It doesn’t matter whether it happens in May or October, but the fact of the matter is that every race tells a story…often the same story. The beginning and part of the middle portion of the race involve everyone being calm, patient, and also knowing what is coming.
The second half, the deciding part of the race, always means the pressure builds, mounts, to the point where everything could explode at a moment’s notice.
On Sunday, it was clear that one big moment wasn’t enough, because by race’s end, three red flags were used for cleanup from big accidents that took away many fast cars, and many playoff drivers. Destroyed bodies, suspension, wheels, and drivetrains were the casualties by the time the evening came to a conclusion.
Yet all the while, one man managed to escape and make it to the end. He’s become an expert to an extent at this kind of racing, and made the right decisions at the right times.
It led to a third win on the season, and an automatic pass to the third round.
All cheers to Brad Keselowski, who honored the man that got him his first big break in NASCAR, and the man who was making his final start at the beast of a track, Dale Earnhardt Jr.
One participant managed to choose correctly, earning his automatic bid into the third round, and also gaining the points lead.
Things took a shake after Sunday’s chaos. Here’s the new standings after a long afternoon in the Alabama 500:
Sal Sigala Jr. (3132) Brad Keselowski WON –  1 36*
Misan Akuya (3109) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 7th –  0 38
Ashley Hobbs (3097) Clint Bowyer finished 35th –  2 40*
Ashley Hull (3094) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished 26th –  2 34*
Rob Blount (3086) Chase Elliott finished 16th –  1 20
Penny Whitecotton (3062) Chase Elliott finished 16th –  1 12
Billy Fellin (3052) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished 26th –  1 20
Ashley McCubbin (3046) Jamie McMurray finished 37th –  0 11
Dalton Hastings (3044) Martin Truex Jr. finished 23rd –  1 11
Rob Tiongson (3039) Jamie McMurray finished 37th –  0 14
Dustin Parks (2181) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 7th – 
Patti Rodisch (2170) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 7th – 
Klarissa Mitchell (2148) NO PICK SENT – 
*Advanced into third round of Playoffs
Next Race: Talladega has always been known to have a tornado or two in the race, namely because the results lead to big wrecks, destroyed cars, and often championship dreams ending because of someone else’s hand. The positive that can come of this race, at least for those involved in the big wrecks, is that unlike the previous three years, Talladega is only the second race in the Round of 12.
Next week, it’s a different type of twister, but this one involves the area that is known as Tornado Alley.
The final race of the third round takes place at the Kansas Speedway, where finally the drivers themselves can decide who will make the move into the third round of the playoffs.
All the participants want one more win to their credit, but they also want to avoid elimination. Those picks need to be submitted, with the 10 still going after a title once again being different than the previous five weeks, by Thursday, October 19, at 10 p.m. ET for the Hollywood Casino 400.