TALLADEGA, Ala. - Rain and wrecks pushed NASCAR to the edge of darkness Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, where three of the biggest names in the sport led the field to final flag.
NASCAR was giving it one final go to get the rain-delayed race wrapped up, and Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson were at the head of the pack for the two-lap overtime sprint to the finish.
None of them ever saw David Ragan coming.
Heck, Ragan barely even saw teammate David Gilliland hook onto his rear bumper. But Gilliland locked up with Ragan for that last-gasp push to the finish and the Front Row Motorsports drivers sliced their way to the front and put Ragan into Victory Lane for the tiny organization's first victory.
"This is a true David versus Goliath moment here," Ragan said.
It was the second career victory for Ragan - he also won at Daytona in July 2011 when he drove for Roush Fenway Racing - and Gilliland finished second for a 1-2 finish for Front Row Motorsports.
The race took seven hours to complete after rain stopped it for 3 hours 36 minutes midway through the event. With darkness closing in, contact between Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and J.J. Yeley triggered a frightening crash that sent Kurt Busch's car airborne and on top of Ryan Newman's car.
Kenseth led a race-high 142 laps and was the leader on the final restart but was passed by Edwards on the first lap of overtime. He tried to get the lead back and was battling Edwards with no drafting partner. He never saw the pack coming behind him and, with nowhere to go, fell out of contention in the blink of an eye.
SAO PAULO - James Hinchcliffe overtook Takuma Sato of Japan on the last turn to win IndyCar's Sao Paulo 300 for his second career victory on Sunday. The Canadian moved from third to second with three laps to go and, after the long back straight, moved inside Sato to take the lead just a few yards from the finish line at the street track.