Talladega, Ala. • Everyone expects the big one to happen at Talladega Superspeedway.
For some reason, it never occurred Sunday.
Oh sure, there was a wreck on the final lap, which allowed Jamie McMurray to coast to the victory under caution. But by the standards of this place, it was about as clean as can be.
"Once you get toward the end, it usually gets more intense and everybody starts taking bigger risks," McMurray said. "I was listening to my spotter and he would say, 'A line is forming, but it's not very organized and they're not making up any ground.' I'm really surprised they couldn't put something together to make more of a run. I'm shocked by that, actually. I thought guys would take bigger chances at the end."
McMurray won for the first time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series since 2010, snapping a 108-race winless streak, and didn't even have to worry about a planned last-lap charge from Dale Earnhardt Jr. after Austin Dillon spun coming out of the second turn.
The only other driver collected in the crash was Casey Mears, who slammed into Dillon's car and sent it flying into the air before it came back down upright. Everyone was OK.
"I was trying to go for the win there," said Dillon, who was filling in for injured Tony Stewart in the No. 14 car and competing in just his 12th Sprint Cup race. "A wild ride. I just have to thank NASCAR for everything they have done for safety."
A race known for massive crashes was essentially trouble free. There was a minor wreck early on when Marcos Ambrose got loose in front of the main grandstand and took out Juan Pablo Montoya, and 103 consecutive laps under green until the yellow and checkered flags waved together at the end.
Earnhardt settled for second, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Paul Menard and Kyle Busch.
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Matt Kenseth -4
3. Kyle Busch -26
3. Kevin Harvick -26
5. Jeff Gordon -34
6. Earnhardt Jr. -52
7. Greg Biffle -53
8. Clint Bowyer -57
9. Kurt Busch -61
10. Carl Edwards -68
11. Ryan Newman -72
12. Joey Logano -75
13. Kasey Kahne -101