Skip to content

Two Davids beat NASCAR’s Goliaths at Talladega

May 5, 2013, 8:59 PM EDT

A long, seven-hour odyssey for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway ended with David Ragan (pictured) and David Gilliland pulling off a shocking 1-2 finish in overtime for the small Front Row Motorsports operation.

Prior to today, Ragan was perhaps best known for losing the 2011 Daytona 500 after being black-flagged for changing lanes before reaching the start/finish line on a restart during green-white-checkered mode. But on the final lap of today’s G-W-C climax, Ragan got a push from teammate Gilliland to take the lead from Carl Edwards in Turn 3 and held on for his second career Cup win.

“I don’t know what to say — this is a true David vs. Goliath moment here,” Ragan said to Fox Sports in Victory Lane. “We got [sponsor] FarmRich on our Ford this weekend and this was their first chance at a NASCAR race. They’re not all this easy.

“But man, this is special to get Front Row Motorsports their first win. It feels like I’ve never been here before.”

Runner-up Gilliland was equally thrilled, saying that it had been his dream to get Front Row Motorsports and team owner/restaurant entrepreneur Bob Jenkins to Victory Lane in the Cup Series.

“That’s about as much as I could help today,” he said to Fox. “I’m very proud of our whole team…An underfunded team coming in here and being able to finish 1-2 is awesome. Very proud of David Ragan — I know he would’ve done the same for me.

“We were pushing and I was locked on to his bumper, and I wasn’t gonna let go.”

The stunning result was set up by an equally stunning crash with six laps remaining that put the race into G-W-C mode. Traveling in a major pack on the backstretch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and J.J. Yeley made contact in the outside lanes that sent the latter into Marcos Ambrose and then Kurt Busch, who flipped over and onto the oncoming Ryan Newman. Multiple other drivers were collected in the incident, including notables such as Clint Bowyer, Jeff Gordon and Danica Patrick.

With darkness continuing to descend upon Talladega (which does not have a lighting system), NASCAR opted to run one G-W-C attempt instead of its usual three attempts, which is how Saturday’s Nationwide Series race at the track ended as well. And like with that particular race, the darkness played a factor in today’s finish because of rain; the wet stuff put the race under the caution flag at Lap 124 and then the red flag at 3:18 p.m. ET.

The subsequent delay for weather and track drying lasted for roughly three and a half hours before cars were re-fired and sent out to finish the race.

Latest Posts
  1. Ford Racing has some fun to celebrate Mustang’s 50th anniversary (video)

    Apr 17, 2014, 5:32 PM EDT

    (Photo and video courtesy of Ford Racing) (Photo and video courtesy of Ford Racing)

    Whether you like it or not, you can’t say the Ford Mustang doesn’t have staying power. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this month, the Mustang has become one of the premier muscle car brands ever made by Detroit.

  2. NASCAR has shown outstanding parity through first eight races of 2014

    Apr 17, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

    Kevin Harvick is the only two-time winner thus far in the first eight races of the 2014 Sprint Cup season. AP

    NASCAR chairman Brian France’s unwavering stance to bring parity to the sport during his 10-year tenure is finally paying dividends.

  3. VIDEO: Chinese GP Paddock Pass

    Apr 17, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT

    Alonso

    News and notes from the ground in China from NBCSN’s Will Buxton.

  4. BREAKING NEWS: Swan Racing’s future in NASCAR in question

    Apr 17, 2014, 3:17 PM EDT

    Swan Getty Images

    Just eight races into the Sprint Cup season, the future of the two-car Swan Racing team is looking rather murky, with the potential of everything from reorganization to scaling back involvement, if not outright shutting down.

  5. MotorSportsTalk’s predictions: Chinese GP

    Apr 17, 2014, 3:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of China - Previews Getty Images

    F1 heads to China with change in the wind, only making the predictions harder for our experts.

  6. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 p.m. ET — Gene Haas, Kyle Larson, Scan All 43

    Apr 17, 2014, 2:06 PM EDT

    140417-NASCAR-AMERICA

    Thursday on NASCAR AMERICA, the team will cover a lot of ground, including talking with NASCAR team owner Gene Haas about his foray into Formula One. Rick Allen and Kyle Petty man the anchor desk from our Charlotte studio. Remember to tune in at at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra for your online or mobile device.

  7. Long Beach weekend atmosphere thrills Roger Daltrey, as he promotes Teen Cancer America

    Apr 17, 2014, 1:24 PM EDT

    All photos: Honda/LAT All photos: Honda/LAT

    The Who founder and lead singer paid a visit to Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend, and soaked it all in while also raising awareness for Teen Cancer America.

  8. Young go-kart racer shows what true racing and determination is all about

    Apr 17, 2014, 1:05 PM EDT

    Screen-Shot-2014-04-17-at-2.25

    The Internet is like coming to a strange five-way intersection that you’ve never seen before. No matter which way you decide to go, you’re bound to find something new and different. So as we were looking for something else, we stumbled upon this video of 7-year-old go-kart racer Ryan Rifredi in a race from December…

  9. Button has faith in Haas Formula and second US GP

    Apr 17, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of China - Previews Getty Images

    2009 world champion believes that if anyone can make an American F1 team work, it’s Gene Haas.

  10. Vettel focusing on damage limitation in China

    Apr 17, 2014, 12:30 PM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of China - Previews Getty Images

    Defending world champion banking on a top five finish in China.

  11. Rosberg and Hamilton set to talk about Bahrain battle

    Apr 17, 2014, 11:30 AM EDT

    Hamilton of Britain is congratulated by Rosberg of Germany on the podium after he won the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir Reuters

    Rosberg felt that Hamilton overstepped the mark with one of his moves in Bahrain.

  12. Alonso: We’re ready to fight back in China

    Apr 17, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of China - Previews Getty Images

    After Stefano Domenicali’s departure, there’s a change in the wind at Ferrari.

  13. IMSA: Muscle Milk pulls out of TUDOR Championship; next move TBD

    Apr 17, 2014, 9:52 AM EDT

    2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona - Preview Getty Images

    Muscle Milk Pickett Racing withdraws from the TUDOR Championship, after previously announcing a temporary hiatus.

  14. 2014 Chinese Grand Prix Preview

    Apr 17, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

    F1 Grand Prix of China - Previews Getty Images

    The final eastern adventure until October looks to be a Mercedes game once again, but a number of other stories are set to define the weekend.

  15. True Americana with a racing twist: Martinsville Speedway once again hosts high school prom after-party

    Apr 16, 2014, 8:40 PM EDT

    Two weeks after NASCAR made its most recent visit there, Martinsville Speedway's infield was transformed from a racing venue to a prom after party for students of Martinsville High School. (Photo courtesy Martinsville Speedway) Two weeks after NASCAR made its most recent visit there, Martinsville Speedway's infield was transformed from a racing venue to a prom after party for students of Martinsville High School. (Photo courtesy Martinsville Speedway)

    What do Martinsville Speedway, New York’s Central Park and a prom after-party have in common? They’re all one-in-the-same – kind of. For over a decade every April, NASCAR’s oldest racetrack has played host to Martinsville (Va.) High School’s prom after-party.

  16. Cooler heads prevail as IndyCar drivers test at Texas (VIDEO)

    Apr 16, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT

    Credit: Texas Motor Speedway Credit: Texas Motor Speedway

    A few days after a wild Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, 18 car/driver combinations turned laps at Texas Motor Speedway this afternoon.

  17. Four-Wide win ties Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Andrew Hines with late NHRA legend, friend John Myers

    Apr 16, 2014, 8:09 PM EDT

    Andrew Hines (photo courtesy NHRA) Andrew Hines (photo courtesy NHRA)

    Sunday’s win in the Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway held special significance for NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Andrew Hines. The three-time NHRA PSM champion earned his 33rd national event win, tying him for third in Pro Stock Motorcycle’s wins list with the late John Myers.

  18. Motivation for Luiz Razia? The Long Beach podium staring him in the face

    Apr 16, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    F1 Testing in Jerez - Day Four Getty Images

    Schmidt Peterson driver Luiz Razia posts photo of the Long Beach podium to inspire him to get better.

  19. Marcus Jadotte, led NASCAR’s diversity initiative, leaving sanctioning body

    Apr 16, 2014, 7:29 PM EDT

    Marcus Jadotte

    Marcus Jadotte, one of the leading forces behind NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program over nearly the last decade, announced Wednesday that he’s leaving as the organization’s vice president of public affairs and multicultural development.

Today on NASCAR AMERICA

More from NASCAR America

Inside the Goodyear tire test at Kansas

Featured video

Recapping a race under Baharain lights
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. McMurray (24134)
  2. K. Harvick (6953)
  3. M. McDowell (3423)
  4. C. Edwards (1729)
  5. T. Bayne (1378)
  1. A. Seuss (1227)
  2. K. Busch (1227)
  3. J. Logano (1204)
  4. T. Stewart (1092)
  5. J. Bertuccio (995)