The NASCAR Cup Series raced their final superspeedway of the season on Monday. The YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway marked the middle race of the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Playoffs. A handful of playoff contenders would be taken out early while others would earn the points they needed to help themselves move to the next round. But it would be a non-playoff driver pushed to the front at the right time to get the win and surprise the NASCAR world. Bubba Wallace took home his first career Cup Series win and the first win for the new 23XI Racing team in the rain-shortened YellaWood 500.
NASCAR Cup Series Recap | Bubba Wallace Wins at Talladega
YellaWood 500 Stage 1
After waiting for an hour and a half on Sunday the cars would take to the track, but would not complete any laps as the sky would open up and cause the race to be postponed to Monday. The race started with clearer skies the next day. With a whole group of Fords tailing him, Kevin Harvick got out to the lead quickly. Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson would each get around him and lead a lap. Cole Custer led the field to the competition caution on Lap 25.
Harvick won the race off of pit road and regained the lead of the race. Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin were the leaders of the inside and outside lines at Lap 40. Keselowski prevailed and the train started on the high line. William Byron hit Justin Allgaier sending him into Kyle Larson and ending Allgaier’s day. Chase Briscoe had some damage from the wreck as well, but both he and Larson were still able to keep going. The caution ended the stage giving the stage win to Chris Buescher.
YellaWood 500 Stage 2
Kevin Harvick won the race off of pit road during the stage break but had to come back down after a lug nut hit a valve stem. Joey Logano took over the point for the ensuing restart. Team Penske took full control at the front of the pack. Tyler Reddick hopped on the outside and battled for the lead. Kyle Larson blew a tire and that tore up the right side of his car, causing the caution to come out. Everyone came in to fill up on fuel with one lap to green. Before they could get the green flag, the race would be red-flagged for rain again.
After a 20-minute delay, the drivers would get back onto the track. Justin Haley led them back to the green. Christopher Bell got to the high line and it was single file for 12 cars back. Denny Hamlin got to the bottom and he and Bell battled for the lead. Bell then crossed over and got in front of his teammate. Alex Bowman got turned after a surge from the outside line. The wreck collected Ross Chastain, Martin Truex Jr., Reddick, and Kyle Busch.
The next caution was for Ryan Preece. He collected another playoff contender in William Byron as well as Matt DiBenedetto. The rain came back and would halt the race once again. NASCAR did everything it could to get the race going again. It was to no avail, and Bubba Wallace earned his first career NASCAR Cup Series win with the YellaWood 500 being called.
Final YellaWood 500 Thoughts
It sucks that they couldn’t get the full race in especially at Talladega Superspeedway, but NASCAR did everything possible to do so. The race was exciting up until the rain came, and they had to call it. Bubba Wallace finally gets his first NASCAR Cup Series win at the track where so much happened for him. Watching him celebrate was amazing, as he has dealt with so much in the past 18 months. This sets up the NASCAR Playoffs Round of 12 finale next Sunday afternoon at the Charlotte ROVAL.