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This is a partial list of memorable races at Talladega Superspeedway.[citation needed] Contents 1 Early years 2 The 1980s 3 1991–2000 4 2001–present 5 Other Series 5.1 Busch Grand National/Nationwide Series 5.2 NASCAR Truck Series 5.3 ARCA Supercar Series // Early years 1969: After a strike by the Professional Drivers Association, Richard Brickhouse, taking over the #99 Nichels Engineering car, wins his only career race in a field consisting of mostly Grand American drivers. Richard Childress made his Grand National debut. 1970 Talladega 500: Restrictor plates were mandated at Talladega a week after debuting at the Yankee 400. Pete Hamilton, driving Richard Petty's Plymouth Superbird, led 153 laps en route to an easy win. 1971 Talladega 500: After attrition eliminated Buddy Baker, Charlie Glotzbach, and Donnie Allison the race shook out to a fight between Bobby Allison, Richard Petty, and Pete Hamilton as the lead changed 54 times. On the final lap Petty squeezed ahead of Allison up high in Turn Three, then Hamilton went three-abreast even higher; Allison sideswiped Petty and it caught up Hamilton, who hit the inside wall off Four as Allison breezed home the winner. 1972 Winston 500: David Pearson won the first of three straight Winston 500s, edging Bobby Isaac after escaping a Lap 187 wreck. 1973 Winston 500: The 1973 Winston 500 featured the largest starting field in modern era, 60 cars. It was also the first race at Talladega that "the Big One" really took its toll. On the 11th lap of the race, a multi-car crash occurred on the backstretch, involving 21 cars and taking out 19. Driver Wendell Scott suffered three broken ribs, lacerations, and a fractured pelvis and sat out for most of the season. David Pearson took the win by over a lap. Of the 60 cars that started, only 17 were running at the finish. 1973 Talladega 500: Early in the 1973 Talladega 500, Larry Smith was killed in a freak, but quite simple, accident in the first turn when his car got loose and slapped the wall. His crew was fixing his car, which was not badly damaged, when they heard of his passing. The reason for his death was never explained. Dick Brooks drove a year-old Plymouth Roadrunner for Jimmy and Peter Crawford; the race ran restrictor plates and the manifold being used was different from others ("They said to me, 'Don't let the thing get below 5,000 RPMs,'" Brooks said years later). Though the car threatened to overheat, Brooks ripped from 24th in the field and stormed to the win over Buddy Baker and superspeedway master David Pearson. It was one of the biggest upsets in NASCAR history, coming in a race where the lead changed 64 times. 1974 Winston 500: David Pearson won a rain-interrupted 450-miler, shortened due to the year's energy crisis. Crewman Don Miller was badly injured when rookie driver Grant Adcox crashed into the car of Gary Bettenhausen on pit road, crushing Miller between the two vehicles. 1974 Talladega 500: Some 25 of the field's 50 cars were found on race morning with sabotage – cut fuel and oil lines, slashed tires, dirt clogging fuel lines. NASCAR threw several competition yellows to allow teams to check for undetected sabotage, several cars crashed in oil spilled by undetected cuts. David Pearson took the lead with six to go but on the final lap Richard Petty sideswiped Pearson in the trioval and won by a wheel. 1975 Winston 500: Buddy Baker ended a two-year slump by winning the Winston 500. Richard Petty's brother-in-law Randy Owens died on pit road when a pressurized water tank exploded in his face. 1975 Talladega 500: On August 7 Mark Donohue set a closed-course speed record of 221 MPH in a Porsche IMSA car. The Talladega 500 was postponed a week due to rain. The day before the scheduled race Gene Lovell, the crew chief for Grant Adcox, died of a heart attack. Adcox withdrew and Tiny Lund, the first alternate, was slotted into the field. Lund was killed in the running of the Talladega 500 on the seventh lap when four cars crashed ahead of him; he spun and was hammered through the left-side door by Terry Link's spinning car. Later Dick Brooks took a spectacular tumble down the backstretch. The lead changed 60 times among 17 drivers as Buddy Baker held off Richard Petty for the win. 1976 Winston 500: Baker became the first driver to win a 500-mile race in under three hours as he won the Winston 500 at 2 hours 56 minutes. 1976 Talladega 500: Dave Marcis won his first superspeedway race, edging Buddy Baker; the win gave crew chief Harry Hyde his first Talladega win after winning nine poles at the track. 1977 Winston 500: Darrell Waltrip held off three challengers to win the Winston 500. Waltrip, driving for DiGard Racing, pinched his Chevrolet to the bottom of Turn One, momentarily breaking the draft and setting off a mad scramble between Donnie Allison, Cale Yarborough, and Benny Parsons. 1977 Talladega 500: Donnie Allison got relief help from Waltrip to win the Talladega 500; it was the last time in NASCAR history a relief driver won a race. 1978 Winston 500: Cale Yarborough won his first Talladega race, passing Buddy Baker on the final lap. 1978 Talladega 500: Lennie Pond's only Winston Cup win came in the Talladega 500. Cale Yarborough and Buddy Baker fought for the lead all race until Baker blew his engine and Cale botched a late pitstop, putting Pond, Benny Parsons, and Donnie Allison in the lead. On the final lap the lapped car of Bill Elliott blew a tire and a piece of metal hit Benny Parsons' car while rubber momentarily blinded Donnie Allison, enough for Pond to take the win. The win was the first for car owner Harry Ranier. The 1980s 1980 Winston 500: The track was repaved during the previous off-season and on the new pavement sophomore Dale Earnhardt took a ten-second lead following late pitstops in the final 20 laps. Buddy Baker ran him down and took the win with two laps to go. Baker was driving the Harry Ranier Oldsmobile and it proved to be his final win with the team. 1980 Talladega 500: The final win for the Mercury marque came as Neil Bonnett fought off a last-lap challenge from Dale Earnhardt, Cale Yarborough, and Benny Parsons. 1981 Winston 500: Following a ten-car crash on the second lap, the race turned into a spirited affair in the track's debut of 110-inch wheelbase cars following their controversial debut at that February's Daytona 500. The final ten laps turned into a wild fight as Bobby Allison, Buddy Baker, Darrell Waltrip, and Ricky Rudd fought it out, the lead changing on almost every lap before Allison swept past Baker and Waltrip and Rudd attempted a four-abreast pass in the trioval; Allison won by two lengths. 1981 Talladega 500: Ron Bouchard won his only Winston Cup event after passing Terry Labonte and Darrell Waltrip in the tri-oval coming to the checkered flag. On the final lap Labonte stormed to the outside of Waltrip; Waltrip tried to crowd him off and neither driver noticed Bouchard storming to the inside; Bouchard won by inches in a three-wide finish. One of the most famous racing quotes was uttered by Darrell when he finally saw Bouchard right after crossing the line, "Where the hell did he come from?" 1982 Winston 500: In qualifying Benny Parsons qualified at over 200 mph, the first 200 mph qualifying lap in NASCAR history. Parsons led on the final lap but swung low to break the draft; Darrell Waltrip, Terry Labonte, and Kyle Petty drafted past up high and Parsons finished third Waltrip and Labonte. The finish soured car owner Harry Rainer on Parsons, and Parsons was fired from the team in June. 1983 Winston 500: Phil Parsons and Darrell Waltrip were eliminated in a massive accident that swept up seven other cars. Parsons hammered the Turn 1 wall nearly head on at 200 mph and barrel rolled side over side down the banking before landing on Ricky Rudd's car. Richard Petty would take his 197th win in that race. 1983 Talladega 500: Dale Earnhardt won his first race at Talladega as Bobby Allison pushed him past Darrell Waltrip on the final lap; Allison was a lap down and car owner Junior Johnson claimed the move was motivated by stopping Waltrip in the points race; Allison claimed he was racing the lapped car of Joe Ruttman for position. The race saw a wreck on the opening lap after Neil Bonnett blew an engine in Turn 4 and the oil spilled on the track sent cars behind out of control. Bonnett relieved Tim Richmond and brought Richmond's Pontiac home third. 1984 Winston 500: Cale Yarborough won to that point the most competitive race in NASCAR history, in terms of number of lead changes (75). He passed Harry Gant on the final lap for the win. 1984 Talladega 500: In a race with 68 lead changes among 16 drivers, Dale Earnhardt swept past Terry Labonte on the final lap to win; the finish was contested among ten cars. Earlier in the race Trevor Boys took a tumble in the trioval infield while battling for the top ten. 1986 Winston 500: The entire field of cars qualified at over 200 mph. Future greats such as Mark Martin and Alan Kulwicki failed to make the field. Before the race even got a chance to start, a drunk fan climbed into the pace car and took it for a few hot laps around the track, before being stopped by police and track workers. Bill Elliott had the car to beat early on, but on the last lap, Bobby Allison beat out Dale Earnhardt in a closely contested finish. 1986 Talladega 500: A then-record 26 of the 40 starters managed to lead a lap in a race with 49 lead changes. Two-thirds of the field stayed in contention for most of the race, before multi-car crashes eliminated many contenders. Sterling Marlin triggered a multi-car wreck on the final lap that involved Bobby Allison, Joe Ruttman, Rick Wilson, Jim Sauter, and Kyle Petty that allowed Bobby Hillin, Jr. to take his only career victory, and second consecutive win for Stavola Brothers Racing, ahead of Tim Richmond and Rusty Wallace, driving in relief for Ricky Rudd. Earlier in the race Hillin set off a controversial melee when he tagged Harry Gant into traffic halfway down the backstretch and Darrell Waltrip, Geoff Bodine, and Cale Yarborough were eliminated. 1987 Winston 500: Bill Elliott sets a new stock car speed record with a lap of 212.809 mph (342.483 km/h). On the 22nd lap of the event, Bobby Allison loses an engine, and the debris from the motor cuts a tire as Allison enters the trioval. The cut tire causes Bobby to spin, and his car lifts off the ground, flying into the fence just short of the flagstand. Several fans were injured, including a woman who lost an eye from the flying debris. Following airborne wrecks at Daytona International Speedway spanning the period of 1980–87 and at Talladega in 1983, this incident brought about the modern carburetor restrictor plate into NASCAR. 1988 Talladega 500: Ken Schrader took his first win in a frantic ten-car finish in the Talladega 500, the second race run with restrictor plates at the track. Dale Earnhardt and Sterling Marlin banged together on the final lap and Schrader and teammate Geoff Bodine shot through to finish 1–2. 1989 Winston 500: Davey Allison, the winner of the 1987 Winston 500, repeats the feat in 1989, for the first win for now-car owner Robert Yates. 1989 Talladega 500: Terry Labonte edged Darrell Waltrip for his first Talladega win. Waltrip came back from a pit crash with Jimmy Spencer to lead over 50 laps in a race with 49 lead changes. 1991–2000 1991 Winston 500: After a troubling ARCA undercard where one driver would be killed in a late-race crash, and a rain delay postponing the race to Monday, Ernie Irvan becomes the center of controversy at the Winston 500 on lap 71; trying to squeeze between the cars of Kyle Petty and Mark Martin, Irvan hooks both and the ensuing melee involves 20 cars. Martin's Ford stands on its nose for a short time before coming back down on its wheels. Martin later commented on the accident, saying that "I don't like gettin' upside down, and I was fixin' to." Petty suffered a broken leg in the crash. Harry Gant won the race with hardly any fuel left, receiving a push from teammate Rick Mast on the final lap, drawing some controversy as NASCAR requires cars to finish on their own power in the final lap. 1991 Diehard 500: In the DieHard 500, Ernie Irvan apologized to the drivers for the wrecks he had caused that season (one at Talladega, one at Pocono) and was wrecked by Buddy Baker later in the race, triggering a 14 car pileup. The race itself was a ferocious affair as 20 cars raced for the front in a tight two-abreast cluster for most of the day. Dale Earnhardt held off a group of Fords to take the victory after Davey Allison passed him with three to go but Bill Elliott pushed Earnhardt back ahead; a livid Allison punched the side of his transporter after the race, breaking his wrist. Rick Mast would get upside down in the tri-oval late in the race, going for a long slide into the frontstretch grass. 1993 Winston 500: A caution waved with six laps remaining because of a brief rain shower at the track. The race was stopped and after track drying it was restarted with two laps remaining. Ernie Irvan blew past Dale Earnhardt on the final lap as the rest of the field battled behind them. Earnhardt, his fuel pickup struggling to feed gas in the corners, drifted back to sixth, and coming through the tri-oval, Earnhardt hit Rusty Wallace hard, sending Wallace airborne and flipping past the start/finish line, his second consecutive restrictor plate airborne crash (having flipped his car earlier in the season during the Daytona 500). 1993 Diehard 500: Two serious crashes marred the running of the DieHard 500. On the 70th lap of the race, a six-car melee erupted; Jimmy Horton was hooked hard by the spinning car of Stanley Smith going into Turn One and tumbled up the banking completely over the wall, the only time that has ever happened at Talladega (The only catchfences in place at the time were in front of the grandstands. As a result of this incident, fences were put around the remainder of the track). Stanley Smith was injured in the same crash. Later in the race, Neil Bonnett, in his first stock car race since 1990, was tagged by Dick Trickle and tumbled end over end in the tri-oval. Neil was uninjured, and joined the CBS commentary team to call the end of the race,which was a close duel between Dale Earnhardt and Ernie Irvan, with Earnhardt prevailing in a photo finish. 1994 Winston 500: Mark Martin gets into a melee his car goes into the infield and ends up crashing into a metal fence in a multi-car crash. The incident, along with Rusty Wallace's 1993 incident brings the extension of the apron to help drivers regain control of their cars easier, and a stronger wall installed to prevent race cars from totally crashing into the infield. Dale Earnhardt wins in a frantic 13-car scramble, and dedicates the win to friends and fans of Ayrton Senna, who had been killed in Imola, Italy earlier that morning (US time). Earnhardt's comments after winning was, "(Ayrton) was a great racer and a great champion. What a shame." 1995 Diehard 500: Ken Schrader takes a wild flip on the backstretch after Schrader got tapped in the left rear by his teammate Jeff Gordon and then gets hit by a couple of cars on the side; others involved in the wreck include Bobby Labonte. Sterling Marlin went on to win the race. 1996 Winston 500: Ricky Craven was swept up after Mark Martin was hooked by Jeff Gordon; Martin hit the wall, spun into Ward Burton and spun into traffic; Craven tumbled in Turn One and slammed into the fence before tumbling down onto Ricky Rudd's roof. Craven was knocked unconscious and then flown to a Birmingham medical center. Bill Elliott also wrecked in a separate incident, as the back end of his car went in the air on its nose, and landed violently on its wheels. Elliott suffered a fractured femur and was forced to sit out of multiple races during the season. Sterling Marlin rallied three separate times from outside the Top 30 to win. 1996 Diehard 500: Dale Earnhardt took a horrifying tumble down the front straightaway after Ernie Irvan got into the side of Sterling Marlin which sent him into Earnhardt. After punching the wall hard he flipped into traffic and Derrike Cope and Robert Pressley hammered his roof upside down and on the car's side. He ended up breaking his collarbone, and helped begin a winless streak that spanned the rest of the 1996 season and all of the 1997 season. The race was cut short due to the wreck, and a rainstorm earlier in the race, by darkness, with Jeff Gordon winning. With what happened, it helped push the Diehard 500 from the heat, humidity, and periodic afternoon thunderstorms of late July to a much cooler, and in the case of the weather, more stable early October date. This was the last Cup race to not be televised live because of the rain delay; the broadcast of the race aired one week later, as an abridged broadcast on CBS. 1997 Winston 500: The fastest 500-mile race in NASCAR history took place, with Mark Martin winning a caution-free race at an average speed of nearly 189 mph. (The record still stands). 1997 Diehard 500: Following a tumultuous period where his crew chief Gary DeHart quit Hendrick Motorsports, Terry Labonte edged brother Bobby in the Diehard 500. A huge crash erupted on the backstretch when Jeff Gordon sideswiped Sterling Marlin and then spun into traffic. 1999 Diehard 500: Dale Earnhardt won at Talladega for the first time since 1994, holding off challenges from Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, and a resurgent John Andretti, fresh off victory at Martinsville Speedway the week before. 2000 Winston 500: Following mediocre competition earlier in 2000, NASCAR debuted a roof blade for Talladega; the blade was intended to blast open more air and thus make the draft stronger. The lead as a result changed 49 times among 21 drivers. Dale Earnhardt rallied from 18th to fifth with four laps to go, but was trapped behind John Andretti; Andretti stormed to the lead with three to go and was side by side for third when Earnhardt punted him sideways and clawed to the battle for third himself; with a drafting push from Kenny Wallace Earnhardt rallied alongside teammate Mike Skinner as Dale Earnhardt, Jr. slid sideways coming to the white flag trying to go three abreast; it slowed up traffic enough to secure the win for Earnhardt. It proved to be his final win. 2001–present 2001 Alabama 500: Bobby Hamilton, Sr. won the first superspeedway race following the death of Dale Earnhardt at Daytona two months earlier. The race was caution-free and run under the 2001 roof blade aerodynamics package used at Daytona; when NASCAR announced several weeks before the race that the package would remain the same it sparked an Internet-fed rumor that drivers would park out of the race to protest the package, but no such action took place. It was the first Cup win for car owner Andy Petree and crew chief Jimmy Elledge, who would later become the husband of Earnhardt's daughter Kelley. Because of complaints from Jimmy Spencer in the Busch Series race, a new yellow line, designated as out of bounds, was announced for the first time. Any driver intentionally going under the line to pass another car would be subject to penalty; the rule became controversial almost immediately. 2001 EA Sports 500: Dale Earnhardt Jr won the first of five victories at Talladega. On the frantic final lap Bobby Labonte flipped over and 16 cars were involved. 2002: Aaron's 499: Dale Earnhardt Jr. dominated en route to the win. NASCAR reverted to clean rooflines for this race following the 2001 season; the roof blade package previously used was implemented for the Busch Series in 2004. 2002 EA Sports 500: A season-high 35 lead changes occurred in the third caution-free Talladega race in the last six seasons. NASCAR debuted smaller fuel cells to create more pitstops and ostensibly break up the packs; it created more stops but the packs tightened up as cars raced noticeably harder to stay in good position for green-flag stops; late splash-and-go stops left Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the lead with Tony Stewart second, the order in which they finished. 2003 Aaron's 499: Dale Earnhardt Jr. won his fourth consecutive race at Talladega. On the fourth lap a blown tire from Ryan Newman spun him up the banking; he flew over and tumbled down the banking in a wreck in which 27 cars were involved with ten of them coming back out on the lead lap. The out-of-bounds line became a huge controversy when Junior flew past Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth by racing on the apron of Turn Three with five to go. NASCAR ruled Earnhardt was already ahead of Kenseth when he dropped below the line, but he was not cleared of the car and NASCAR was ripped in media circles for showing favoritism as well as having the officiating tower control the racing instead of the racers; the controversy over the rule simmered in 2010 when NASCAR considered dropping the rule altogether. 2003 EA Sports 500: Elliott Sadler goes for a terrible tumble into Turn Three with six laps remaining, and under new rules, the field was frozen at the moment of caution, nullifying a Ward Burton pass into the lead. Michael Waltrip wins his first Non-Daytona Cup win, costing Earnhardt a chance at a fifth consecutive victory at the track; it was the sixth consecutive "RAD" alliance win (a win by a Childress, Earnhardt, or Petree car). The race debuted new larger spoilers with the intent to add more drag and help slow the cars more. 2004 Aaron's 499: Jeff Gordon wins the Aaron's 499 in controversial fashion. Brian Vickers causes a caution after spinning while overtaking Dale Earnhardt Jr. with less than five laps remaining, freezing the field. A red flag could not be applied when fewer than five laps were remaining in the race when the caution waved, and there were about four and a third laps remaining. When NASCAR decides not to restart the race, fans littered the track with debris. This incident resulted in outrage by Fox commentator Chris Myers, and led to the July implementation of a green-white-checker rule. 2004 EA Sports 500: Dale Earnhardt Jr. wins the EA Sports 500, but is penalized 25 points for violating NASCAR's policy on obscenity following an interview where he mentions to Matt Yocum, "Well, it don't mean (obscenity) right now. Daddy's done won here 10 times, so I gotta do a little more winning. But we're gonna get there. He was the master. I'm just following in his tracks." Elliott Sadler flipped yet again, this time at the finish line. 2005: Jeff Gordon won his second straight Aaron's 499 under the green-white-checker rule stretching the race to 516 miles, and won despite a 25-car wreck (the third largest in the modern era) brought out the red flag on Lap 132, in which started when Mike Wallace bumped into Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson causing a chain reaction pile-up in Turn 1. 2005 UAW-Ford 500: Dale Jarrett won his final race, holding off an extremely determined Tony Stewart, who had the strongest car yet again. Kyle Petty wrecked on the last lap, bringing out the caution. He drove to the line as Dale Jarrett yelled into his radio "All the way baby, all the way!" 2006 Aaron's 499: Jimmie Johnson holds off Tony Stewart, Brian Vickers, and fourteen others at the Aaron's 499 on May 1, 2006 (the race had been delayed from Sunday to Monday). Johnson also scores a Career Grand Slam by winning this race, becoming the eighth driver to win all four legs of the Grand Slam in his career. 2006 UAW-Ford 500: Brian Vickers wins under caution after hooking the car of teammate Jimmie Johnson into the car of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. during a last lap pass on the backstretch at the UAW-Ford 500 on October 8, 2006. In a repeat of the 2004 Aaron's 499, the fans expressed their disapproval of Junior not winning by tossing debris onto the track. The race was the first at Talladega since the track was repaved in mid-spring. There were 63 lead changes among 23 drivers, continuing a trend of the track's 500-milers breaking 40 official lead changes. 2007 Aaron's 499: Jeff Gordon wins, and as in the 2004 race, a few fans litter the track in debris, this to protest Gordon's passing of Dale Earnhardt in career wins with the 76th win. 2007 UAW-Ford 500: Jeff Gordon had a pit-road penalty for taking pit equipment from his stall earlier in the race; he rallied to the front late in the race and on the final lap was running second behind teammate Jimmie Johnson until Tony Stewart led a group of cars on the outside, heading down the backstretch, Gordon went up in front of Stewart and drafted past Johnson and into the win. This was Gordon's 80th career win, 6th at Talladega and 12th restrictor-plate win, passing Dale Earnhardt for the most restrictor-plate wins, he also sweeps the races at Talladega for 2007, becoming the 6th person to sweeps both races at Talladega on the same year and wins the first Car of Tomorrow race on a Superspeedway. Toyota was the spotlight of the weekend, celebrating its first pole on a superspeedway courtesy of Michael Waltrip, five Toyotas in the top 6 starting spots, and drivers outside the Top 35 in owners points qualifying unusually well (the top seven positions were filled by non-exempt teams), as NASCAR implemented parc fermé for the summer Daytona race and both Talladega races in 2006, as non-exempt teams ran in a qualifying setup to make the race, while exempt teams qualified with their race setups, which are slower. Blaney's finish was the highest of any Toyota driver during the 2007 Cup season. 2008 Aaron's 499: Kyle Busch gives Toyota its first win at the Superspeedway and gives car owner Joe Gibbs only his second win at the track. On the last lap Michael McDowell is spun out, but the Green Flag stayed out. Shortly afterwords, a 12 car pile-up occurs in Turns 1 and 2, effectively putting an end to the race, and giving the victory to Busch. 2008 AMP Energy 500: In his 18th attempt, Tony Stewart finally won his first cup race at Talladega. With 4 laps to go Jamie McMurray blew a tire and spun of turn 2 setting up a green/white/checkered finish. When the field reached the trioval approaching the checkered flag the 01 Chevrolet of Regan Smith passed Stewart; Smith took the checkered flag but was penalized for passing Stewart under the yellow line; the ruling was ridiculed in the racing media and helped lead to consideration before 2010 of dropping it altogether. The lead changed 64 times among 28 drivers, a new motorsports record for leaders in a single race. 2009 Aaron's 499: Marking the 40th anniversary of the opening of the speedway, the 2009 Aaron's 499 became an instant classic right from the start. Matt Kenseth and then-points leader Jeff Gordon crashed into each other, collecting about 15 cars, on the seventh lap. The lead changed hands 55 times among 20 drivers as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin tried to establish themselves as the dominant drivers. Kyle Busch spun out with 16 laps to go Denny Hamlin crashed with nine laps to go taking out Jimmie Johnson and about 10 other cars. Ryan Newman restarted in front of Earnhardt with only 4 laps to go and the two literally locked bumpers to break away from the field but with two to go Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski, locked together themselves, chased them down and Edwards took the lead. Down the backstretch Newman and Junior began closing, and as Edwards and Keselowski entered the tri-oval Keselowski moved high for a pass; Edwards moved over to block, then Keselowski dove to inside of Edwards; Edwards then chopped down hard and Keselowski hooked Edwards into the air; he was hammered by Ryan Newman and flew violently into the fence separating the crowd from the track. Brad Keselowski become the eighth driver in Sprint Cup history to get his first win at Talladega, and it came in his fifth career Cup start. The win is considered by many to be one of the biggest upsets in NASCAR history. In a comedic style Carl Edwards sprinted across the finish line, reminiscent of the character Ricky Bobby in the film Talladega Nights. Several spectators were injured after the fence was heavily damaged, but none were life-threatening. The wreck was considered the starting point for a vicious feud between Edwards and Keselowski, as Keselowski would be spun into the air at Atlanta the following March by Edwards and a savage multicar melee exploded on the final lap at Gateway International Raceway in July 2010 when Edwards hooked Keselowski head-on into the frontstretch wall and Keselowski was blasted by numerous other cars at the finish. 2009 AMP Energy 500: NASCAR warned drivers before the AMP 500 that "we will have a problem" with bump-drafting (especially with what some drivers called "slam drafting") through the corners following prerace protest from Jeff Gordon. Though the warning was considered a bluff in light of non-enforcement of similar "no bump zones" at Daytona in past years, the ensuing race was controversial in light of the warning. There were three periods, lasting 15–20 laps each, where the field ran single-file; even so these periods ended and the lead changed a season-high 58 times among 23 drivers. Ryan Newman flipped down the backstretch and had to be cut from his car; he denounced fans over the kind of racing at Talladega by saying, "Go home." Jamie McMurray fought off a determined challenge led by David Stremme for his final win for Roush-Fenway Racing. 2010 Aaron's 499: The race broke the 1984 Winston 500's record for lead changes and the 2008 AMP Energy 500's record for leaders, as the lead changed hands 88 times among 29 drivers. Three late yellows set up the maximum of three Green-white-checker finishes (new rule change for 2010), and Kevin Harvick forearmed past Jamie McMurray to win by inches on Lap 200. 2010 Amp Energy 500: The seventh race of NASCAR's 2010 Chase For the Sprint Cup, the lead changed 87 times among 26 drivers and ended under caution. Teammates Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick were nose to nose when a crash erupted after taking the white flag (A.J. Allmendinger flipped onto his roof and tumbled to an inside wall); NASCAR declared Bowyer the winner based on scoring loops. Technically, the lead lap record was tied, as the April race's 88th lead change took place on Lap 200, while the 87th lead change took place in regulation. Other Series Busch Grand National/Nationwide Series 1978: NASCAR's Late Model Sportsman division (the precursor to the later Busch Series) raced at Talladega sporadically in the latter 1970s. In May 1978 Joe Millikan drove one of Richard Petty's old Dodges and won a 300-miler at Talladega. 1992 FRAM Filter 500K: The Busch Series in its modern touring series format debuted at Talladega in July 1992. Dale Earnhardt won the pole and led 33 laps while Michael Waltrip led the most laps, 55. A crash by Red Farmer set up a four-lap shootout, and on the final lap Ernie Irvan stormed to the lead in Turn One; he clipped Earnhardt upon clearing him and Waltrip jumped to a momentary lead before Irvan sidedrafted back ahead, winning by two lengths over Waltrip, Todd Bodine, and Earnhardt. 1993 FRAM Filter 500K: The first race held at Talladega following the death of Davey Allison, the race was a ferocious affair; the lead changed 24 times with Dale Earnhardt and Ernie Irvan slugging it out hardest. In the final laps Earnhardt led a five-car draft that broke away by over two seconds from Irvan, Tracy Leslie, and Randy LaJoie, but with three to go Michael Waltrip squeezed ahead of Earnhardt; Robert Pressley pushed Earnhardt back into the lead, then the Irvan draft caught them on the backstretch and the field was two-abreast past the white flag. On the backstretch the final time Irvan was blasted into the air by Leslie and in the ensuing scramble Randy LaJoie finished second behind Earnhardt in a seven-car fight. 1994 FRAM Filter 500K: Only two cautions interrupted the race and the lead changed a race-record 30 times. Hendrick Motorsports teammates Ken Schrader and Terry Labonte blew past Earnhardt and Sterling Marlin and finished 1–2. 1995 Humminbird Fishfinder 500K: The race turned into a brutal affair as the lead changed 29 times. Ward Burton was clipped in the trioval and flipped over with several other cars crashing around him. Numerous crashes resulted in eight yellows, but the real chaos erupted in the final 40 laps as Michael Waltrip raced to the front and a mad scramble erupted between 20 cars; Waltrip finally got the lead with 22 laps to go but chopped in front of Jimmy Spencer and crashed hard in the pits. Terry Labonte surged into the lead but Chad Little took over with 13 to go, but with eight to go Jeff Fuller spun out in Four and Randy LaJoie flipped over him while Robbie Reiser hit the wall, plowed through the nose of another car, and with his throttle stuck open hammered the pit wall before sliding to a stop in the trioval grass; there was so much wreckage that even the primary pace car was disabled and a backup pace car had to be brought out. Little edged Spencer in a one-lap finish. 1996 Humminbird Fishfinder 500K: There were a pair of six-car melees in the first 27 laps. On Lap 19 Phil Parsons was hooked into the wall on the backstretch by Greg Sacks and was hit by two other cars ("I wanted to stay away from him because he was a bit wild in practice," Parsons said afterward). A few laps after the restart Rodney Combs suddenly shot head-on into the wall on the backstretch and was hit in the back by Hermie Sadler. The lead changed hands 21 times as Sacks stormed to the front with 13 to go; Todd Bodine stormed to second with nine to go but was hammered on the backstretch by Randy LaJoie and flew 20 feet off the ground before hitting the inside wall. Joe Nemechek passed LaJoie on the final lap but could not catch Sacks, who posted his first NASCAR win since the 1985 Firecracker 400. 1999 Touchstone Energy 300: Joe Nemechek, the race's defending champion, held the lead in the final ten laps until Terry Labonte got into a running battle for third. On the final lap Matt Kenseth tried to get underneath Nemechek but could not, and this broke momentum enough for Labonte to storm alongside; the two sidedrafted all the way to the stripe, and it took nearly three minutes before NASCAR, viewing the photo finish camera, to determine that Labonte had won by inches. 2001 Subway 300: Mike McLaughlin ended a three-year drought by winning at Talladega. A huge crash erupted on Lap 85 when a tire blew off a car, stacking up the field in Turn Three. Jimmy Spencer finished second and complained viciously afterward about blocking even though there was no case to be made; NASCAR nonetheless responded (in part due to Internet-fed rumors of a mass driver boycott of the next day's Winston 500) by banning passing below the yellow line, a rule change that became controversial almost as soon as it was made. 2004 Aaron's 312: NASCAR had run a roof blade on its Winston Cup cars until driver whining led to the end of this package after 2001; several drivers (notably Sterling Marlin, who'd been the most vociferous complainer in 2001) began lobbying for the package's return in 2003; NASCAR mandated the roof blade for the Busch Series in 2004 following a series of uncompetitive races. The Alabama 312 thus became the first Talladega race since the 2001 Autumn 500 to run this package. The lead changed 21 times as Martin Truex, Jr. and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished 1–2. Johnny Sauter battled for the lead but finished five laps down when he was black flagged to replace his right side window, which had fallen off in the trioval past halfway. 2005 Aaron's 312: After a three-hour rain delay, the race was stopped on Lap 17 with a multiple-car crash again. Casey Mears flipped midway through the race, and without lights, the track literally raced against sunset as Martin Truex, Jr. finished the race after 120 laps as the winner of the first race to run in prime-time network television. 2006 Aaron's 312: Truex won three straight Talladega races and the third came in 2006 amid 28 lead changes. Champ Car driver Paul Tracy entered the race in a Frank Cicci Chevrolet but never got the handle on the racing and finished 18 laps down. The primary battle was between Truex, Kyle Busch, and Brian Vickers as they combined for 76 laps led. Truex grabbed the lead with 18 to go and stayed ahead as the rest of the field fought each other to the point of all but ignoring challenging Truex. 2007 Aaron's 312: Bobby Labonte ended a four-year winless streak by winning at Talladega after starting 34th. Driving Kevin Harvick Chevrolets, former Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Labonte and Tony Stewart raced from the back of the field into contention swiftly. Casey Mears led 52 laps but a late debris caution led to a green-white-checker finish; Stewart stormed past Mears with two to go, but Labonte gunned down Stewart on the final lap. The lead changed a new-race-record 36 times among 20 drivers. 2009 Aaron's 312: One of the most electrifying finishes in Talladega history occurred in 2009. The lead changed 34 times among 15 drivers and a scary ride was endured by Matt Kenseth; he'd raced to second with thirteen to go but got drilled and flew off the backstretch, flipped onto the paved runoff area, and slide on his roof over 2,000 feet to Turn Three before flipping back onto four wheels. A four-lap shootout followed, and on the final lap Ryan Newman was the leader; Dale Earnhardt, Jr. pulled high out of Turn Four but Newman sideslammed Junior as David Ragan shot the gap from sixth; he then swung high and forearmed ahead of Newman at the stripe for his first NASCAR win. 2010 Aaron's 312: Postponed to late Sunday afternoon by Saturday downpours, the 2010 running of Talladega's BGN race saw the most chaotic finish of all. As part of the unscheduled Sunday double bill with the Winston 500, once again the lead bounced back and forth, changing 33 times among 14 drivers. Carl Edwards, a year after his ugly tumble into Talladega's frontstretch fencing, swept into a ten-car melee in that same trioval on Lap 20; later he tried to cut in front of the field in Turn Two coming out of the pits and spun himself out. Polesitter Kevin Harvick had won the Winston 500 earlier that day and led 51 laps in this race, but Brad Keselowski, despite needing oxygen after the Winston 500, stayed head-to-head in his first full year driving Roger Penske Dodges. A six-car melee with three to go set up a green-white-checker finish. On the restart Keselowski shot the gap from sixth to second in Turn Three, but Jamie McMurray, who'd lost to Harvick by inches earlier that day, fought him off and stormed into contention with Brian Vickers, but as the field sidedrafted for the final lap Keselowski blasted from tenth up the outside into the lead; McMurray dove to the bottom but chopped into Clint Bowyer and spun into the field; Dennis Setzer flew over a car and plowed bottom-first into the fencing on the very top of Turn Four in a fiery melee; the car landed on four wheels as Keselowski took the win in a finish eerily reminiscent of his chaotic 2009 Aaron's 499 triumph. NASCAR Truck Series 2008 Mountain Dew 250: After Erik Darnell dominated the first 50 laps the race shook into a fierce two-abreast battle in the final 30 laps. After a three-truck crash with ten laps to go the final seven laps became a stunning 20-truck battle as Colin Braun led a gigantic draft up high from midpack to race Kyle Busch for the win in the final four laps; he led Lap 93 but Busch, Todd Bodine, and Ron Hornaday clawed back ahead as a huge crash erupted on the backstretch; the race stayed green and Bodine swung high out of four as the leaders stacked four abreast and beat Hornaday and the pack to the stripe. 2010 Mountain Dew 250: The race shook into a showdown between Kyle Busch and Aric Almirola after a wild crash sent Ron Hornaday onto his roof with four to go. Busch pushed Almirola and in the trioval of the final lap swung underneath; Almirola swerved hard left and Busch bounced off him and nearly spun as Johnny Sauter stormed up high; the three trucks hit the stripe abreast in a photo finish won by Busch. It was the first photo finish win at Talladega since Ron Bouchard won in 1981. ARCA Supercar Series 1975 Vulcan 200: The ARCA series began racing at Talladega in 1969 and opened the Winston 500 weekend in May 1975. Several Winston Cup competitors, notably Jim Vandiver and Coo Coo Marlin, competed with USAC stock car stars Ramo Stott and Butch Hartman. Vandiver took the lead late in the race, but on the final lap Hartman swung underneath; the two raced out of the trioval and Vandiver won by a bumper. 1990: Jimmy Horton outdueled inaugural Sprint Cup race winner Charlie Glotzbach and ARCA star Tracy Leslie for his third ARCA win of the 1990 season. Horton later raced for Hendrick Motorsports as a substitute driver in the Tide Ride. 1991: Horton won for the second straight season in a race blackened by a savage crash in the final laps; one car tumbled through the trioval and came to rest, but seconds later traffic stormed through and another car plowed through the stopped car, leading to a driver death (rules on spotters and the prohibition of racing back to the line were not in place yet at the time). The race had been delayed four hours because of rain, and as a result of this caution on Lap 71, was called on Lap 76 because of darkness as insufficient time remained to finish the race. 1996: Tim Steele battled Andy Hillenburg and Mark Thompson; Hillenburg squeezed ahead in Turn Three of the final lap but Steele sidedrafted back ahead to the stripe. 2006: Juan Montoya made his stock car debut in October driving a Chip Ganassi Dodge. Montoya started second and took the lead on the opening lap. Rusty Wallace's son Steven stormed to the front while Rusty's brother Mike led the most laps (34) in an unusually competitive race. Frank Kimmel stormed to the lead held on for the win in a race shortened because of darkness because of the race's new start time and numerous cautions. 2010: Dakoda Armstrong introduced himself to the larger racing world in a spectacular finish. In a 20-car scramble Armstrong drafted past on the highside as the field stacked three-abreast down the backstretch.