A fury of Fords broke through the pack under threatening weather to finish 1-2-3 and win the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday.
Roush Yates’ powered Fords worked together all day to bring home a win at a race plagued by rain. David Gilliland locked up with David Ragan for a tremendous last-lap push to the finish that put Ragan in Victory Lane and gave Front Row Motorsports their first Sprint Cup Victory.
“I’m kind of a low-key guy, but man, this is awesome. First off, I’ve got to thank the Lord. Without him nothing is possible. I’ve got to thank my teammates David Gilliland and Josh Wise. If it wasn’t for that final push from David Gilliland, I don’t know what to say,” said an elated Ragan in Victory Lane. “This is a true David vs. Goliath moment here.”
“Our Farm Rich Ford was fast,” Ragan continued. “We made the right pit calls all day. We’re a small team. We build our own chassis, our own bodies. I can’t thank Ford Racing, Doug Yates, Robert Yates, and Jack Roush enough. Man, it’s a special moment for all of our partners here. This is big.”
NASCAR slowed the race on lap 122 and stopped if after lap 125 when showers arrived shortly after 3pm EST. Carl Edwards had nosed ahead of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. moments earlier, leaving the Fords of Edwards, Stenhouse Jr., Joey Logano, and Brad Keselowski at the front of the field. After a 3 hour and 36 minute rain delay, the race was re-started and Gilliland and Ragan saw an opportunity to make their move.
“What a great day for Front Row Motorsports, an underfunded team coming in here and being able to finish 1-2 is awesome,” said Gilliland. “I’m very proud of David Ragan. I know he would have done the same for me. I had a heck of a run, we were pushing. I was locked to his bumper and I wasn’t going to let him go.”
Bob Jenkins, owner of Front Row Motorsports, shared in David’s excitement.
“I tell you what makes it special is just the time and the effort that these guys put into these cars,” said Jenkins. “There are a lot of owners out there that they get the best available driver they can get and they’re like a hired gun, but the thing that I think makes our team different than some of the rest is that we’re so close. More than anything we’re friends and I know I’ve got drivers that are capable of winning races.”
Roush Yates’ Fords were also fast in the Nationwide Series, where Travis Pastrana earned his first career pole. Pastrana circled the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway with a fast lap of 176.500 mph for the Aaron’s 312 on Saturday.
Roush Yates Engines showed power and performance on the grassroots circuit this weekend as well. Davey Johnson, a seasoned veteran in the dirt late model series, dominated the Late Model feature at Lernerville Speedway on Friday night in the Precise Racing Products DIRTcar Late Model divison. Johnson started on the pole with his Roush Yates powered 410 Ford Dirt Late Model engine and ran away with his second feature win in the last year.
Gregg Satterlee completed a personal weekend sweep winning Friday night at Eastside Speedway and Saturday night at Winchester Speedway. Satterlee started seventh at Eastside Speedway on Friday and pulled away to a five second lead to earn his first victory of the season on the Three State Flyers circuit. He followed it up Saturday night at Winchester Speedway by leading all 35 laps in the Lee Stultz Memorial race.