“It’s a photo finish at the line! Blaney and Newman were side-by-side at the line! Blaney by just a foot is going to get the win over Newman!” – Rick Allen
“Seven one-thousandths of a second that may have saved Ryan Blaney’s season.” – Marty Snider
“It was just wild; two-, three-wide action all day long. You couldn’t ask for more action.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“It’s Talladega. You never know what to expect.” – Jeff Burton
“They put in $50 million rebuilding this place. I should have thrown in $50 to move the start-finish line.” – Newman on losing by .007 seconds.
TALLADEGA, Ala. – October 14, 2019 – NASCAR’s biggest and baddest track lived up to its name on Monday afternoon on NBCSN, as Ryan Blaney defeated Ryan Newman by just seven one-thousandths of a second – the sixth closest finish in NASCAR history – to win the wreck-filled NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, and advance to the Round of 8 in the Playoffs. The race began on Sunday, but was postponed after Stage 1 due to rain.
NBC Sports’ Rick Allen called the action alongside racing legend and two-time Daytona 500-winner Dale Earnhardt Jr., 21-time Cup Series race winner Jeff Burton and Daytona 500 winning crew chief Steve Letarte. Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast, and Dave Burns reported from pit road and the grandstands.
Krista Voda hosted Sunday’s pre-race and rain delay coverage alongside analysts Kyle Petty and Dale Jarrett. Pre-race coverage on Sunday on NBC included a feature on the Earnhardt legacy at Talladega voiced by Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The following are highlights from this afternoon’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race coverage on NBCSN:
Snider: “Seven one-thousandths of a second that may have saved Ryan Blaney’s season.”
Blaney: “There was no blocking the No. 6 and the No. 11…he kind of pushed me below the yellow line…this was a huge, huge race for us.”
Newman to Stavast on losing by .007 seconds: “They put in $50 million rebuilding this place. I should have thrown in $50 to move the start-finish line.”
Burton: “It’s Talladega. You never know what to expect.”
Earnhardt Jr.: “I’m just really impressed with how active and how hard the drivers raced today. Typically, when there’s so much on the line, they don’t quite race that intensely throughout the entire event. From Stage 1, 2, 3, it was just wild; two-, three-wide action all day long. You couldn’t ask for more action.”
Letarte on Blaney on the final lap: “I really like that call by NASCAR. Two left-side tires barely below (the yellow line), saving his race car, no intent to go down there. That’s what racing at Talladega is all about.”
Letarte on talk of manufacturers’ alliances: “There was all this conversation coming in about manufacturers and alliances. In the end, I saw a bunch of selfish race car drivers doing what they do best, which is score points for themselves, try to score the win for themselves, which is what makes racing great.”
Allen on Blaney winning by a foot: “Here they come! They make contact! It’s a photo finish at the line! Blaney and Newman were side-by-side at the line! Blaney by just a foot is going to get the win over Newman!”
Letarte: “How many times has that start-finish line come into play, later, out past the tri-oval? In the tri-oval, it was definitely the No. 6 leading, but the No. 12 still had time and made that move.”
Earnhardt Jr: “I just don’t know that I’ve seen guys race this hard, this much, through each stage – we rarely, if ever, have seen the teams race two, three-wide the entire day.”
Earnhardt Jr. on wreck with 7 laps to go: “I think the air is so compressed coming off of the noses of these cars that getting next to the No. 18 car shoved it to the right, upsetting that car just enough. Or maybe the No. 18 saw the No. 17 coming and turned the steering wheel ever so slightly, and you can’t turn the car while you’re being pushed.”
Burton on wreck with 7 laps to go: “You cannot discount the shape of that Chevrolet nose to have an effect – with that air pushing on the side of the car, being pushed off of a pointed nose, the combination of those two things, you just can’t separate them. I think they’re connected.”
Letarte on wreck involving Brendan Gaughan’s flipped car: “It looks like a toy car. It doesn’t look real.”
Burton on racing at Talladega: “That is why drivers’ heart rates are through the roof on these late race restarts.”
Earnhardt Jr. on the new packages: “Something about this new rule package has these spoilers, allows that inside line to remain competitive and battle back. And keep this field two or three wide all race.”
Steve Letarte on non-playoff drivers: “They don’t want to hear about points or Playoffs, they could care less. They’re trying to win a race.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the new package: “I don’t know what it is about the new rule package. It’s something about it that is allowing that inside line not to be dominated by the top. I love it!”
Alex Bowman on wreck on lap 108: “He (Logano) had a bigger run than I realized. I should have let him go instead of blocked it. I apologize that got torn up, that’s on me. Talladega happens.”
Burton on wreck on lap 108 involving Alex Bowman and Joey Logano: “Blocking is one of the things you have to do. You also have to know when you can't do it. But if you don't block, you're not going to win this race...I'm not going to fault Alex Bowman. I've been in that situation…it’s not an easy decision to make.”
Letarte on wreck on lap 108: “Huge playoff implications. We knew it was going to happen at Talladega. We knew it was going to stir up the Playoffs. We didn’t know when, we didn’t know how, but we were sure there was going to be a moment.”