Iracingone Rewind:/I Talladega

Inside Line
Dale Jarrett raced to his first win in 98 races after surviving Sunday's wreck filled UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Lap Summary | Complete Results

Keys to Victory Lane
Survival. Jarrett was able to outlast the day of carnage and was really in the right place at the right time, driving his Robert Yates Racing Ford to the front of the field and being in the lead when the final caution was displayed for Kyle Petty's crash on the backstretch to end the race.

Highway to Hell
How about the Super Highway to Hell this week. "The Big One" was an understatement on Sunday with multiple horrendous accidents that saw Michael Waltrip and Scott Riggs getting the worst of the mess, both flipping and rolling upside down. Riggs' crash was particularly terrifying, and to see him crawl out and give an interview on national television ten minutes later after going end over end was remarkable - and thankful.

Zero to Hero
After failing post-qualifying inspection and having his crew chief ejected from the track, Kevin Harvick was able to battle from the 42nd starting position to finish 10th.

Hero to Zero
Lots of contenders for this one including polesitter Elliott Sadler, who got clipped by Jimmie Johnson to start the day's first melee. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. would have definitely been in contention for a win with a strong car, but he too was wiped out in the day's opening mess.

Chase for the Cup
Talk about the "Chase" wild card race - Talladega played havoc with the championship race. Stewart is back on top with Newman only four points behind. But the rest of the field is in big trouble with Rusty Wallace 76 back and Johnson 82 out, while the likes of Mark Martin and Kurt Busch sit ninth and tenth in the standings, 138 and 180 points out of the lead, respectively.

Pit Stops
  • Dale Jarrett won his first race since North Carolina Speedway on February 23, 2003. It was his 32nd win in his 596th start.
  • Jarrett became the 14th different winner in 2005 and the fifth oldest driver to win at 48, 10 months, six days.
  • Jarrett led two times for two laps.
  • This was car owner Robert Yates' fourth win at Talladega and 57th overall.
  • Jarrett became the 164th driver to win from the second starting position.
  • Today marked the 565th win for Ford.
  • Tony Stewart finished second and added to his series leading 14 top fives. It was his fifth runner-up finish of the season and second consecutive at Talladega.
  • Matt Kenseth (third) captured his best finish at Talladega in 12 starts.
  • Ryan Newman (fourth) equaled his best finish at Talladega and climbed to within four points of series point leader Tony Stewart.
  • Carl Edwards and Brian Vickers, who finished fifth and sixth, respectively, scored their first top-10 finishes at Talladega.
  • Sterling Marlin (seventh) captured his 17 top-10 finish in his 45th race at Talladega.
  • Kurt Busch (eighth) has now finished in the top 10 in the last three races at Talladega. It was his seventh overall top 10 in 10 career races.
  • Joe Nemechek finished ninth for his fifth top 10 in 22 starts at Talladega.
  • Kevin Harvick (10th) has now finished 12th or better in the last six races at Talladega.
  • Jamie McMurray (12th) recorded the fastest lap of the race at 193.049 mph on lap 176.
  • The 190-lap race saw 50 lead changes - the most in a race this season.

    Lug Nuts
  • Think Ford is glad they sponsored today's race? Jarrett was the first Ford to visit Victory Lane at Talladega since he won this event in 1998.
  • Jimmie Johnson will be off at least ten drivers' Christmas lists after Sunday.
  • A top 10 for Sterling Marlin. Talk about "Back to the Future."
  • Although Senior Editor Jeff Wackerlin's "Idol" of choice would be Carrie Underwood, nice job on the National Anthem by Bo Bice.
  • Think Rusty Wallace isn't drinking a cold Miller Lite knowing he'll never have to strap in at Talladega again?
  • OK pit reporters, enough of the nicknames. We don't want to hear Tony Stewart called "Smoke," or even worse Greg Biffle referred to as "The Biff." And stop referring to each other with the pet names too while we're at it...BP and AB and Matty and Burnsy sound like characters from a PBS kids' show.

    Garage Talk
    "I told Robert (Yates) before Dover. I went out on a limb and I promised him that I would get the 88 UPS car back in Victory Lane before the end of the year."
    -Dale Jarrett

    "Good'ol Talladega. Just another day at the race track. We come here for the fans and for TV - to put on a show and they got to see a great show today."
    -Greg Biffle

    "I'm really upset at Jimmie (Johnson). I guess he's trying to keep his streak alive. He caused a big wreck here last year and he caused a big one this year."
    -Elliott Sadler

    "Racing is what we get paid to do. The 48 got into the 38, and I ran into them. That was an accident, and accidents happen."
    -Dale Earnhardt Jr.

    "The fans are the only ones that can do something about this (restrictor-plate racing). No one else can - the drivers can't, the owners can't and NASCAR's not gonna do anything about it."
    -Mark Martin

    "It's in our hands, the drivers' hands, to control. I think the bump-drafting is ridiculous. And I hope we can learn a lesson from things like this, but it doesn't seem like we do."
    -Jeff Gordon

    RacingOne Rating
    On a scale of one to ten Allstate Insurance Policies (the official insurance company of NASCAR), we'll give Sunday's UAW-Ford 500 a flat 5. We've officially become concerned, scared and bored by the plate races at Talladega and NASCAR has reached a crossroads in that something has to be done about racing at this 2.66-mile monster. Much of the blame for Sunday's carnage lays in the hands of the drivers, however, who claim to be the best in the world. From what we saw on Sunday, there are better drivers on the highways and byways of America than in the NEXTEL Cup Series today. Hopefully a trip to America's heartland and Kansas Speedway next weekend will calm everyone down.
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