Winner: Brian Vickers, driver of the ...
Winner: Brian Vickers, driver of the #25 GMAC Chevrolet from Hendrick Motorsports
Top-five finishers: Vickers, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr.
Race Recap: Brian Vickers' first NASCAR Nextel Cup victory probably did not come exactly how he envisioned it. Vickers, running in his 107th career Cup race on the last lap, smacked the rear bumper of teammate Jimmie Johnson, who then bumped into leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. As the two drivers slid across the track, Vickers drove by for the win.
The race was typical Talladega -- 63 lead changes among 23 drivers and several multi-car accidents, including an 11-car melee just 50 laps from the finish.
Earnhardt Jr. led the most laps with 37 out of 188, including the 22 circuits leading up to the last-lap crash. Jeff Gordon, who was involved in a mid-race accident, led seven times for 27 laps, while race-winner Vickers led five times for 17 laps. There were six cautions for 22 laps.
Jeff Burton, who finished the Talladega race in 27th place, still leads the championship standings through four of 10 playoff races. Burton is in front of Matt Kenseth by six points and Mark Martin by 10 points leading into next weekend's event at Charlotte, N.C. The remaining Chase field, in descending order: Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Johnson, Kahne and Kyle Busch.
Goodyear quote from Greg Stucker, director of race tire sales and marketing: "The Goodyear tire wear at Talladega was excellent to the point that teams were able to make two-tire and no-tire stops all race long. The officials at Talladega did a tremendous job repaving the track, providing a very smooth surface for teams to race on. Our engineering staff came up with a great tire package that offered a lot of grip and made three-, four- and five-wide racing possible, providing great racing for the competitors and an exciting event for the fans."
Companion event: Mark Martin won his fifth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race of the season at Talladega on Saturday afternoon. Two last-lap accidents caused a review of the finish that saw Mike Skinner credited with second and Ted Musgrave with third. Championship points leader Todd Bodine, fourth at Talladega, now leads Johnny Benson by 113 points with five events remaining.
-credit: goodyear racing