Paul Menard wins GEICO 500 Stage 2 at Talladega

Written by Adrian Beecher

Talladega AL– The No. 2 of Brad Keselowski led the field to the start of the 2nd stage at Talladega after winning the race off of pit road. On lap 64, William Byron in the No, 24 took his first lead of the day.

Keselowski would retake the lead on lap 64, before leading the field to start green flag pit stops. This would put Bowman back in the lead on lap 67. As Bowman and the rest of the field that had yet to pit under green went to pit road, Matt DiBenedetto was scored as the leader on lap 70 as the only driver on the lead lap that had yet to pit.

Then on lap 72 the caution came out as a big wreck on the backstretch happened. Erik Jones in the No. 20 got down on the apron, which caused him to slide up the track, getting clipped by the No. 1 of Jamie McMurray and then slamming into the No. 6 of Trevor Bayne. Others involved included Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 78, Aric Almirola in the No. 10 and Kyle Larson in the No. 42.

As the field got back to green, it was Joey Logano out in the front of the pack. Deny Hamlin would take the lead on lap 97 as Logano slid to the high side to block a charging Jimmie Johnson in the No. 48. This marks nine straight races that Hamlin has led at Talladega.

Hamlin would be overtaken by Paul Menard in the No. 21 on lap 105. With only 5 laps left in the stage, Menard was able to hold on for the stage win. Joey Logano finished the stage in 2nd, with Ryan Blaney closely behind him rounding out the top 3.

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