Dega Being Dega: Crashes, Red Flags, and Overtime

The NASCAR Cup Series concludes a weekend of racing at Talladega Superspeedway with the Yellawood 500. This is also the second race in the round of 12 playoffs.

Denny Hamlin sits on the pole and will bring the field to green with Las Vegas winner Kurt Busch starting alongside on the front row.

There were no pre-race inspection issues this week.

The starting lineup for the Yellawood 500:
Denny Hamlin
Kurt Busch
Martin Truex Jr
Alex Bowman
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Busch
Brad Keselowski
Joey Logano
Clint Bowyer
Chase Elliott
Aric Almirola
Austin Dillon
Matt DiBenedetto
Ryan Blaney
Chris Buscher
Erik Jones
Jimmie Johnson
Cole Custer
Ryan Newman
Matt Kenseth
William Byron
Christopher Bell
John Hunter Nemechek
Michael McDowell
Ryan Preece
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Bubba Wallace
Ty Dillon
Corey LaJoie
Tyler Reddick
Daniel Suarez
Brennan Poole
Quin HouffJJ Yeley
Justin Haley
Joey Gase
Timmy Hill
James Davison

Stages one and two of the race are 60 laps each with stage three lasting 68 laps for a total of 188 laps around the 2.66 mile track. Talladega is the largest oval track in the NASCAR circuit.

With a fuel load of 36 to 38 laps, the drivers cannot complete any of the stages without making a pit stop.

NASCAR has called for a competition caution around lap 25.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag start of the race with Hamlin edging out for the lead.

The caution flag comes out on lap one going into turn three for a crash involving Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick. Bell has a flat tire; adding that he can’t keept the car straight.

Tyler Reddick’s hood is covered in “200 mile an hour tape” but he is back in the race.

Christopher Bell is off the track.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap five from the outside lane and holds on to the lead.

The top five are Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Busch.

Lap six, Denny Hamlin has the lead with Martin Truex Jr in second and Kyle Busch in third.

The Busch brothers – Kurt and Kyle – are swapping third place back and forth with Kyle on the inside and Kurt on the outside.

Martin Truex Jr’s team was reporting some radio issues.

The caution flag comes out on lap nine for a crash that put Ricky Stenhouse Jr in the wall after a push that went wrong. Stenhouse has significant damage to his car including two flat tires.

Kyle Busch’s team is having some radio issue; the cannot hear each other. The track is so large that distance and radio communication is difficult.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down once again for the green flag restart on lap 13 and jumps out in front. Drivers are getting theee wide across the track.

The caution comes out on lap 13 for Corey LaJoie who is stopped on the track.

NBC broadcaster Jeff Burton reports that this is a record; having three caution flags in the first 13 laps.

Working together and hooking up for the draft is essential for a successful race at Daytona and Talladega; this week the car manufacturers met and organized plans for their drivers to work together.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 16 from the outside lane and jumps out for the lead.

NASCAR has stated that the competition caution will be around lap 25 as planned.

Denny Hamlin has the lead with Martin Truex Jr in second and Kevin Harvick in third.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr is out of the race.

Lap 17, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano battle for the lead with Kevin Harvick in third. Drivers are three wide across the track.

Lap 18, Joey Logano takes the lead with Kevin Harvick in second and Denny Hamlin in third.

Lap 19 Denny Hamlin challenges Joey Logano for the lead; Kevin Harvick is in third.

Denny Hamlin retakes the lead.

Only one third of the way through stage one and the drivers have already begun to get aggressive and battle for position.

Lap 21, Denny Hamlin leads the race with Joey Logano in second and Kevin Harvick in third.

The drivers are running laps at nearly 200mph.

Lap 21, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, and Cole Custer.

Lap 23, the inside lane has gotten organized and are moving up. Leader Denny Hamlin moves down to blcok the inside lane. There are three lanes of racers on the track.

Lap 25, Denny Hamlin leads the race; Aric Almirola, Matt DiBenedetto, Joey Logao, and Clint Bowyer round out the top five.

The competition caution comes out at the end of lap 25.

In their fuel window, it is expected that many of the drivers will come down pit road for service.

Denny Hamlin leads the field down pit road. Taking fuel only, Aric Almirola wins the race off of pit road. Several drivers did not take tires during the pit stop.

Kyle Busch ran through his pit stall and had to back up causing a slow pit stop.

Clint Bowyer has a bit of damage to his car after making contact on pit road.

Aric Almirola brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 31 with Joey Logano starting alongside. After a push from Matt DiBedetto, Almirola takes the lead.

Aric Almirola leads the race with Matt DiBenedetto in second and Ryan Blaney in third.

Lap 32, Matt DiBenedetto and Aric Almirola battle for the lead.

Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin drop back in the field in hopes of avoiding a big wreck.

Lap 34, Ryan Blaney takes the lead with Aric Almirola in second and Erik Jones in third.

Lap 35, Ryan Blaney leads the race while Erik Jones and Aric Almirola battle for second.

Team mates Martin Truex Jr and Kyle Busch push Erik Jones to the lead.

Lap 40, Erik Jones leads the race with Martin Truex Jr in Second; Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

With stage one two thirds of the way through, the drivers are doing a great deal of pushing as they battle for position.

Lap 42, Ryan Blaney leads the outside lane and is looking to challenge leader Erik Jones.

Lap 43, Ryan Blaney takes the lead with Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones battling for second.

Lap 44, Ryan Blaney leads the race from the outside lane; Brad Keselowski, Daniel Suarez, Joey Logano, and Erik Jones round out the top five.

Lap 45, Ryan Blaney leads the race form the inside lane with Brad Keselowski in second. There are 34 cars on the lead lap. James Davison is off the track. Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Christopher Bell are out of the race.

Lap 47, Ryan Blaney has the lead; Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Chris Buescher, and Erik Jones round out the top five.

Kyle Busch has taken the lead of the race.

Lap 53, With an organized outside lane, Chase Elliott takes the lead with Bubba Wallace in secnd and Kurt Busch in third.

Drivers are three wide across the track. Clint Bowyer drops to the back of the pack.

Lap 54, Kurt Busch takes the lead with Aric Almirola in second.

Aric Almirola takes the lead with Brad Keselowski in second and Chris Buescher in third.

Lap 55, Aric Almirola has the lead with Brad Keselowski in secnd and Chase Elliott in third.

Drivers are getting four wide across the track as they battle for position with only four laps remaining in stage one.

Aric Almirola continues to lead the race but the field is comimg on stong.

The caution flag comes out on lap 57 for a big crash involving Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, and an airborne Kyle Busch. The incident began with a push from behind on Almirola.

Aric Almirola reports that his day is most likely done.

Alex Bowman and Kyle Busch will have to make multiple stops on pit road for repairs.

Aric Almirola is out of the race.

Ending under caution, Chris Buescher wins stage one for his first stage win.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Chris Buescher
Joey Logano
Austin Dillon
Brad Keselowski
Erik Jones
Chase Elliott
Tyler Reddick
Martin Truex Jr
Kurt Busch
Cole Custer

Chase Elliott wins the race off of pit road.

Out of the infield care center, Aric Almirola reports that he is fine.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 66 with Brad Keselowski alongside. Erik Jones gives Brad Keselowski a push to the lead.

While making minimum speed, Kyle Busch is at the back of the pack with steering wheel issues.

Kevin Harvick had an uncontrolled tire during his pit stop but he started from the back of the field.

Kyle Busch brings out the caution flag on lap 69 after a flat tire blew the bumper off and spewed debris on the track.

Drivers come down pit road for fresh tires. Drivers with crash damage took advantage of the caution to make further repairs.

Some of the playoff drivers have moved to the back of the field in hopes of avoiding any more “big ones”.

Denny Hamlin was caught speeding on pit road.

Chris Buesher brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 74 with Brad Keselowski alongside. Buescher takes the lead and moves down to the inside lane.

Lap 75, Chris Buescher and Erik Jones battle for the lead with Michael McDowell in third.

Erik Jones takes the lead.

Lap 76, Chris Buescher has takend the lead with Brad Keselowski in second and Erik Jones in third.

Lap Lap 78, Chris Buescher leads the race with Brad Keselowski in second; Tyler Reddick is in third.

Lap 79 the top four or five are single file with Chris Buescher leading the way.

Lap 80, Chris Buescher continues to lead the race with Brad Keselowski in second and Tyler Reddick in third.

The inside lane is well organized; but the middle and outside lanes are somewhat less organized.

Lap 81 Getting organized, the outside lane with Erik Jones leading the line challenges Chris Buescher for the lead.

Leading 15 laps, Chris Buescher has led the most laps ever in his career.

Lap 83, Erik Jones has taken the lead from the outside lane with Chase Elliott in second.

Lap 86 drivers begin making green flag pit stops with the Chevrolets leading the way. Most of the drivers take fuel only.

Lap 87, Erik Jones leads the race with Erik Jones in second.

The seventh caution flag comes out on lap 88 when Ryan Blaney gets into the wall with a flat tire; there is also some debris on the track. Teams were in the process of making pit stops when the caution came out.

Drivers come down pit road for service. Taking fuel only, Kevin Harvick wins the race off of pit road and advances 12 spots on the track.

Chase Elliott with team mate William Byron bring the field down for the green flag restart on lap 93 with Chase Elliott taking the lead.

Drivers quickly spread out across the track. Chase lliott is in the lead with William Byron in second with Ryan Prrece and Kurt Busch battling for third.

Lap 95, the top five are Chase Elliott, William Byron, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, and Bubba Wallace.

Lap 97, Chase Elliott continues to lead the race with William Byron in second and Kurt Busch in third.

Lap 100, Chase Elliott continues to lead the race with team mate William Byron in second; Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, and Bubba Wallace round out the top five.

Lap 103, Chase Elliott holds on to the lead of the race will William Byron in second and Kurt Busch in third.

Matt DiBenedetto has a loose roof flap blowing around.

Joey Logano is aggressively pushing any driver who happens to be in front of him.

Lap 106, Chase Elliott holds on to the lead with Jimmie Johnson in second and William Byron in third.

Jimmie Johnson has some debris on the grille of his car. Broadcaster say that the debris appears to be the roof flap from Matt DiBenedetto’s car.

Lap 108, Joey Logano has taken second place on the outside lane .

Lap 109, “THE BIG ONE” big crash, Brendan Gaughan in his final race has significant damage to his car. Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Preece, Joey Gase, Daniel Suarez,Jimmie Johnson, and an airborne Kurt Busch were all involved in the crash as debris was flying everywhere.. It all began with contact between Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson. Kurt Busch landed on top of Cole Custer’s car before dropping on to the track on all four wheels.

NASCAR has displayed the red flag in order to get the track cleaned up and the damaged cars off the track.

Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, and Cole Custer are out of the race. All drivers involved in the crash are fine.

NBC broadcasters report that 13 cars were involved in the crash including several playoff drivers

NASCAR pulls the red flag to display the yellow cation flag. Teams can now work on their wrecked cars.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 114 and holds on to the lead with William Byron in second and Joey Logano in third.

With a push from Matt DiBenedetto, Joey Logano jumps out in front for the lead.

All of the cars who were on the “crash clock” have made minimum speed and are back in the race.

Five to go in stage two, Joey Logano holds the lead with Matt DiBenedetto in second and Chris Buescher in third.

In the outside lane, Martin Truex Jr leads the line with Tyler Reddick giving him a push to make a move.

Four to go, Martin Truex Rj takes the lead with Joey Logano in second.

Tyler Reddick jumps out to try and take the lead from the inside lane.

Two to go in stage two, Martin Treux Jr leads the race with Chase Elliott in second. Joey Logano is falling through the field with some sort of issue.

Reports are that Joey Logano was penalized for forcing Matt DiBenedetto below the yellow line. Even if Logano had not dropped back in the field, he would not have received any stage points.

With a big lead, Martin Truex Jr wins stage two.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Martin Truex Jr
Brad Keselowski
Chris Buescher
Chase Elliott
John Huntejr Nemechek
William Byron
Ryan Blaney
Ryan Preece
Ty Dillon
Bubba Wallace

Drivers come down pit road for service with Martin Truex Jr taking feul only to win the race off of pit road.

For the second week in a row, Austin Dillon finds himself behind the wall getting his car repaired. Two laps down, Dillon returns to the track with a new radiator.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 125 and edges out Brad Keselowski to take the lead.

Brad Keselowski takes the elad with Martin Truex Jr in second and Tyler Reddick in third.

With a push from Alex Bowman, Tyler Reddick is working to bring the outside lane to the front. Tyler Reddick takes the lead with a car that was damaged in a wreck on the first lap of the race.

Lap 128, Brad Keselowski jumps to the outside lane and passes Tyler Reddick for the lead.

Bubba Wallace comes up the outside lane with Ty Dillon on his bumper is working to take the lead. Bubba Wallace is the new leader.

Lap 130, Bubba Wallace is in the lead with Alex Bowman in second and Matt Kenseth in third running his final race at Talladega.

Leader Bubba Wallace has been on pit road eight times for repairs after being involved in the lap one crash.

Lap 135, Brad Keselowski has taken the lead of the race.

Fifty to go, there have been nine caution flags in the race so far; knocking out three of the 12 playoff drivers. There is a total of eleven drivers out of the race.

Lap 137 Joey Logano has taken the lead of the race with William Byron in second in the outside lane.

Lap 138, Joey Logano leads the race with William Byron in second and Brad Keselowski in third.

Lap 140, Joey Logano holds on tot he lead, William Byron is in second and Ty Dillon is in third.

Jimmie Johnson is off the track.

Lap 141, the top five are Joey Logano, William Byron, Ty Dillon, Erik Jones and Ryan Preece.

After driving around in the back of the field, Kevin Harvick has entered the top 10 in sixth place.

Lap 143, Joey Logano continues to lead the race with William Byron in secnd and Ty Dillon in third.

Lap 144, there are 25 cars on the lead lap; including Kyle Busch who has been involved in both of the big on track incidents.

Lap 148 – 40 to go – Joey Logano leads the pace from the outside lane.

Jimmie Johnson has returned to the track after having to make a repair to fuel the car, but he is displaying debris all over the track. Johnson is 16 laps down in 29th place.
NASCAR has thrown the yellow flag for debris in the track.

Just outside their fuel window, drivers come down pit road for service. Taking only two tires, Joey Logano wins the race off of pit road with Kevin Harvick coming out second.

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 153 with Kevin Harvick alongside. Logano edges out Harvick for the lead.

Devin Harvick gives Joey Logano a push to keep him out in front but after Logano breaks for a block, William, Buron becomes the new leader with Ryan Preece in second. Joey Logano takes second from Preece.

Thirty five to to, Ryan Preece gives Joey Logano a push to the lead.

Lap 155, Joey Logano is in the lead with Ryan Preece in second and Brad Keselowski in third.

Thirty to go, Joey Logano continues to lead the race with Ryan Preece in second; Brad Keselowski, Chris Buescher, Matt DiBenedetto round out the top five.

Chase Elliott has gotten the inside lane organized and is making a run to take the lead from Joey Logano. Elliott and Logano battle for the lead.

Lap 159, Chase Elliott has the lead but Joey Logano takes it back. Elliott’s team topped off during the caution flag but Logoano’s team is telling their driver to watch the feul.

Lap 161, Chase Ellitt leads the race. Getting a push, Brbba Wallace takes the lead.

The drivers are three wide with all three front row drivers battling for the lead.

Twenty five to go, Joey Logano takes the lead from Bubba Wallace as the two battle for the top spot.

Joey Logano takes the lead with Brad Keselowski in second and Chris Buescher in third.

Taking the high line, Joey Logano leads the race with Brad Keselowski in second pushing him along.

Lap 166, the drivers have formed two rows with the leaders battling for position. Joey Logano is the leader with Chase Elliott challenging.

Lap 168, Chase Ellitt takes the elad with Joey Logano in second and Ryan Preece in third.

Lap 169, Joey Logano challenges leader Chase Elliott form the outside lane but Elliott holds on to the lead.

Nineteen to go, Joey Logano passes Chase Elliott for the lead on the outside lane.

Seventeen to go, Joey Logano holds on to the lead with Brad Keselowski in second.

The pack is beginning to break up back in the field with drivers getting three wide.

Fifteen to go, Joey Logano leads the race from the outside lane with Brad Keselowski in second; Ryan Preece, Bubba Wallace, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

The inside lane is beginning to reform and slowly moving their way forward.

Bubba Wallace jumped down in front of Chase Elliott to lead the inside lane.

Twelve to go, Joey Logano continues to lead the race with Bubba Wallace in the inside lane working his way forway very slowly.

Lap 177, Bubba Wallace gets out in front of Joey Logano briefly but Logano gets a bug push from Brad Keselowski to retake the lead.

Ten to go, the inside lane continues to battle for the lead; so far, Joey Logano continues to lead.

Nine to go, Bubba edges out for the lead.

Bubba Wallace jumps up to block Joey Logano to hold on to the lead.

Six to go, the bottom lane has fallen apart, Bubba Wallace leads the race from the outside lane. He gets a big push form Joey Logano.

Joey Logano has dropped down to take the lead, Bubba Wallace hits the wall after a bad push from Ryan Preece; he keeps going but has fallen through the field.

With only five laps remaining in the race, James Davison spins out and brings out the record tying eleventh caution of the race.

Drivers make a trip down pit road for fresh tires and fuel.

Race overs into overtime!

Joey Logano brings the field down for the first attempt of a green/white/checker overtime finish. Joey Logano gets out in front for the lead as drivers tandem up for the push.

Chase Elliott edges out Joey Logano for the lead but his left side tires were below the yellow line.

The caution flag comes out for a big crash involving several cars include playoff drivers Kyle Busch for the third time, Joey Logano, Martine Truex Jr, and Kevin Harvick. Tyler Reddick was also involved.

NASCAR has again red flagged the race in order to get the track cleaned up.

Chase Elliott was below the yellow line but NASCAR has determined that the fault did not lie with Elliott but with Joey Logano and for the second time Logano has been penalized for pushing a driver below the yellow line.

Chase Elliott is listed as the leader with Matt DiBenedetto, William Byron, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Preece round out the top five.

With a second overtime, some of the drivers are concerned about whether or not they have enough fuel to complete the race.

After a red flag event of over 10 minutes, NASCAR displays the yellow flag and the drivers get moving once again.

Some drivers come down pit road for fuel, tires, and crash damage. Joey Logano’s car is being pushed to the garage..

After pit stops, Chase Elliott is the leader with Matt DiBenedetto in second; John Hunter Nemechek, Chris Buescher, and Ryan Preece round out the top five.

The drivers line up for a second attempt at an overtime finish. Leader did not come down pit road for fuel; there is some question about whether or not they have enough to finish the race.

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag restart and edges out for the lead…but does he have the fuel??? He has already flipped to the reserve.

Bubba Wallace gets into the wall to bring out another caution. Ryan Blaney, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, and Austin Dillon were also involved in the crash. Bubba hit the wall after some contact form Chris Buescher.

Pole sitter Denny Hamlin has spent a good bit of the race in the back of the field; he is currently in fourth place with cars needing fuel in front of him.

Several drivers come down pit road for a splash of fuel in order to complete the race.

In the third overtime attempt, Matt DiBenedetto brings the field down for the green flag restart and once again there is a question of enough fuel to finish the race. Matt Dibenedetto edges out in front for the lead with a push from Chris Buescher.

Matt DiBenedetto takes the white flagCars are crashing back in the field as Matt DiBenedetto, Denny Hamlin, and Wiliam Byron make it a photo finish. Denny Hamlin wins by 23 thousandsth of a second! This is the seventh win of the season for Hamlin and number 44 career wins.

NASCAR is reviewing the finish to ensure whether or not Hamlin went below the line or whether he was forced below the line.

NASCAR has determined that Denny Hamlin is indeed the winner of the race. In addition, NASCAR has penalized Chase Elliott for going below the double yellow line to advance his position and Matt DiBenedetto for forcing the number 24 car of William Byron below the line.

The unofficial results of the Yellawood 500:
Denny Hamlin
Erik Jones
Ty Dillon
William Byrom
Ryan Newman
Chris Buescher
Tyler Reddick
John Hunter Nemechek
Brennan Poole
Ryan Preece
Justin Haley
Austin Dillon
Quin Houff
Alex Bowman
Timmy Hill
Matt Kenseth
Joey Gase
Brad Keselowski
Cody Ware
Devin Harvick
Matt DiBenedetto
Chase Elliott
Martin Truex Jr
Bubba Wallace
Ryan Blaney
Joey Logano
Kyle Busch
Corey LaJoie
Jimmie Johnson
James Davison
Cole Custer
Kurt Busch
Clint Bowyer
Daniel Suarez
Brandan Gaughan
Michael McDowell
Aric Almirola
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Christopher Bell

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