TALLADEGA, Ala. —
It took NASCAR more than an hour to sort the final finishing order. When the results were finally posted, Kyle Busch was third and was followed by David Ragan and Regan Smith, who grabbed a season-best fifth-place finish in his final race with Furniture Row Racing.
Chase driver Greg Biffle was sixth, followed by points leader Brad Keselowski, Travis Kvapil, Ryan Newman and Jeff Burton.
Keselowski considered himself lucky to be leaving with a 14-point lead over Johnson. Keselowski said he was holding on trying to stay in the bottom lane because he figured that would be his escape route when the inevitable accident happened.
He was credited with a seventh-place finish, but his Penske Racing team had a photo that showed Keselowski on the apron in fourth with the caution lights on — when the field should have been frozen. Both owner Roger Penske and team president Tim Cindric believed the driver wasn't awarded the proper finish.
"That's pretty big; I just feel lucky to survive Talladega," Keselowski said. "Just a bunch of guys running four-wide. You know it's a matter of time before they wreck. We all did."
Most of the race was tame, which seems to be the norm anymore as drivers use varying strategies to ensure they are still running at the end. The highlight before the final drama was Kurt Busch being parked by NASCAR for driving away from safety workers as they attempted to check on him after he wrecked.
Busch had lost fuel pressure while leading, which led to his accident in his final race with Phoenix Racing. He's scheduled to join Furniture Row Racing, the team that signed him for 2013, next week, but could face sanctions from NASCAR.
Busch wasn't wearing his helmet, which he said prevented him from hearing a NASCAR official telling him to not to move. When he drove away, a safety worker's bag fell off the back of his car.