Nascar

NASCAR Talladega: Keselowski wins last-lap thriller

DiBenedetto took the Stage 1 win under caution when a multi-car wreck erupted on the backstretch that sent Joey Logano’s #22 Team Penske Ford barrel-rolling down the track.

Following a series of bumping moves, Logano appeared to get turned by Denny Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Logano’s car veered left and made slight contact with Ryan Preece, which sent Logano’s car airborne. Bubba Wallace, Keselowski and Chase Briscoe also got caught up in the incident.

Wallace picked up the Stage 2 victory under caution as a wreck erupted behind him with one lap remaining in the 60-lap segment.

Denny Hamlin appeared to drift up in front of Martin Truex Jr, who then got into the back of Hamlin and turned him into the wall, which triggered another multi-car accident.

Among those collected were Byron, Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott, who all were forced to drive through the infield grass.

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, all the lead-lap cars pit, with Blaney the first off pit road, with the lead changing hands a number of times as the third segment wore on.

Quin Houff hit the wall at Turn 2 on Lap 172 to bring out a caution, which set aside the fuel worries many drivers had.

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Many lead-lap cars elected to pit for fuel but Jones stayed on the track and remained in the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 177.

He was followed by DiBenedetto and Ross Chastain, though DiBenedetto quickly powered back to the lead after the restart.

NASCAR displayed the caution on Lap 186 for a tyre carcass that came off Truex’s car and landed near the start/finish line.

Both Wallace and Kyle Busch were forced to pit under the caution for fuel and new tyres.

When the race went into overtime, DiBenedetto led the way followed by Blaney, Keselowski, Harvick and McDowell.

On the final lap of overtime, Keselowski and DiBenedetto were racing for the win when DiBenedetto went to the high side to block and Keselowski went low.

With a shove from Michael McDowell, Keselowski cleared DiBenedetto and held on to the chequered flag to earn his first win of the season and sixth career victory at Talladega Superspeedway, despite Erik Jones and Ross Chastain wrecking behind him.

It was the only lap Keselowski led in a wild race which saw 35 lead changes among 17 different drivers.

Keselowski, who has 35 career wins, is the ninth different winner in the first 10 races of the 2021 season.

William Byron ended up second, McDowell third, Kevin Harvick fourth and DiBenedetto rounded out the top-five.

Completing the top-10 were Kaz Grala, Tyler Reddick, Austin Dillon, Blaney and Cole Custer.

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