Race Winner: Ryan Blaney of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Clint Bowyer of Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Ended at Lap 55):
● Bowyer started eighth and finished 13th.
● The No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Ford moved from eighth to second in the opening laps.
● Bowyer stayed near the front of the pack, making a scheduled stop for fuel on lap 35.
● Bowyer’s hopes for earning bonus points faded when he was pinned on the bottom lane in the closing laps of the stage and could not draft to the front.
● After taking the checkered flag to complete the stage, rain forced the field to pit road. Additional rain throughout the afternoon forced NASCAR to resume the race on Monday.
● Bowyer pitted with the rest of the field when NASCAR lifted the red flag Monday during the stage break.
Stage 2 Recap (Ended at Lap 110):
● Bowyer started 11th and finished first to earn 10 bonus points.
● The No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Ford showed it was one of the fastest cars Monday, climbing into the top-five by lap 67.
● Bowyer pitted from fourth on lap 94 as he and fellow Ford drivers worked together in the draft.
● As the field jousted for positions in the final laps, Bowyer took over the lead on lap 107 when Joey Logano and Alex Bowman made contact that triggered a multicar crash.
● Bowyer did not suffer any damage, and the stage ended under caution.
● Bowyer earned his first stage victory since winning the first stage at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sept. 10, 2018.
Stage 3 Recap (Ended at Lap 188):
● Bowyer started first and finished 23rd.
● The No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Ford continued to lead the field in the early laps of the final stage.
● Bowyer made slight contact with the wall with just 45 laps remaining in the race.
● Bowyer said he could smell the tire rubbing but could not make it to pit lane before the tire caused him to spin.
● Bowyer’s car came to rest where the bottom of the banking and flat part of the track meet. At that angle, he was unable to move the car. Safety officials finally freed the No. 14, and Bowyer returned to the pits two laps behind the leaders.
● Bowyer fell as far back as 33rd but gained 10 spots through attrition and crashes in the final laps.
● Bowyer led twice for 13 laps to increase his laps-led total at Talladega to 123.
● Ryan Blaney won the 1000Bulbs.com 500to score his third career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Talladega. His margin of victory over second-place Ryan Newman was .007 of a second.
● There were nine caution periods for a total of 43 laps.
● Only 20 of the 40 drivers in the 1000Bulbs.com 500 finished on the lead lap.
● Ford took six of the top-10 finishing positions in the 1000Bulbs.com 500.
Playoff Standings (with one race to go before Round of 8):
1. Kyle Larson (3,069 points) 1 win
2. Ryan Blaney (3,056 points) 1 win
3. Denny Hamlin (3,113 points, +56)
4. Martin Truex Jr. (3,106 points, +48)
5. Kyle Busch (3,099 points, +41)
6. Kevin Harvick (3,094 points, +36)
7. Brad Keselowski (3,078 points, +20)
8. Joey Logano (3,076 points, +18)
9. Alex Bowman (3,058 points, -18)
10. Chase Elliott (3,054 points, -22)
11. Clint Bowyer (3,052 points, -24)
12. William Byron (3,049 points, -27)
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Mobil Delvac 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“I brushed the wall. I was afraid (the tire) was gonna go flat, so I bailed out of there and, sure enough, it went flat. And then I just got stuck down there. I couldn’t get those guys to cooperate. They stared at me for a lap. I was like, ‘Boys, we’ve got to figure this out. We’ve got to push this thing off.’ I don’t know that they knew I was stuck. I shut it off and was trying to scream, but it is what it is.”
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday, Oct. 20 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. It is the sixth race of the 10-race playoffs and the final race in the Round of 12. It starts at 2:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.