Five Questions for Talladega

Welcome to Week 10 of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series, where we travel to one of the most famous (or infamous) tracks in motorsports history, Talladega Superspeedway (GEICO 500, Sunday, April 25 at 2pm ET on Fox.)

First, the easy question.  Who's currently got the most wins here?  That would be Mr. Brad Keselowski, with five wins at this track, including his very first Cup win in 2009. Unfortunately for him, the last one was in 2017.  Penske is still very strong here, so a bet on Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, or even Matt DiBenedetto is not a bad pick. However, as you may have seen, almost anyone can win at Talladega on any given day.

Next, are there any new faces driving this Sunday?  One is Harrison Burton, son of Jeff, making his very first Cup start in the #96 Gaunt Brothers Toyota.  It's a one-off for Harrison, who will continue racing his Xfinity No. 20 for JGR the rest of the year. Burton didn't ask for this track to be his first Cup start, but the 20-year-old was happy to grab it when the opportunity was offered.  Another Talladega rookie is Kaz Grala, in only his third Cup start ever.  This weekend he'll be in the No. 16 of Kaulig Racing, as he was in Daytona for the 500. Jennifer Jo Cobb had planned to race on Sunday but was not approved by NASCAR in an arguably confusing slap in the face to both her and Rick Ware (the car owner.) James Davison was also pulled from the lineup as not being qualified enough to make his first Cup start here, as his only other NASCAR races have been on road courses. 

But how's the weather down there?  Saturday is not looking good for ARCA and Xfinity, but the Sunday forecast is clear and sunny.

Can I get married at Talladega?  Race fans can get married at Talladega Superspeedway during a race, but it must be contained within their campsite and they must find their own officiant. In the past, Motor Racing Outreach and Alabama Raceway Ministries would provide a minister.  Fans cannot get married at any part of the track used for racing, during a race weekend.  

Will there be a "big one"?  Would Talladega be complete without at least one major pileup?  Here are some memorable mishaps:

1987: Bobby Allison loses a tire at 200 MPH, leading to his car going airborne and to the implementation of restrictor plates at superspeedways from then on.

1993: Rusty Wallace also goes airborne after Dale Earnhardt Sr. bumps him on the last lap. Wallace crosses the finish line still airborne (in sixth place.) This wreck led to roof flaps being added to the cars.

2012: Tony Stewart is leading, but is then turned by Michael Waltrip, while Waltrip was being pushed by Casey Mears.  The result was a 25-car pileup that took out over a quarter of the field.

Tune in on Sunday, perhaps after you go to Applebee's for a family meal and then get kicked out. Ricky Bobby would approve.

Five Questions for Talladega Five Questions for Talladega Reviewed by laweez on Friday, April 23, 2021 Rating: 5