FENWICK: A True Talladega Upset!
These days in NASCAR, upsets don’t happen very often. But on Sunday we saw the true definition of an upset. Or maybe it was the retelling of David defeating Goliath.
Strike that, make it two Davids beating two dozen Goliaths.
Front Row Motorsports teammates David Ragan and David Gilliland don’t have the best equipment, nor do they have millions of dollars in sponsorship money. Both drivers get by on whatever team owner Bob Jenkins can provide on a given weekend. Sometimes that isn’t much.
Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, both drivers did more with their equipment than anyone expected. On the last lap of the rain-delayed Aaron’s 499 — when traditional wisdom says each driver will be thinking about only himself —Ragan and Gilliland worked in tandem to score an amazing triumph for the little guys.
“It’s a huge, huge deal for us to be sitting here right now and it makes it even more special to get a one-two finish,” said Ragan after his second career Sprint Cup victory. “Can you believe that? That was a great finish.”
It was an opinion shared by his teammate and second-place finisher Gilliland.
“Anything like this for an organization like Front Row Motorsports or any organization is very big,” said Gilliland, who pushed Ragan to the checkered flag as darkness fell over the 2.66-mile track.
Front Row Motorsports has come a long way since the team debuted in 2005 when it made 12 Sprint Cup starts with seven different drivers. Before Sunday the team had earned only two top fives, including a third-place finish by Gilliland in the 2011 Daytona 500.
Now the team has a new set of goals after the amazing victory at Talladega. Now they need to do it again.
That won’t be easy in this day and age, but if Sunday’s victory proved anything, it was that if you work hard enough and try long enough, sooner or later a little good luck will come your way.