Talladega Is The Wild Card In the Chase For The Championship
When it's Chase time in the Sprint Cup Series, the one racetrack that everybody is concerned about is Talladega.
No doubt, Talladega is the "wild card" in the Chase for the championship. Big wrecks are the main concern and once Talladega is over every one of those drivers will feel a whole lot better. But there it is on the schedule, race four in this year's playoffs.
Clint Bowyer has won the last two fall races at Talladega and finished no worse than seventh in the last five races there. He says it can propel you to the lead or bury you, but it’s a race he looks forward to.
Entering the weekend Brad Keselowski has the points
lead – five points up on Jimmie Johnson.
Keselowski is also a two-time race winner at Talladega. He won the spring race there in May and scored his first career Sprint Cup victory in April 2009.
Jeff Gordon is the last driver to score a season-sweep at Talladega back in 2007.
Johnson and Denny Hamlin have both struggled on the restrictor-plate tracks this year. Johnson has yet to finish a race at either Talladega or Daytona this year. He was involved in wrecks in all three races. He says there are so many things out of your control.
Johnson does have two wins at Talldega.
Hamlin got off to a good start with a fourth-place run in the Daytona 500 but finished 23rd and 25th in the other two restrictor-plate races this season.
Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with six wins at Talladega, while his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. has five victories there.
Earnhardt's last win at Talladega came in Oct. 2004. Gordon hasn’t won there in five years.