Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway might have exhausted drivers, but many immensely enjoyed what the day produced.

“That was a hell of a (expletive) race,” Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney said.

Blaney wound up second in a three-wide finish with Daniel Suarez and Kyle Busch. The margin of victory was 0.003s. Busch was 0.007s behind.

But it wasn’t just the finish that was fun. There was carnage on lap 2 when 16 drivers were involved in a crash going into Turn 1 because of an accordion effect in the outside lane. It stacked up enough that Martin Truex Jr. sent Austin Dillon spinning across the frontstretch and others piling in.

There were nine cautions for wrecks. The race had 10 total.

“It was fun to lead,” Austin Cindric said. “I’m sure some of the guys weren’t having fun. There were a lot of wrecks today, but from my seat, it was fun to lead.”

Cindric was involved in one of the race’s most exciting moments. The No. 2 Team Penske Ford Mustang took a run down the frontstretch with 51 laps to go and made it four-wide for the race lead going into Turn 1. The move worked and Cindric shot past Michael McDowell, Truex, and Denny Hamlin.

“That was kind of cool, wasn’t it?” said Cindric. “I mean, four-wide at Atlanta, that doesn’t really work in the corners. It only works in the straights. But I had enough time to think about if it was a good idea and it was a good idea. I’m sure it looked cool and made for good pictures.”

After getting to the lead, Cindric looked in his mirrors and expected to see a wreck. Instead, the field continued to run three and four-wide for laps.

“Someone’s gotta do it,” Cindric said. “I can promise you I’ll be the guy.”

Sunday was a reversal from Saturday’s racing in both the Craftsman Truck Series and Xfinity Series races. In those events, drivers struggled to stay packed together or run side-by-side. It left competitors frustrated and questioning the aero package.

There were 14 different leaders in the Cup Series race and 48 lead changes.

From lap 11 through lap 50, the lead changed 12 times. During that time, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson swapped the top spot multiple times. Blaney also got in on the action.

It was the type of scene that repeated itself throughout the afternoon. And that doesn’t include the number of times a driver got to the front but wasn’t credited with leading because they lost the position before crossing the start/finish line.

“It was a wild race but a fun race,” JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse JR. said. “I think the track is kind of coming into itself a little bit.”

““That was the most fun I’ve ever had here,” Chase Briscoe said, “and I think some of that is just our guys did a really good job of bringing a car that we could be aggressive with and make moves. I’m actually looking forward to coming back here. That was a lot of fun. Guys were just making huge moves and big runs, but we were able to not get close to crashing a lot of times like we would at Daytona or Talladega.”

“I wish our finish would have reflected how good we were today,” the Stewart-Haas Racing driver continued, “but we’ll go on to Las Vegas and see if we can improve on it.”

Brad Keselowski spent the day moving up and down the leaderboard in his RFK Racing Ford Mustang. After his day ended because of a crash, Keselowski described the action as “super intense.”

“The track cooled off and now you can really, really push hard,” he said. “I think it’s some of the best racing you’ll ever see.”

After finishing third in his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, Busch was still satisfied with his performance and the racing product despite being disappointed in coming up short in one of the closest finishes in NASCAR history.

“It was fun. It was fine,” Busch said. “It was dicey — I liked it when we had the pit stop, and then you kind of had some single file, and then you could kind of make some moves. Even before the pit stop of the green flag stop, there were some ill-handing cars out there, and guys were starting to fade and move around and have to get out of the gas, and the good cars could start ratcheting their way to the front. And we were one of those good cars.

“We were able to make our way into the top five before pit stops started. I just wish the tires would get to that point sooner so we could make some of that stuff happen earlier.”