The Norman Transcript

Sports

May 6, 2013

Ragan steals last-lap victory at Talladega

TALLADEGA, Ala. — A pair of Davids slayed the Goliaths at Talladega Superspeedway.

David Ragan hooked up with teammate David Gilliland in a two-lap overtime sprint, and together they picked off some of the top drivers in NASCAR to drive to the front and push Ragan into Victory Lane.

It was the second career victory for Ragan — he also won at Daytona in July 2011 — and Gilliland finished second for a 1-2 finish for Front Row Motorsports.

“I had a great teammate. David Gilliland gave us a great push. I owe him a lot,” Ragan said. “I’ll definitely buy him lunch this week or something.”

The victory came a day after Regan Smith won the Nationwide Series race and Ragan was flooded with misfired congratulatory messages on Twitter.

“All fans- please send all congrats to (at)ReganSmith. Not this Ragan..... He is the Winner today!! Haha,” he tweeted Saturday night.

Now Regan has his own win — just in time to qualify for the Sprint All-Star race in two weeks.

Gilliland wanted the win but was content settling for second on a day his team earned its first career victory.

“What a great day for Front Row Motorsports, an underfunded team coming in here and being able to finish 1-2 is awesome,” Gilliland said. “I’m very proud of David Ragan. I know he would have done the same for me. I had a heck of a run, we were pushing, I was locked to his bumper and I wasn’t going to let him go.”

The race took seven hours to complete after rain stopped it for 3 hours, 36 minutes midway through the event. With darkness quickly closing in, contact between Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and J.J. Yeley triggered a frightening crash that sent Kurt Busch’s car airborne and on top of Ryan Newman’s car.

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