It was an emotional Dale Earnhardt, Jr. who was overcome with thoughts of his father after winning Sunday's Geico 500 at Talladega Motor Speedway.  His 6th victory at racing's longest track was his first since 2004 and came days after what would have been Dale Earnhardt, Sr.'s 64th birthday.

The day before, Junior acknowledged a certain responsibility to his fan base to perform, to lead and to win.  And that he did, leading 67 of the 188 laps, then saluting the fans with an Alan Kulwicki Polish victory lap.  The victory assures that Earnhardt will have a spot in the Chase for the fifth straight year.

Junior finished just .015 seconds ahead of Jimmie Johnson.  Paul Menard was third, rookie Ryan Blaney took fourth with Martin Truex, Junior coming in fifth.

A day at Talladega and Daytona never seems to be complete without at least "One Big One."  On Sunday it came on lap 47 when Trevor Bayne lost control, hit the wall to trigger a crash that involved 14 cars and ending the day for Kasey Kahne, Kyle Larson, Greg Biffle and David Ragan who was driving his last race as a substitute for the injured Kyle Busch.

Next stop is Kansas on Saturday night.