the year. The win was the 24th career win for Hamlin, who made his 300th career-start.
In what proved to be a typical restrictor plate racing action, there were several comers and goers throughout the day. There were only six cautions during the entire race, including the final caution that ended the race.
Where the field of 43 finished (unofficially):
1. Denny Hamlin – For the first half of the race Denny Hamlin couldn’t be found near the top-ten, let alone sniff the lead. However taking two tires on several late pit-stops and finding the right line helped Hamlin get to the lead in the closing laps. Hamlin held off Biffle and rest of the field to take the victory on Sunday afternoon.
2. Greg Biffle – It took about a fourth of the laps for Biffle to move his No. 16 3M Ford up from his 35th starting spot, but once he got to the top of the field, Biffle showed the power that his Ford had. Biffle led most of the day, and looked primed to make a run for the win at the end of the race, but the caution flag waved before Biffle could attempt a run for the lead.
3. Clint Bowyer – Bowyer started in the back, and for the most of the day he lagged back waiting for the race to come for him. With about 30 laps to go, Bowyer picked his way through the field, and got ahead of the wrecks. From there, Bowyer helped team up the Toyota’s late in the race to move them to the front. Bowyer had teammate, Bryan Vickers behind him, to try and pust their way to the win, but the caution came too early.
4. Brian Vickers – Vickers threatened to lead the race early, picking his way through the field, but an early pit-stop penalty put him in the back of the pack. Vickers stayed there for a majority of the race, but made the right moves to get to the front later on. The caution stopped his progress forward from there.
5. A. J. Allmendinger – A second straight top-10 has Allmendinger and the JTG-Daughtry racing Chevrolet with some momemtum. Allmendinger started up front, and after falling to the back, Allmendinger wove his way through the field. Allmendinger stayed in the middle of the pack and dodged a few wrecks before working into the top-five late in the day.
6. Paul Menard – Menard looked like a Pinball bumper in the middle of the race. When Brad Keselowski wrecked, Menard’s car bounced off the wall. Later on, when Jimmie Johnson wrecked, Menards car once again bounced off a few objects. However, the No. 27 RCR owned Chevrolet sustained little damage and was in the right spot late in the race to gain a top-10 finish.
7. Kevin Harvick – Harvick was the cream of the crop for the Stewart-Haas Racing group for the day. Several times Harvick was near the lead, including on the last restart. However strategy went away along with the draft late in the race, and Harvick was shuffled back to seventh.
8. Kasey Kahne – Much of the day was quiet for Kahne. He rode around in the back of the pack waiting for the laps to happen around him. A pit stop late in the race gave Kahne the insurance of extra gas, should the race go into extra-laps. Kahne moved his way up through the field, but his run was stalled when the race ended.
9. Kyle Larson – One lap remained when Larson found himself in fourth position, with a chance to jump ahead of the leaders. However, Larson’s line was shuffled out of position and Larson’s top-five finish turned into a top-10.
10 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – Stenhouse was found mostly at the back of the pack for the day, as he rode around with the pack. After narrowly avoiding two wrecks that happened right in front of him, Stenhouse drove to the top of pack to gain the top-10 finish.
11. Landon Cassill – A career best finish was made a tad bit sweeter by the fact that Cassill’s un-sponsored Chevrolet was able to lead everyone with less than 20 laps to go. On the final restart, Cassill tried to get one more run together on the high line, but the momentum wasn’t there and he fell back to the 11th position when the caution flag ended the race.
12. Kyle Busch – Busch was in the top-5 before the final caution flag waved. On the restart though his momentum was broke as he made a run towards the lead. With no momentum, Busch fell back into the middle of the pack.
13. Aric Almirola – Almirola was stuck in the pack for most of the day, as his No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford didn’t move too far away from his 15th place starting position. In the end, Almirola was able to get in the right lane of traffic and that paved the way to his top-15 finish.
14. Casey Mears – Mears car was one of the few cars that could help a line push all day long. Mears stayed in the top-15 for most of the day, occasionally falling back into the mid-20′s, but once he joined a line, it started to move. Mears was able to push his way into the top-15 to finish the race.
15. Austin Dillon – Dillon was inches away from smacking the inside wall, and having his day end on lap 136. However, Dillon kept the car clean and in the draft for most of the afternoon. Dillon was stuck in the middle of the inside line, and had nowhere to go when the race ended under caution.
16. Michael Annett – Annett’s No. 7 Chevrolet was involved in a lap 136 wreck, but the damage was very minor. Repairs were made, and on the last restart of the race, Annett weaved in and out of traffic. He was able to find the right line to break into the top-20 to finish the race.
17. Martin Truex Jr. – Truex’s strategy for the day was to stay in the back and work his way up to the front. That strategy worked well, as his car had some trouble in the draft, but he was able to keep it clean, and work his way to a top-20 finish.
18. Ryan Newman – At one point, Newman’s No. 31 RCR Chevrolet was seen spinning down the 33 degree banking to the apron. However, Newman overcame that spin with a fast car and finding the right line at the end of the day.
19. Marcos Ambrose – Ambrose kept to himself for most of the race, racing in the back of the main pack of the field. With 20 laps to go though, Ambrose was able to drive to the front of the pack and lead a few laps. His run at the front ended when his line was over taken, and Ambrose finished the race trying to get back to the front.
20. Josh Wise – In a fan sponsored car, Wise was running well in the top-15 in the latter part of the race. His No. 98 Ford was trying to get an “upvote” on the rest of the field. However as the race wound down, Wise wasn’t able to get into the right line and had to fight for his 20th place finish.
21. Cole Whitt – Whitt had some close calls and near misses during the day. Running in the middle of the pack, Whitt had a front row and often too close for comfort seat for most of the spins. His Toyota sustained light damage during one of the spins, but Whitt was able to drive through it and recorded his finish at p-21.
22. Danica Patrick – Patrick was able to lead some laps early on in the race as she was able to mix it up with the pack. During the mid-part of the race, Patrick fell back into the pack. She was able to avoid the wrecks and finished the race on a the lead lap.
23. Jimmie Johnson – Johnson was in the top-five for most of the race, following the leaders of Biffle and Junior around the track. As the day ended, Johnson’s car which was damaged in the lap 136 wreck, started to come apart. On lap 174, Johnson spun out and caused a medium sized pile up. The No. 48 Hendricks Motorsports crew went to work though and repaired the car for a lead lap finish.
24. Terry Labonte – Most of the race, Terry Labonte stayed in the back, in case anything were to happen up front. That strategy worked, but with laps winding down, Labonte made his move to the front. Despite getting into the top-15 with fewer than 10 laps to go, Labonte was shuffled to the back of the pack where his day ended.
25. Michael Waltrip – Walrtrip rode in the back most of the day, getting a feel for the race, and when he should make his move. However, the race never came into Waltrips lap. He was caught in the back of the pack, without a way to move up, when the caution flag waved.
26. Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Being known as the piped piper at restrictor plates has its challenges, but Earnhardt was able to stay atop those challenges, as he led the second most laps at 26. However, Junior dropped back in case of an accident late in the race. After that he was never able to find the right line to get back into the top-20.
27. Justin Allgaier – Allgaier was, at one point, in the top line of a three way battle for the lead. Although Allgaier never officially led a lap, he was able to contend in the top-15 late in the race. Coming to the white flag though, Allgaier was caught up in a wreck and the nose of his car was torn off and came to rest near the start/finish line.
28. Alex Bowman – Bowman had stayed in the draft for almost the entire day, and watched two spins happen in front of him. However, the rookie’s day was hampered when he was caught up in a lap 136 spin that collected a dozen cars. Repairs were made and Bowman’s Toyota stayed clear and out of trouble and finished the race one lap down.
29. Jamie McMurray – McMurray’s day got off to a rough start when the first caution flew for a Keselowski spin. McMurray dove low into the grass and caused damage to his car. After falling several laps down, McMurray regained most of them before the race ended.
30. Carl Edwards – Despite having one of the fastest Fords on Friday and Saturday, Edwards’ day came to an end when he lost a tire late and spun into the wall. Edwards had spent much of the day in the back waiting for the big wreck to happen.
31. Ryan Truex – Much of the day was spent trying to find the right line for Truex, but he was never able to get much higher than 15th on the day. Truex’s day was made harder when he was involved in a three-car wreck that ended his day.
32. Joey Logano – Most of the race was strong for Logano and his No. 22 Penske Ford. Several times, Logano was able to run to the top of the field. Logano led the race four times for a total of 25 laps. His day was cut short when he was involved in the lap 174 wreck.
33. Kurt Busch – Busch was the strongest car for Stewart-Haas early in the day, challenging up front for the lead. However, a pit stop penalty put Bush in the back of the pack. That led to Bush being caught up in a wreck on 174.
34. Reed Sorenson – Sorenson had a quiet day at Talladega, riding around in the draft for most of the day. At one point Sorenson was able to lead a lap. However the day for the No. 36 Chevrolet ended with a wreck on lap 174.
35. David Ragan – Ragen had battled up front and for the lead for most of the day. When Ragan did fall back, he’d hop in the high line and ride it to the front. However the day ended when Ragan was caught up in the lap 174 wreck.
36. Michael McDowell – McDowell had successfully avoided two wrecks ahead of him, but when Johnson spun out, McDowell was collected in that wreck. For most of the day McDowell had been running in or around the top-25. McDowell was even able to lead a lap before getting caught up in the wreck.
37. Matt Kenseth – Kenseth was showing why he had won several plate races in his career, with another strong start to the race. However, Kenseth was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was swept into a wreck on lap 136. The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing crew made repairs, but logged laps for the rest of the race.
38. Brad Keselowski – Keselowski spun out twice on the day, the first time was when he was trying to take the lead from Danica Patick and he misjudeged a distance. It took a while for his No. 2 Penske Racing crew to repair the damage, but he came back out onto the track. On lap 136, though his car lost control in turn three and he spun, collecting several cars. More repairs were made, and Keselowski spent the rest of the race logging laps.
39. Jeff Gordon – Gordon was in a dog fight for position in several different parts of the field throughout the day. However his game of chicken came up short when he was collected in the lap 136 scuffle. Gordon’s No. 24 Hendricks Motorsports Chevrolet crew repaired the damage and Gordon returned to the track several laps down.
40. David Gilliland – Gilliland’s Ford sustained some damage in earlier accidents, Gilliland’s crew was able to repair his No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford. On lap 150, his engine gave up, and expired.
41. Trevor Bayne – Just 10 laps before lap 136, Bayne was pacing the field in his No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford. After he lost the lead he fell back into the top-15 when his car got blindsided and totaled in the lap 136 wreck.
42. Brian Scott – The pole sitter had a fast car, and although he wasn’t able to lead any laps, Scott spent much of the first part of the race in the top-10. However, Scott was shuffled back after some pit strategy and ended up getting caught in the wreck on lap 135.
43. Tony Stewart - Stewart had a great start to the race, but then came lap 136. Stewart was running in the high line about two cars deep when he was caught up in Keselowski’s wreck. The wreck destroyed both ends of the car, and ended his day.Tags: 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Season, Aaron's 499, Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR, Race Results, Talladega SuperspeedwayCoverage