Matt Kenseth was exactly where he needed to be on Sunday's final lap at Talladega Superspeedway — racing for the lead and in position to miss the Big One.
Kenseth sped away with the lead and the win while a massive 24-car pileup erupted behind him on the final lap.
Tony Stewart was battling Kenseth for the lead when he pulled down the track and hit Michael Waltrip, igniting a chain-reaction crash that sent Stewart's car airborne and flipping onto several other cars, including those of Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne.
Among those involved in the wild crash were: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. and Greg Biffle, all drivers in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Brad Keselowski was involved in the crash, slithering through the debris as it unfolded in front of him. He drove on to finish seventh, however, and retain the lead in the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings.
The win was Kenseth's second of the year and his first since the season-opening Daytona 500. Jeff Gordon finished second followed by Kyle Busch, David Ragan and Greg Biffle.
The crash had a big impact on the Chase standings and allowed Keselowski to pad his lead. He now leads Johnson by 14 points and Hamlin by 23. Kahne is fourth, 36 points behind, while everyone else trails Keselowski by 40 points or more.
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