Wednesday, May 2, 2012

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Talladega

Track Classification: Superspeedway
Similar Tracks: Daytona International Raceway •  Auto Club Speedway (Fontana)  
Indianapolis Motor Speedway • Michigan International Speedway • Pocono Raceway
Distance: 2.66 Miles

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 4
All with 3 - Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman and Clint Bowyer

By Track
Clint Bowyer - 6
All with 4 - Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Jeff Burton, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin
All with 3 - Greg Biffle, Juan Pablo Montoya, David Ragan, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick
and Brian Vickers

Recent Pole Winners:
2011 Jeff Gordon

The Likely Suspects: Although Talladega racing is anything but predictable, it is a restrictor-plate track so think restrictor-plate greats and Richard Childress Racing drivers since RCR has won more than any other organization at Talladega with 12 wins. I expect this group to be pretty competitive on Sunday: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, and Jimmie Johnson.

My 2 Cents: My first pick this week is Kevin Harvick followed by Jimmie Johnson. I was checking out Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards, but in the end I felt Jimmie Johnson has had stronger performances at this race and this track.

The big no brainer here is Dale Earnhardt Jr., a restrictor-plate great in every way. The next logical pick is Clint Bowyer followed by Joey Logano, and holding my breath ... Kurt Busch. Kurt is a great plate racer, but I'm a tad worried about equipment and staying out of trouble. I seriously considered Martin Truex, Jr., but Kurt Busch's record was much better.

I will be finishing up my team with David Ragan and Michael Waltrip. Although 33 of 85 Talladega races have been won from a top-two starting positions, qualifying and practices won't tell us much except who has fast cars. Staying out of trouble and being patient will ultimately be the deciding factor.

Tighten your belts folks. This is bound to be a race jam packed with excitement and mishaps, as drivers try to avoid "the big one." Post your comments here or email me at


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