Monday Rundown: A playoffs shakeup at Talladega
Jamie McMurray was the first playoffs driver to crash out at Talladega, but he figured he wouldn't be the last. Wrecks put him, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. on the outside looking in with one race left to make the semifinals.
A little luck, a lot of skill, Brad Keselowski comes up clutch at Talladega
Brad Keselowski came into Sunday's race at Talladega believing he needed to win to have a shot at advancing to the semifinals of NASCAR's playoffs. With that accomplished, Martinsville in two weeks looms large if he hopes to make the final four.
Keselowski emerges victorious in Dale Jr.'s last race at Talladega.
Brad Keselowski keeps his championship hopes alive with a wild win in a race that featured three red flags.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced on Instagram that he and wife Amy are expecting their first child, a baby girl. No due date was announced.
Leavine Family Racing announced it has released crew chief Todd Parrott and named engineer Jon Leonard as interim crew chief. Driver Michael McDowell, who is being replaced by Kasey Kahne next year, is 27th in the NASCAR Cup standings with five races remaining in the season.
Dale Jr. happy to leave Talladega in good health
Dale Earnhardt Jr. survived the accidents and left his final race at Talladega Superspeedway with a seventh-place finish -- and most importantly in good health.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s outlook on his seventh-place finish at Talladega and his prospects on winning a race in the remaining five events:
Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he was worried about the Talladega race as far as suffering another concussion but he didn't race scared.
Keselowski into 3rd round with Talladega win
Brad Keselowski picked up the win he needed to continue his championship chances with a victory Sunday in a sloppy playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway.
When the dust and smoke settled at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday — and there was plenty of both — Brad Keselowski won with a last-lap pass of Ryan Newman to get himself safely to the Round of 8 in the playoffs.
Brad Keselowski wins at Talladega as only 14 cars finished the race. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was seventh.
Jimmie Johnson was upset that NASCAR ruled that his team worked on the car under the red flag. Johnson, after coming out of the medical center, said he wants credit for another lap. Johnson: "I hope Chad [Knaus] can get to the bottom of [it]. Us and a couple of other cars were on pit road and our guys started working on the car and I guess it was too soon. It was some miscommunication somewhere and hopefully we can get that rectified. There were a lot of cars that we passed on pit road that are points for us."
The race at Talladega is under its third red flag because of accidents late in the race. Chase Elliott's car suffered significant damage. There will be about a dozen cars running with five laps remaining. Only three playoff drivers — Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth are among them. Dale Earnhardt Jr. also is still running.
Another red flag at Talladega after a crash that includes Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney and Danica Patrick.
The race at Talladega has resumed after a 16-car crash. This is Martin Truex's car. He was not injured.
Kyle Busch's car comes back on a rollback after a 16-car crash at Talladega. He was uninjured.
NASCAR has stopped the race at Talladega with 16 laps remaining after an accident collected Kurt Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch and others.
The final stage is on at Talladega as drivers are trying to position themselves to at least have a shot at the finish. There are 60 laps remaining.
Ryan Blaney won the second stage at Talladega. It was his fourth stage win of the season. Fords have won the opening two stages. There are 78 laps remaining.
Brad Keselowski won the opening stage Sunday at Talladega. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who started on the pole, is 27th after penalties for pitting too soon and speeding on pit road.
Drivers involved in the early accident at Talladega are OK. Jamie McMurray took the blame. McMurray: "I just thought we were all coming in as a group to pit road. I didn't realize that those guys (such as Kyle Busch) weren't pitting. So it's my fault for kind of assuming that."
After Jamie McMurray spun, he was tagged by Jeffrey Earnhardt, whose car suffered heavy damage.
Playoff driver Jamie McMurray's car is towed to the garage after a crash early in the race at Talladega.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has won the last two restrictor-plate races as he returns to Talladega, where he earned his first career Cup win in May. Stenhouse, who starts fifth, said: "We have a starting spot up front and that's really all we need. We're in a good spot because we can see the front."
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is on the pole for the first time in his 35 career NASCAR Cup starts at Talladega, a track where he has six wins in his career. He has sat on the front row for the three other restrictor-plate races this year but has settled for finishes of 37th, 22nd and 32nd. Earnhardt: "You have to be aggressive. You can't be afraid to make that move that you need to make no matter how early or in the middle of the race. You can't wait around and hope that it's going to play out… You can't try to be smart and safe all day and assume you'll be up front when it matters."
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