Ty Dillon saves fuel to grab Stage 1 win at Talladega
Ty Dillon stretched his gas and held off Alex Bowman to take the Stage 1 victory at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
While several teams were precariously close on fuel as the first 55-lap stage came to an end on Sunday, Ty Dillon managed to make it the distance.
Austin Dillon finished third, Chase Elliott fourth and Daniel Suarez completed the top-five.
Also collecting stage points were Ryan Newman, William Byron, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch and Matt DiBenedetto.
Austin Dillon, the pole winner, was passed on the first lap by Brad Keselowski and quickly fell back to seventh.
On Lap 7, Joey Logano was able to get around Keselowski and take the lead for the first time in the race.
Two laps later, Ryan Blaney went to the outside and around Logano to move into the top spot.
In Turns 1 and 2 on Lap 10, Bubba Wallace appeared to get loose and collected several others in a wreck, including Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Michael McDowell, Denny Hamlin and Aric Almirola.
“We were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I didn’t see what happened, just saw (Wallace) coming across the track,” McDowell said. “To be out so early is very disappointing but it’s out of your control it’s part of superspeedway racing.”
Said Wallace: “I was just trying to ride and not wreck anybody and I wrecked myself.”
During pit stops, both Kyle Busch, Blaney and Elliott were penalized for speeding on pit road and had to restart from the rear of the field.
On the restart on Lap 17, Logano remained on the track and led the way. Almirola quickly made his way around Logano and took the lead following the restart.
On Lap 24, Jimmie Johnson spun hit the wall in Turn 3 and suffered right-side damage but was able to take his No. 48 Chevrolet down pit road without a caution.
With 25 laps remaining in the first stage, Almirola maintained a small lead over Logano. But a lap later, Logano moved back into the top spot.
Larson moved into the lead on Lap 35 for the first time in the race but Almirola quickly grabbed it right back.
With 15 to go in the stage, Almirola led the way followed by Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr.
Several teams reported the possibility of being short on fuel and there remained 10 laps remaining in the first stage and Almirola stayed out front.
Almirola elected to pit with nine laps to go as Truex took over the race lead. Almirola was penalized for speeding on pit road during his stop and had to make a pass-thru penalty.
“I slid the tires, I hope they don’t blow out,” Almirola said over his team radio. “I was way too fast, I locked the tires up.”
Ty Dillon took over the race lead with six laps to go.
Prior to the start of the race, the cars of Newman, Hamlin, Stenhouse, Kyle Busch, Truex, Erik Jones, Reed Sorenson and Cody Ware had to move to the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments.
Brendan Gaughan also had to start from the rear of the field after Tyler Reddick qualified his car on Saturday as Gaughan traveled home to attend his son’s first communion.
The battle lines are clearly drawn for Sunday's Talladega race
Chase Elliott leads Hendrick 1-2-3 in Stage 2 at Talladega