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Underdogs have their day in ‘Dega

May 6, 2013, 6:00 PM EDT

Aaron's 499 Getty Images

In what was easily the biggest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series surprise win since a then-rookie, Brad Keselowski, did so at Talladega in 2009 for James Finch, David Ragan and David Gilliland swept through the field to take a shock 1-2 result for Front Row Motorsports on Sunday at Talladega.

But they weren’t the only ones. As in Daytona, a handful of underfunded or part-time entrants also cracked the top 10.

Michael Waltrip made his second start of 2013, first actually with Michael Waltrip Racing (drove a Swan Racing Toyota in the Daytona 500), and finished fourth.

Regan Smiththe winner of Saturday’s chaotic Nationwide race – grabbed a top-10 for Finch’s Phoenix Racing in sixth.

And Scott Speed, the ex-Formula One driver for Scuderia Toro Rosso and the last American driver to race in F1, scored the first top-10 finish for the Leavine Family Racing team in ninth (No. 95, right).

Speed may have erred in the last restart, per the Associated Press’s Jenna Fryer. She tweeted from that from her notes, the restart order originally had Ragan eighth, Speed ninth and Brad Keselowski tenth, although they actually restarted Speed, Keselowski and Ragan. NASCAR made no penalty call at the time and Keselowski spent Sunday night on Twitter fuming about the alleged mistake.

David Stremme (Swan Racing Toyota, 12th) and Josh Wise (the third Front Row Ford, 19th) also posted their best results of the season.

  1. wgray981 - May 6, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    Of course…when the Rouch cars were all in the top-5 NASCAR wouldn’t dare call the race. F*cking cheaters, there’s a reason why your stands are emptying.

    • icemanpjn - May 7, 2013 at 4:07 AM

      That’s not why seats are empty. Motorsports in general are seeing declining attendance and viewership, and a big problem for NASCAR is casual fandom. They advertise NASCAR as constant excitement, crashes, and fist fights to lure in knuckle-dragging primates who tune in to find that 95% of the time it doesn’t look like what’s in the commercials. Eventually they lose interest and move on. If they want fans turning up to watch cars being driven rather than barrel-rolling on fire, they need to advertise NASCAR as driving rather than a demolition derby.

  2. burm61 - May 6, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    If you’re going to complain about your team getting screwed, which they weren’t, atleast spell Roush correctly. NASCAR does a great job at never calling a race too soon. Last year’s 500 is a perfect example. Track on fire, already delayed into Monday night, and an underdog team and driver (Dave Blaney/Tommy Baldwin Racing) leading. NASCAR could’ve easily called it and nobody would’ve argued but they do try to finish for the fans.

  3. badgerbuck - May 6, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    Still looks like Johnson will win his sixth championship,yawn,that’s why NASCAR has lost it’s mojo same guy every year sick of it.

    • icemanpjn - May 7, 2013 at 4:01 AM

      So, what you would prefer is that random people win it rather than victory going to the best combination of driver and team. Having certain drivers winning more often suggests that there is something about them and/or the team that gets them there rather than it just being dumb luck. You seem to disagree with cream rising to the top in favor of just random winners licking into it.

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