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Ragan stuns Edwards to win at Talladega

The SportsXchange

TALLADEGA, Ala. -- In one of the greatest upsets in NASCAR history, David Ragan, with drafting help from his Front Row Motorsports teammate David Gilliland, passed Carl Edwards on the final lap and then held off Edwards and Gilliland to win the rain-delayed Aaron's 499 Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.

A wild nine-car melee with six laps to go resulted in an even wilder green-white-checkered flag finish that saw Ragan and Gilliland come from well back to surprise everyone, including superstars Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Edwards, who were battling hard for the lead.

Kenseth was the leader on the final restart, but Edwards got by him on the white-flag lap, only to see Ragan and Gilliland come roaring by on the last lap.

Edwards tried to block, but Ragan and Gilliland had too much for Edwards as they shot by to move to the top two. Edwards rallied on the outside, but Ragan blocked him as they raced through the tri-oval. Edwards and Gilliland raced side-by-side for second with Ragan winning his second Sprint Cup race. His first came at Daytona in 2011 while driving for Roush Fenway Racing.

Gilliand edged Edwards for second, with Michael Waltrip and Johnson completing the top five. The second five was composed of Regan Smith, Martin Truex, Jr., Kenseth, Scott Speed and Aric Almirola.

Edwards was the man out front when the race was stopped after 125 laps for rain.

The red flag lasted three hours and 46 minutes.

Kenseth dominated the race both before and after the rain, but he was not able to hold onto the lead when it counted.

Edwards slipped by Roush Fenway teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. just moments before the yellow flag was waved for rain.

The race was red-flagged three laps later.

Kenseth dominated the first 110 laps, but with 75 laps to go and dark rain clouds hovering over the track, the Ford drivers hooked up in a draft and started moving to the front.

Johnson saw what was happening and jumped in front of Stenhouse as they hung Kenseth out to dry.

Johnson led the next five laps before the Ford foursome of Stenhouse, Edwards, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski teamed up to pass Johnson.

Moments later, Edwards went to the outside of Stenhouse to grab the lead just as the caution light came on to slow the field.

Edwards was only in front for less than a minute, but it was the right minute as NASCAR said he was the leader when the yellow came out.

The infamous "big one" at Talladega happened on Lap 42 when Kyle Busch clipped Kasey Kahne in the right rear to turn Kahne into the wall and trigger a pileup that included many potential winners, including Busch, Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart.
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