TALLADEGA, Ala. – Front Row Motorsports teammates David Ragan and David Gilliland teamed up on the final lap of Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 to pull off a massive upset at Talladega Superspeedway.
Ragan, using a massive push from Gilliland down the backstretch on the final lap, dove below Carl Edwards entering turn three to take the lead. Ragan stayed side-by-side with Edwards until he got out of turn four until Gilliland gave him one final push to the front.
Once clear of Edwards Ragan quickly went high to break the momentum of the No. 99 Ford before returning to the low side to pick up his teammate Gilliland once again. By then the battle was for second as Ragan crossed the finish line .213 of a second ahead of Gilliland to score his second NASCAR Sprint Cup victory and the first for team owner Bob Jenkins.
“I don’t know what to say. This is a true David vs. Goliath moment here for Front Row Motorsports,” Ragan said from victory lane. “They’re not all this easy, but man this is special to get Front Row Motorsports their first win.”
The victory was Ragan’s second in Sprint Cup competition, both of which have come on restrictor plate tracks. He scored his first Sprint Cup victory at Daytona Int’l Speedway while driving for Roush Fenway Racing in 2011.
Gilliliand, driving the second of three Front Row Motorsports Fords in the race, matched his career best finish of second. He said he did everything he could to ensure team owner Bob Jenkins would get his first Sprint Cup victory on Sunday.
“It has been my dream since I came to Front Row to get Bob Jenkins to victory lane and that was about as much as I could help today,” Gilliland said. “What a great day for Front Row Motorsports.”
“An underfunded team coming in here and being able to finish one-two is just awesome,” Gilliland added. “Very proud of David Ragan, I know he would have done the same for me. We had a heck of a run. We were pushing and I was locked to his bumper and I wasn’t going to let go.”
The crazy finish was just the icing on the cake for a long weekend for everyone in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series garage. The race started at approximately 1:09 p.m. EST, but was stopped on lap 124 by rain showers.