Matt Kenseth left Talladega with the trophy.
Brad Keselowski left with the lead in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. left with a bad taste in his mouth.
After spending half of Sunday's Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 fighting to regain the lead lap after a pit road speeding penalty, Earnhardt was in position for a decent finish until a massive wreck in the final corner wiped him out.
After NASCAR sorted out the finishing order skewed by the 25-car pileup, the driver of the No. 88 Chevrolet was credited with a 20th-place finish, dropping him to 11th in the standings, 51 points behind Keselowski, who ran seventh.
"If this is what we did every week, I wouldn't be doing it -- I will just put it to you like that," Earnhardt told reporters after the race.Â "If this is how we raced every week, I would find another job."
What Earnhardt finds most objectionable is the inescapable close-quarters racing that inevitably produces multi-car wrecks.
"The way we are going ain't the right direction," Earnhardt said.Â "There are plenty of engineers out there. I'm just a driver.Â There are plenty of smart people out there that can figure something out where, when one guy gets in trouble, we don't have 30 cars tore up at the expense of it.
"I don't care what anybody says. For the good of the sport -- I mean it's good for the here and now and it will get people talking today -- but for the long run that is not going to help the sport the way that race ended and the way the racing is.Â It's not going to be productive for years to come.Â
"I don't even want to go to Daytona or Talladega next year, but I ain't got much choice."
By the time Earnhardt gets to Daytona in February, however, the racing package will have changed. NASCAR is introducing a new generation of cars for 2013.