Hail storms can't dampen Talladega's excitement -NOTES by Lugnut - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

NASCAR NOTES: Hail storms can't dampen Talladega's excitement

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Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy" Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy"
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TALLADEGA, AL (RNN) -

Talladega Speedway has long been known for its exciting racing action. However, the fans at Sunday's Aaron's 499 Cup Series event experienced some additional excitement in another form as a large thunderstorm with one-eighth-inch hail that halted the event with 63 laps to go.

Prior to the rain, Talladega lived up to its hype and the fans saw three wide, door-to-door battles all the way around the 2.66-mile high banks.

With that type of close racing, it was only a manner of time before the big wreck happened. It came on lap 44 as Kyle Busch turned Kasey Kahne, taking out many of the top contenders.

"I felt the No. 18 pushing me, and next thing I know, I was spinning. You just can't push with these cars," commented Kahne after the incident. "We both probably understand what happened and we will figure it out from there."

After the cleanup, the racing action continued with most drivers content to just log some laps waiting on the rain to move in. When sprinkles began to fall on lap 125, Carl Edwards made a surprise move that propelled him into the lead, which resulted in him being the leader under the rain delay.

"I never had a trophy from Talladega," said Edwards on being the leader during the red flag period. "I was kind of really hoping for rain."

Unfortunately for Edwards, the thunderstorms moved out of the area. At that point, NASCAR's new Titan drying system worked to perfection and the action resumed with Edwards at the point.

It didn't take long for the intensity to return as drivers jockeyed for position. With less than 10 laps to go, the intensity got out of control again, resulting in an accident that sent many of the strong teams to the garage and set up a green-white-checkered finish.

As you know, Talladega has been known for unexpected finishes, and this was no different as the underfunded team from Front Row Motorsports surprised the field and stole the victory from Edwards for their first win as a team.

"We're a little team building, feel like we're getting better each and every week," said race winner David Ragan. "Anything like this for an organization like Front Row Motorsports or any organization is very big."

It was a total team effort as Ragan's teammate, David Gilliland, pushed him to victory on the final lap, giving Front Row a one-two finish.

"I still obviously want to get that first win, but today wasn't the day," said Gilliland on his team's success. "We'll take second for sure, and a first with our teammate, that's a big day."

It was a total David vs. Goliath moment, and Edwards was impressed with how the Front Row team stuck together and brought home the victory.

"I thought we were going to win it until I saw these guys coming," commented Edwards on losing out on the final lap. "These guys got by and we had a one-two-three finish for Ford, which is huge, and I know it's huge for these guys and Front Row Motorsports."

Regardless of whether they win another race this season or not, Front Row will cherish this victory for a long time.

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