Racingone Rewind: Talladega

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A look back at Tony Stewart's 33rd career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in Sunday's AMP Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway including news, notes and observations by the RacingOne staff.

Click Here to watch RacingOne's recap of the AMP Energy 500, which saw a record setting 28 different leaders. itunes Podcast

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Did you attend the AMP Energy 500? Show off your photos from over the weekend at Talladega or from a previous NASCAR race and you could be featured in an upcoming race program. Click Here to Find Out How

Ask DJ
Have a question about the AMP Energy 500? Ask ESPN Analyst Dale Jarrett by Clicking Here.

Inside Line
Tony Stewart held off Regan Smith to score his first Sprint Cup win of the season and first career Cup win at Talladega Superspeedway. Race Story | Photos

Keys to Victory Lane
Smith crossed the finish line ahead of Stewart but was below the yellow line on his pass giving Stewart the victory and ending his run of six career runner-up finishes at Talladega. Complete Results

Hero to Zero
Eight of the 12 Chase drivers were caught up in incidents on Sunday. Denny Hamlin took the biggest hit in the points, dropping two spost to 12th, after hard contact with the wall when a tire blew on his No. 11 Toyota.



Zero to Hero
Robby Gordon started 42nd on Sunday but survived the day to come home eighth.

Rookie of the Race
Despite being credited with an 18th place finish for his yellow line violation, Smith showed the freshman class he knew how to run with the leaders.

Notables
Clint Bowyer began the day 35th and finished fifth. Bobby Labonte started 32nd and came home sixth. And, Elliott Sadler took the green flag 40th and notched a 10th-place finish. Joe Nemecheck and Kenny Wallace also had respectible runs in 11th and 12th, respetcively.

Chase for the Cup
Jimmie Johnson increased his series point lead to 72 over Carl Edwards with Greg Biffle still third but now 77 behind.





AMP Energy 500 Loop Data Leaders
• Average Running Position: Paul Menard - 9.7
• Fastest Early In a Run: Joe Nemechek - 195.277 mph
• Fastest Late In a Run: Jeff Burton - 196.050 mph
• Fastest Laps Run: Michael Waltrip - 12
• Fastest on Restarts: Greg Biffle - 187.303 mph
• Most Passes During Green Flag Conditions: Bobby Labonte - 480
• Laps In Top 15: Paul Menard - 155
• Quality Passes: Matt Kenseth - 349
• Speed in Traffic: Ryan Newman - 195.223 mph

Pit Stops
• Tony Stewart captured his 33rd career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in his 350th career start. Detailed Active Driver Wins
• Stewart won the 68th race for car owner Joe Gibbs. Detailed Active Car Owner Wins
• Stewart became the second driver to win at Talladega from the 34th position. He was the third driver overall to win a race from that position. Starting Position Facts
• Stewart won the ninth race for Toyota at Talladega. All-Time Manufacturer Wins
• Paul Menard (second) notched his best career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finish.
• David Ragan (third) scored two top five finishes at Talladega in 2008 with his fourth place finish in May.
• Jeff Burton (fourth) had his best Talladega finish since 2006.
• Clint Bowyer (fifth) posted two top ten Talladega finishes in 2008.
• Bobby Labonte (sixth) had his best Talladega finish since the 2000 season (5th).
• Scott Riggs (seventh) has two top ten Talladega finishes in nine career starts.
• Robby Gordon (eighth) scored his first top ten Talladega finish since 2004.
• Jimmie Johnson (ninth) has six top ten Talladega finishes in 14 career starts.
• Elliott Sadler (tenth) scored his first top-10 Talladega finish since 2005.
• The 190-lap race saw 64 lead changes among 28 drivers and an average speed of 140.281 mph.
• Ten caution flags were thrown for 41 laps.
• The AMP Energy 500 lasted 3 hours, 36 minutes, 10 seconds.

Lug Nuts
• Johnny Benson surely had to be smiling watching the race at home knowing he got away with winning a truck race at Daytona using the same move that wasn't allowed for Regan Smith.
• You can see why some drivers don't want Talladega in the Chase.
• But, you can see why some fans love it.
• The best medicine for DEI is to run as well as they did Sunday.
• Got to feel for Travis Kvapil who looked like a legitimate winner from the pole until the day's last big pile-up.
• How did Casey Mears' girlfriend not go into labor watching Sunday's race?
• The Ryan Newman-Penske marriage is sure ending in flames.
• How many races have tires determined the outcome this year? Too many, is right.
• On the bright side, Sunday was Kyle Busch's best Chase finish at 15th.

Garage Talk
• "Without a doubt, there is a sigh of relief." - Jimmie Johnson
• "I was worried about idiots when I came here and it turned out to be my fault." - Carl Edwards
• "He made a mistake and tore up most of the field." - Kevin Harvick on Edwards
• "I think as the week goes on, everybody that’s asked will say it’s a bad call." - Regan Smith
• "We do not feel he was forced below the yellow line." - NASCAR's Jim Hunter

RacingOne Rating
On a scale of one to ten AMP Energy drinks (and we needed one after Sunday's emotion-draining race), we'll give the AMP Energy 500 an eight. As always, some incredible three and four-wide racing was on display at Talladega with heart-stopping action the minute the green flag flew. But, with all the accidents and red flags, there was also a bad case of nervousness for those watching, as well as the guys behind the wheel. Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt in some of the melees on Sunday, and the Chase standings weren't sent too upside down. Now, it's back to the heart of stock car country and the only night race in the Chase, next Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte.

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