TL 18.2

1000BULBS.COM 500



2.66 Miles 33 Degrees of Banking

Playoff Race #5

Ever since the last lap at the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona drivers have had this date circled on their calendars and etched in their minds. Talladega Superspeedway is the fifth race in the Playoffs for the Monster 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. Team Penske has the most wins in the last ten years with seven victories. In fact those seven victories all came in the last six years. Team Penske partner Ford has nine total victories or 75% of the races here in the last six years. Right now with a victory at Dover only Chase Elliott, is locked into the field of eight drivers and will be in the Playoffs all the way to Phoenix. The next race will be a little easier for him. 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 five races left in the Playoffs 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. And remember a win locks you into the Playoffs all the way to Phoenix. Will Ford’s recent dominance here continue? We’ll know on Sunday.

Tuesday look for our Top 10 Drivers by on restrictor plate tracks like Talladega.


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