Waltrip Thunders To Victory

TALLADEGA, Ala. - Michael Waltrip held off Dale Earnhardt Jr's drive for five wins in-a-row to win Sunday's EA Sports 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway. Dale Earnhardt Inc. has now won nine of the last 12 restrictor plate races.

"(The race) was fun going to the back like we did - it was a challenge, but I learned so much coming from the back to the front that when it got time to get serious we had it all figured it out," Waltrip said about his run to the front. "Great fuel efficiency and a great job by this whole NAPA Auto Parts team. You got to really appreciate it when you got them lined up behind you like I do with the NAPA team."

Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon rounded out the Top 5. Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Ricky Craven, Rusty Wallace and Mike Wallace completed the Top 10 finshers.

The scariest incident on the day came when the final caution flag was thrown when Elliott Sadler's M&M's Taurus went for a wild ride when it tumbled multiple times before coming to a rest. Sadler appeared to be OK, but was taken to a nearby hospital for further observation. The race was then red flagged and that's when Waltrip took the restart with four laps to go and never looked back.

"He said he was alert through the whole ride," said Sadler's Crew Chief Todd Parrott. "He's upset because he had a great race car that was capable of winning the race today, but the main thing is he's OK."

Points leader Matt Kenseth posted his worst finish of the season when his Ford lost an engine on lap 158. He finished 33rd.

The EA SPORTS 500 saw 41 lead changes among 17 drivers. The margin of victory was 0.095 seconds.

The NASCAR Winston Cup Series now heads to Kansas Speedway next weekend for the running of the Banquet 400.

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