June 22 (UPI) — Ryan Blaney edged Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by the nostril of his No. 12 Ford to win the GEICO 500 in extra time Monday at Talladega Superspeedway.
Blaney led a race-best 63 of the 191 laps in the GEICO 500, which was pushed again sooner or later due to inclement climate Sunday on the central Alabama monitor. Poor climate additionally impacted Monday’s occasion, as storms in the world compelled a delay that lasted about one hour with 57 laps full.
Blaney’s second consecutive win on the 2.66-mile monitor was the fourth of his Cup Sequence profession.
“Actually excited to get our first win of the yr at a cool place,” Blaney mentioned. “That was numerous enjoyable.”
Stenhouse squeezed by Aric Almirola for second place, ending solely .007 seconds again from Blaney on the checkered flag. Almirola got here in third, adopted by Denny Hamlin (fourth) and Erik Jones (fifth).
Previous to the race, fellow NASCAR drivers and crew members confirmed their assist for Bubba Wallace, who was the goal of a racist incident Sunday in the storage space.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and different federal authorities launched an investigation after a noose was discovered in Wallace’s storage.
In response to the incident, drivers and pit crew personnel stood beside Wallace throughout the nationwide anthem after which pushed his No. 43 Chevrolet to the entrance of the grid earlier than the Cup Sequence race.
Wallace, who’s the one black driver in the Cup Sequence, ran as excessive as third in the ultimate 20 laps earlier than dropping to 14th due to a gasoline scarcity.
“The game is altering. The deal that occurred yesterday, I simply wished to indicate whoever it was that you just’re not going to remove my smile,” Wallace mentioned after the race. “I will carry on going. … The pre-race deal was most likely one of many hardest issues I’ve ever needed to witness in my life.
“From all of the supporters, from drivers, from crew members, all people right here … It was really unbelievable and I am proud to be part of this sport.”
Chris Buescher (sixth), Alex Bowman (seventh), John Hunter Nemechek (eighth), Kurt Busch (ninth) and Kevin Harvick (10th) rounded out the highest 10. Jimmie Johnson completed 13th and Joey Logano ended up in 17th.
The group at Talladega dwindled considerably from Sunday, when as much as 5,000 followers have been allowed into the monitor. It was the second race with followers since NASCAR returned from its pandemic-related shutdown.
The NASCAR Cup Sequence’ subsequent race weekend incorporates a doubleheader, with occasions scheduled Saturday and Sunday at Pocono Raceway in Lengthy Pond, Pa.