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article imageNASCAR: Two Davids face one ‘Goliath’ Sunday afternoon in Alabama

By John Duarte     May 6, 2013 in Technology
Talladega - A three-hour rain delay didn’t dampen the spirits of David Ragan on his way to winning the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday.
Ragan and teammate David Gilliand outlasted a “Goliath” of a storm in Alabama and finished one-two in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race that was delayed for over three hours and 36 minutes by rain. It was Ragan’s second Sprint-Cup win.
“We felt that we could win at one of these speedway races, or on a road course, or something like that,” said Ragan, showing confidence in his abilities and in his team. “You always believe it can happen. I didn’t think about it that much. You believe in yourself and in your team. We keep fighting and being smart.”
For the second-consecutive race there was a green-white-checkered finish that stretched the Aaron’s 499 four laps longer than the scheduled 188 laps. The rain delay pushed the race as evening darkness settled in and a massive car wreck brought out the caution flag and sent the race into overtime.
As the field prepared to go back to green-flag racing, Ragan was sitting 10th and his teammate 11th. Gilliland slid behind Ragan and pushed him through the field and into the race lead.
“I just got real tight into (turns) three and four,” Gilliland recalled the closing moments of the race. “It could have gone a number of ways. But, thankfully, I just stayed on his bumper. I pushed him all the way through the corners.”
Thankful as he was, Ragan sounded like the run for finish line was all a bit surreal.
“I thought that maybe we could get a good run and race for the win coming out of Turn 4, but I didn’t know at the time the 38 (Gilliland’s car) was hooked to my rear bumper,” Ragan said. “I wouldn’t want to line up and have to do it again.”
Carl Edwards, who had started the race in the pole position, finished third and praised the work of the two Davids.
“Obviously, I wanted to win the race very, very badly, but it truly couldn’t happen to two better guys,” Edwards said. “As frustrated as I am about the loss, I am really happy for these guys. It couldn’t happen to two better guys and a hard-working team.”
Jimmie Johnson continues to pace the Sprint Cup standings. He is 41 points ahead of Edwards, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. climbs back into the Top 3, 59 points behind the overall leader.
NASCAR goes under the lights for the next race on the Sprint Cup schedule. The Bojangles’ Southern 500 runs May 11 at Darlington Raceway, in South Carolina.
Brad Keselowski leads the field under stormy clouds at Talladega Superspeedway on May 5  2013. Rain ...
Brad Keselowski leads the field under stormy clouds at Talladega Superspeedway on May 5, 2013. Rain delayed the Aaron’s 499 for over three hours.
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
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