Regan Smith was declared the winner of a crash-filled Aaron’s 312 Nationwide race Saturday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
Enunclaw’s Kasey Kahne appeared to hold off Smith and Joey Logano, but a review by NASCAR of when a caution was thrown on the last lap gave Smith the victory and Logano second place.
Several cars behind the leaders were caught up in a crash, and with darkness falling, NASCAR had warned the field that would be the only attempt at a green-white-checkered finish.
“I was really surprised they threw that caution. So many times they wouldn’t in that situation,” Kahne said. “NASCAR always switches it up. But I saw the caution before I got to the end.”
Smith’s explanation: “Coming down the backstretch I was thinking fifth or sixth. Then a whole bunch of cars got jammed up behind us. I made a move and it worked out for us.”
A wreck by Joey Coulter with seven laps to go caused the green-white-checkered restart.
The race was shortened by 10 laps to 107, because of darkening conditions and the absence of lights at Talladega.
Danica Patrick, who runs a handful of Nationwide races now that she is full-time Sprint Cup driver, was actually the first to get knocked out of the race. Patrick got into the wall in turn 3 just 15 laps into the race, ending her day.
Steady rain Saturday washed out qualifying at Talladega Superspeedway, where the field was set by practice speeds.
It put Carl Edwards on the pole for today’s race, followed by Martin Truex Jr. and Marcos Ambrose.
They ran a spirited Friday first practice session because everyone had seen the weather radar and knew the laps might count if qualifying was cancelled.
Joey Logano will start fourth, followed by Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth.
Denny Hamlin will be seventh in his first race since missing four with a compression fracture in a vertebra in his lower back. Hendrick Motorsports drivers Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Kahne round out the top 10.
Rain forced NHRA officials to postpone the NHRA Southern Nationals until next weekend.
Two sessions of qualifying are set for Friday at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Ga., and the final eliminations will be run Saturday.
TRACK RECORD IN BRAZIL
American Ryan Hunter-Reay set a track record Saturday to win the pole position for today’s IndyCar’s Sao Paulo 300.
The defending IndyCar Series champion was timed in 1 minute, 20.430 seconds for a lap at the Anhembi street track. He was 0.307 seconds ahead of Venezuela’s EJ Viso and 0.461 in front of Scotland’s Dario Franchitti.