Michael Waltrip held off a hard charge from DEI teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and Jeff Gordon off a final restart with five laps to go, as he won NASCAR Winston Cup Talladega 500 auto race Sunday in Alabama.
Pole-sitter Elliott Sadler flipped his Ford Taurus with less than six laps remaining, bringing out the red flag to clean the track of debris. Sadler's car flipped onto the grass, then landed on its roof before flipping again and striking the concrete. It rolled five times before coming to rest back in the infield. He was not seriously injured.
Waltrip averaged over 251 kilometers per hour in his fourth career victory, which was slowed for 23 laps by five caution flags. Earnhardt made it back from a lap down and settled for second place in his Chevrolet Monte Carlo. He won the previous four races at Talladega but had to start 38th after a post-qualifying inspection found a rear quarter panel to be too low. Defending Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart forced his Pontiac Grand Prix past Ryan Newman and Gordon over the final two laps to claim third place. Newman was fourth, followed by Gordon.