RACE PREVIEW

tl 16.2.jpg

ALABAMA 500

TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY

Oct 23, 2:00 PM ET NBCSN TV

2.66 Miles 33 Degrees of Banking

Ever since the last lap at the Coke Zero 400 drivers have had this date circled on their calendars and etched in their minds. Talladega Superspeedway is the sixth race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup and the last of four restrictor plate races for the year. A restrictor plate regulates how much air gets into an engine and therefore restricts or limits how fast it can go. They are only used at two tracks: here and Daytona. Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins in the last ten years with five victories. In fact Chevy has won 50% of the races here in the last ten years. But more recently in the last six races we have seen three Fords, two Chevys and a Toyota in victory circle. Drivers fear these races because it forces them to run very close together because the speeds are limited. This is the biggest track on the circuit and that often times leads to the biggest wrecks at any track. Drivers are all waiting for “The Big One” – a wreck that can take out one car or quite possibly half the field. When the cars get bunched up like they do here it only takes one car getting loose to start a huge chain reaction pile up. With only four races left in the Chase for the Cup no one wants to get caught up in someone else’s mistake or misfortune. Many times drivers who know each other will move thru traffic on the track together, nose to tail -“drafting” – and with a championship just four races away it will be interesting to see if old alliances stay intact due to team loyalties or if new ones are formed with drivers wanting to hook up with others they think can take them farther. Adding to the pressure we’ll see four drivers get eliminated from the Chase. Drivers Austin Dillion, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott are on the bottom of the points rankings and need a win to stay in the Chase or a great deal of bad luck on the part of other drivers. Who stays in the Chase? We’ll know on Sunday.

Tuesday look for our Top 10 Drivers by Track Type.