Remember when Chase Elliott couldn't stop crashing and was going to flame out in the playoffs and become the worst regular season champion in NASCAR history?
Don't lie. Deep down, a little part of you thought Chase was done, didn't you? It's OK. You can admit it!
Like the Patriots with Tom Brady, the Bulls with Michael Jordan, or Hendrick Motorsports with Jimmie Johnson, the fellas over on the No. 9 team always seem to figure things out when it matters most.
Sound that sireeeeeeeeeen, baby!
More On Chase In A Bit
Along the way, we'll get to Ryan Blaney making a (smart) business decision, a window falling out of a car during the race, Joey Logano basically saying most drivers stink, and everyone's favorite President's son - Donald Trump Jr. - celebrating a special NASCAR anniversary.
Four tires and a full can of Sunoco fuel, baby! Monday Morning Pit-Stop is a GO!
Chase Elliott puts on a 'clinic' at Talladega
Before we dive into some of the shenanigans, we have to start with Chase Elliott.
It's been a rocky playoffs for the regular season champ, and, frankly, a rough few months. Before Sunday, Elliott's last win came way back at Pocono in July, and he'd finished 29th or worse in three of the past five races.
Nothing a little superspeedway racing can't fix, though - especially for arguably the best in the sport at it.
I know I know, bold statement. But hey, I'm just the messenger!
When Dale Jr. speaks, you need to listen - especially when he's talking about Talladega.
They call it Earnhardt Country for a reason, you know.
Anyway, Chase perfectly timed his move to the front on the final restart, jumping to the top lane coming to the backstretch, getting a massive shove from Erik Jones, and holding on for dear life for the final two miles.
"It was certainly a risky move," Elliott said of his late gamble. "I felt like we had accumulated a decent number of stage points throughout the day, so it made me feel a little bit better about moving up there, trying to give myself a shot to win.
"I just didn't think I was going to be able to win from the third lane, the bottom row, with that few laps left. I just thought that was my shot."
Ryan Blaney doesn't trust Chase Elliott
So Chase won at 'Dega, barely edging out good buddy Ryan Blaney, who finished second. Frankly, Blaney probably gets there and passes Elliott if he has a few hundred more feet to work with.
Ever think about making it three-wide a little earlier and going for the win, Ryan?
"I trust Chase, but not that much to where he wouldn’t have hung me out for the greater good of his group, so just chose to stay on the bottom," Blaney said. "We had a great chance at winning the thing, but we got disconnected in the middle of three and four."
Probably a wise move, Ryan. As much golf as you and Chase play during the offseason, don't think for a second he wouldn't have hung you out for dry!
"We're still friends. But we also want to win," Elliott said of racing Blaney at the end. "I think we both get that. We've always had a really, really respectful friendship on the racetrack, but also a very good understanding of our jobs and what's at stake on Sundays."
Joey Logano says what we're all thinking
So, did we like what we saw Sunday?
It was an oddly tame superspeedway race, there was no real Big One, but we did end up getting a decent finish.
Perhaps the most shocking takeaway from Sunday was the leaderboard, which featured seven playoff drivers finishing in the top-10.
For that to happen at a place like Talladega is ... rare.
Agree with Joey? He's not wrong, by the way.
Let's be honest, most races at Daytona and Talladega end with chaos. They're true wild card races, and usually end up with first-time winners and a leaderboard full of names you don't recognize.
Speaking of ... Landon Cassill brought home an 11th-place finish Sunday, which was his best finish since ... Daytona.
Take that, Joey!
Ty Dillon's window flies off at Talladega
Two more things on our way out ...
Let's start with Ty Dillon's window FLYING at 190 MPH during an actual race because of ... turbulence?
"You can't legally continue to drive when your window blows off" is a great line by Steve Letarte in the NBC booth, too. Gee, ya think? Can't imagine why!
I don't know that I've ever seen someone's window come off during a race, so kudos to Ty Dillon for that.
Donald Trump Jr. celebrates Let's Go Brandon Day
For those of you who made it this far ... the payoff will certainly be worth it!
Look who decided to take in a nice Sunday at Talladega.
For those who don't remember, Brandon Brown scored his first NASCAR win last October at Talladega.
During his post-race interview, this iconic moment came to life and the world would never be the same.
Can't believe it's already been one year.
Off to Charlotte.