It's moments like this that make us proud to have @BubbaWallace in the garage every weekend. pic.twitter.com/pJKQievxjP— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 23, 2020
NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega: Ryan Blaney wins Geico 500 in photo finish, Bubba Wallace has top-15 finish
Highlights, analysis of Blaney's victory at Talladega Superspeedway
Due to inclement weather, Sunday's GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway was postponed on Sunday night. The full 188-lap race began at 3 p.m. ET on Monday with Fox handling the broadcast.
Ryan Blaney and his No. 12 Ford Mustang took the win at Talladega. This is the first win of the season for the Team Penske driver.
The tight race and photo finish made for a wild finish in Alabama, where 5,000 fans watched live. This is one of the first races since the coronavirus pandemic hit that fans were allowed in the stands.
But what happened on the track isn't the only thing that had fans talking heading into Monday's race. On Sunday, a noose was found in Bubba Wallace's garage at Talladega. Wallace is NASCAR's only full-time Black Cup Series driver and the company released a statement saying that they are "angry and outraged."
NASCAR drivers showed their support for Wallace by pushing his No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro to the front of the grid followed by standing around it prior to the race.
Athletes around the sports world were cheering for Wallace and with everyone watching, the Richard Petty Motorsports driver was in contention as the drivers completed their final laps, but in overtime dropped to 17th before finishing 14th, a career-best finish for Wallace at Talladega.
Wallace walked out to the fans after the race while holding his fist up, as his best friend on the track Blaney took in the win. Wallace finished just three-tenths of a second behind the winner and joked after the race saying, "Man, I know I should've won that damn race. We ran out of gas."
Lightning and rain forced a delay to the green flag on Sunday in Talladega and with rain in the forecast on Monday as well, it was touch and go at the start of the race.
Sunday's postponement was in part due to the lack of lights at Talladega, with the race unable to happen at night.
Oddsmakers had a three-way tie for the driver with the best chances to win Monday's race with Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano sitting at +1000 heading into Monday's actions.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. says he has taken the Mississippi state flag off his firesuit in the last couple of weeks: pic.twitter.com/IGbeWMonEB— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) June 23, 2020
Not our best finish at Dega, but still a race we’ll never forget 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/JsNcGNj5qt— Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) June 23, 2020
If you watched with us for the first time today:— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 23, 2020
2) What other questions do you have about how a #NASCAR race works? https://t.co/Lalc36cMD5
Ryan Blaney describes the range of emotions he had Sunday night after talking to Bubba Wallace about the noose Wallace’s crew found hanging in its garage stall: pic.twitter.com/eHpyDr7IH4— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) June 23, 2020
Aric Almirola, who finished in third place in spectacular fashion after his car spun out in the final straightaway, also shared his support for Wallace following the race by explaining how NASCAR drivers look at themselves as part of the same family at the end of the day.
"We all support each other because we're a family."— Matt Mayer (@MatthewMayerCBS) June 23, 2020
Aric Almirola talks about how the #NASCAR community rallied together in support of Bubba Wallace. pic.twitter.com/m9BaFhX0BN
As disappointed as I am with how the race turned out, I’m still smiling. Bring on Pocono.— Jimmie Johnson (@JimmieJohnson) June 23, 2020
In an emotional ending to his news conference, Ryan Blaney says he didn’t want today remembered as a terrible day in NASCAR history and that the driver unity shows “we’re not going to take it anymore. I’m getting sick of this.” pic.twitter.com/5E51WmDnRa— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) June 23, 2020
NEWS: @Blaney's No. 12 car clears post-race inspection at @TalladegaSuperS.— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 23, 2020
He is officially the winner of the #GEICO500. pic.twitter.com/5KVyBRjVaJ
Like many others, Jimmie Johnson was furious after hearing what happened at Bubba Wallace's garage at Talladega which led to the rest of the field rallying around their fellow driver in what was a powerful moment prior to the green flag being waved.
"My blood was boiling. I could not believe that had happened."— Matt Mayer (@MatthewMayerCBS) June 23, 2020
Jimmie Johnson shares how he felt when he found out a noose was left in Bubba Wallace's garage and details the shift in emotion once the #NASCAR community rallied together. pic.twitter.com/PVTyDyuBz4
After taking the checkered flag at Talladega, Ryan Blaney was as candid as can possibly be when discussing the things that his friend, Bubba Wallace, had to go through over the course of the weekend.
"It almost brought me to tears when Bubba told me yesterday what happened. He doesn't deserve that. No one deserves that."— Matt Mayer (@MatthewMayerCBS) June 23, 2020
Race winner Ryan Blaney shares his thoughts on a noose being placed in his close friend Bubba Wallace's garage. #NASCAR pic.twitter.com/rP0uABfEuG
We may not always get along the greatest, but I have a ton of appreciation for the person @BubbaWallace is and everything he’s doing to push us all to be better. pic.twitter.com/OMP2cJsxos— Alex Bowman (@AlexBowman88) June 23, 2020
Just expanding the collection.@Blaney | @TalladegaSuperS pic.twitter.com/K5e75Xvns1— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 23, 2020
It's decided. I'm doing all my interviews backward now. 😂 https://t.co/0XiEgo0E3Q— Aric Almirola (@Aric_Almirola) June 23, 2020
We rally around @BubbaWallace. Fellow drivers push his No. 43 car to the front in Talladega.#IStandWithBubba pic.twitter.com/n0YwN1qq5l— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 22, 2020
I couldn’t leave my man @BubbaWallace stranded. https://t.co/FtHU4xic4s— Corey LaJoie (@CoreyLaJoie) June 23, 2020
Think @Blaney's getting pretty good at this photo-finish-at-@TalladegaSuperS thing. pic.twitter.com/b5aHAu5xPK— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 23, 2020
NASCAR and the world unite behind @BubbaWallace as he stands up against racism.https://t.co/WsAukI7Jon— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 23, 2020
.@bobpockrass shares his thoughts on an emotional day for NASCAR and the sport rallying behind @BubbaWallace after a noose was found in his garage stall at Talladega. pic.twitter.com/E4NPOneqDz— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 23, 2020
Some days it’s about more than just racing... pic.twitter.com/OUe0ITkjdf— Jamie Little (@JamieLittleTV) June 23, 2020
What was @Blaney's game plan as the field raced to the finish?— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 23, 2020
He breaks down the sprint to the checkers at @TalladegaSuperS. pic.twitter.com/rfgCKYEABj
.@BobPockrass shares his thoughts on an emotional day for NASCAR and the sport rallying behind @BubbaWalllace after a noose was found in his garage stall at Talladega. pic.twitter.com/Iz2uhkzHP4— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 23, 2020
Another chapter written in the book of thrilling @TalladegaSuperS finishes.— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 23, 2020
Once again, it was @Blaney holding off the pack to score the victory. pic.twitter.com/jPEQC91QcA
"I wanted to show whoever it was that you're not going to take away my smile." - @BubbaWallace pic.twitter.com/wVSaGOxXtN— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 23, 2020
THAT close. pic.twitter.com/sMS6l3hynY— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 23, 2020
"The sport is changing ... Whoever it was, you're not gonna take away my smile."- @BubbaWallace— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 23, 2020
What a moment. #IStandWithBubba pic.twitter.com/Z3YajMuBBJ
.@BubbaWallace walks out to the grandstands at @TalladegaSuperS to thank his fans for the support. pic.twitter.com/BH2pPVzd6i— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 23, 2020
Back-to-back wins for Ryan @Blaney at Talladega. pic.twitter.com/OTuEFF6fHD— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 22, 2020
Won it by THAT much.@Blaney | @TalladegaSuperS | #GEICO500 pic.twitter.com/m8YTtwY2sW— NASCAR (@NASCAR) June 22, 2020
WHAT. A. FINISH. Retweet to congratulate Ryan @Blaney on his WIN at Talladega! pic.twitter.com/GfNSc7g7mB— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 22, 2020