TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — Jamie McMurray was the unlikely winner of an uncharacteristically dull race at Talladega Superspeedway, where a ban on bump-drafting forced most competitors to treat the event as a slow Sunday drive.
The day started with a stern warning from NASCAR president Mike Helton against the aggressive driving that has turned Talladega into the most exciting track on the circuit. What followed was an anesthetized first 450 miles, with long periods of single-file traffic and no driver willing to defy NASCAR’s order not to bump through the corners.
But the action picked up with roughly 20 laps remaining, and with it came the typical Talladega mayhem. Ryan Newman’s harrowing crash with five laps to go left him upside down in the grass, and NASCAR needed a stoppage of almost 13 minutes to cut him from the car.