JONATHAN FJELD RECAPS TALLADEGA

4/19/11

   Sunday, the Aarons 499 occurred and we all knew there was gonna be some sort of action with the 2 car tango going on. NASCAR on FOX also called the 2 car tango, speed dating. We also thought about other things you see at Talladega such as the big one. It's the same song and dance, people wondering, "When's the big one gonna struck?" or "It's not a matter of if but when."

   As the race got going, sure enough there you see 2 by 2 drafts or 2 car tangos racing. The race went on and on about lap 6, Jeff Gordon with the push from Mark Martin took the lead. This would be the 1st of a record-tying 88 lead changes to come.

   Caution, however would come out on lap 28. Landon Cassill, getting pushed by Kurt Busch, got turned into Brian Vickers. Vickers would go into the wall and knock him out of contention for the day. Cassill would have damage and be out of contention too.

   Green flag flew again, this time we'd have a 59 lap green flag run. Lap 90, Kurt Busch turns Brad Keselowski and causes a wreck involving Kasey Kahne who had his car engulfed in flames, David Ragan, Trevor Bayne, and Jeff Burton with some damage.

   Green flag, lap 96. After a debris caution, they went 8 laps green when a pileup on the backstretch that involved Kyle Busch, AJ Allmendinger, and Matt Kenseth. Busch would be out of contention while Kenseth would be done for the day.

   The next major event would occur when Ryan Newman would nearly crash in front of nearly the whole pack but saved it. He'd later crash on the backstretch and nearly miss the wall 3 laps later, on lap 174.

   Final restart was with 12 to go and Dave Blaney led. He wouldn't last there for the last 12 laps. He was turned by Kurt Busch, but there was no yellow. On the final lap, two 2 car tangos of Bowyer and Harvick, Gordon and Martin are joined by Johnson and Earnhardt Jr. as Gordon and Martin opened just enough room. Across the line they went 3 wide for the lead with Gordon in the middle, Bowyer on top, and Johnson down low. Jimmie Johnson would edge out Clint Bowyer by 0.002 secs. to win. Jeff Gordon 3rd, Dale Jr. 4th, Kevin Harvick 5th, and Carl Edwards who made it 4 wide for 3rd, 6th. Greg Biffle 7th, Mark Martin 8th, David Gilliland 9th, and Joey Logano 10th. This race would tie the record for the closest finish in NASCAR history. The race it's tied with is the 2003 Carolina Dodge Dealers 500 when Ricky Craven edged out Kurt Busch. Another record tied would be for lead changes. 88 lead changes, ties the record of most lead changes in NASCAR history. It's tied with last year's running of the Aarons 499. The last 3 Talladega races that have occurred are the 3 most competitive races in NASCAR history.

   It's on to Richmond in 2 weeks! Happy Easter everyone.