In what was easily the biggest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series surprise win since a then-rookie, Brad Keselowski, did so at Talladega in 2009 for James Finch, David Ragan and David Gilliland swept through the field to take a shock 1-2 result for Front Row Motorsports on Sunday at Talladega.
But they weren’t the only ones. As in Daytona, a handful of underfunded or part-time entrants also cracked the top 10.
Michael Waltrip made his second start of 2013, first actually with Michael Waltrip Racing (drove a Swan Racing Toyota in the Daytona 500), and finished fourth.
Regan Smith – the winner of Saturday’s chaotic Nationwide race – grabbed a top-10 for Finch’s Phoenix Racing in sixth.
And Scott Speed, the ex-Formula One driver for Scuderia Toro Rosso and the last American driver to race in F1, scored the first top-10 finish for the Leavine Family Racing team in ninth (No. 95, right).
Speed may have erred in the last restart, per the Associated Press’s Jenna Fryer. She tweeted from that from her notes, the restart order originally had Ragan eighth, Speed ninth and Brad Keselowski tenth, although they actually restarted Speed, Keselowski and Ragan. NASCAR made no penalty call at the time and Keselowski spent Sunday night on Twitter fuming about the alleged mistake.
David Stremme (Swan Racing Toyota, 12th) and Josh Wise (the third Front Row Ford, 19th) also posted their best results of the season.
Scott Dixon was fastest on the second day of Indy 500 practice Thursday, turning a lap at 226.102 mph in his No. 9 Dallara-Honda at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Takuma Sato was second, followed by Marco Andretti, Conor Daly and rookie Alex Palou.
The rest of the top 10 were: Colton Herta, Charlie Kimball, James Hinchcliffe, Fernando Alonso and James Davison.
THURSDAY PRACTICE: Click here for Day 2 speeds at Indianapolis
COMBINED SPEEDS: Click here for the overall speeds from the first two days
The session had one incident as Alonso crashed with just less than an hour left in the session. The Arrow McLaren SP driver was optimistic that the car could be repaired without a backup.
Among the other notables on the speed chart Thursday: Ryan Hunter-Reay (11th); Tony Kanaan (14th); Helio Castroneves (16th); Josef Newgarden (18th); Graham Rahal (19th); Will Power (23rd); Alexander Rossi (26th) and defending race winner Simon Pagenaud (27th).
Felix Rosenqvist (24th) and rookie Dalton Kellett turned the most laps (141) around the 2.5-mile oval.
Teams mostly focused on race setup Thursday as they will receive 80 extra horsepower in the “Fast Friday” practice that will feature speeds above 230 mph for qualifying Saturday and Sunday.
The Indy 500 will take place Aug. 23; coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET on NBC with the green flag at 2:30 p.m.
HOW TO WATCH THE INDY 500 ON NBC: Details for the Aug. 23 race
DAILY INDY 500 SCHEDULE: Click here for all on-track activity in August at Indy