NASCAR Talladega Weekend Preview

The Big One is bound to happen - Who will be the Lucky One and take the Checkers first?

4/23/10 in NASCAR   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

It's Friday, and that means we are getting ready to race.  Not only that, it's Talladega baby!

The ARCA Race just finished up, and I have to say, I am really impressed with the way these guys ran.  A 94 lap race, and only a handful of cautions.  Dakoda Armstrong won the race and the ending of it looked much like any Nationwide or Sprint Cup race with the cars changing lanes, using the draft - even the side draft - and beating and banging for the win.

Brandon McReynolds, Larry's son, competed in the race, and although he wasn't a top contender, looked confident in the car, until mechanical problems took him out of contention.  Steve Arpin, the newest of JR Motorsports drivers, ran this race and will also be in the number 7 Nationwide car.  In fact, he almost took the pole position for that race, which will run tomorrow.  Arpin will make his Nationwide debut from the 4th starting position.  Chrissy Wallace, Mike Wallace's daughter, qualified ahead of her dad, her uncle Kenny, and her cousin Steven, and will start 18th. 

The news last week was all about Kasey Kahne and his impending move to Hendrick Motor Sports in 2012.  Speculation continues about where he will race in 2011 and Tony Stewart has said he and Rick Hendrick have spoken about it briefly, but nothing has yet been worked out.  Add to the speculation is Kevin Harvick's contract, which ends at the end of the 2010 season.  Kevin called out the media and said, basically, that they are all pretty stupid.  He is tired of the reporting which includes an "anonymous" source, saying if you are going to report something, name the damn source.  I have to agree with Kevin.  I hate the anonymouse sources.  Kevin also told the media that if there is something to report on his contract negotiations, he will let everyone know.  At this point, he has said that he and Richard Childress have had many discussions about the future, but that there is nothing to report, yet.

None of the speculation, negotiation or drama seems to have affected Kevin in any way, as so far he has grabbed the pole for the Nationwide race tomorrow, with Carl Edwards starting alongside on the front row.  It is Kevin's first series pole at Talladega.

In the Cup series, Ryan Newman will be going to a backup car, having crashed in practice today.  The beating and banging that goes on at Talladega was evident on the track today during practice, putting an early start on Newman's luck  in Talladega.

"I don't know what happened.  I know I got hit.  I just don't know why.  I'm tired of being the one who gets hit at these places.  I'm just going to start driving into everyone else the way they drive into me, and see if I can turn somebody else around and see what happens."

commented Newman after the team decided the damage was severe enough to bring out the backup car.  Unfortunately, it was Mark Martin got into the back of Newman, and Mark's luck on the Superspeedways isn't much better than Newman's. 

The weather, which has been a factor at almost every race this season, is once more a factor for Talladega.  Severe weather has been forecast for the area tomorrow, but NASCAR is planning to continue with the schedule, hoping that the chance for severe weather will end up being just that, a chance. 

So, you may be asking, when are you going to get to the flying cars?  Well, although NASCAR has said the move from the wing to the spoiler on the rear deck lid will not change the way the cars fly through the air when turned backwards, as my friend, Andi, says "the thing is called a wing!"  It seems some of the drivers are also convinced that the wing is what was causing the cars to take flight and are looking forward to driving in this race with the spoiler in place instead.  Certainly, although it may not help with the flying issue, it will not hurt.  With the wing gone, air will be able to get to the roof flaps, and hopefully they will react the way they are supposed to react. 

What can we expect at Talladega this weekend?  Well, as usual, we can expect "The Big One".  Sometimes, the Big One at 'dega isn't so big, but more often than not, it involves more than five cars, and most of those cars are damaged so severely they cannot continue the race.  The other thing that shouldn't be surprising is that you can do all the research you want about who runs well at the track, and really, it won't matter one bit.   More often than not it seems, the winner comes from a little further back in the pack, leading Darrell Waltrip to say "where did he come from?"

Make your picks, analyse the stats all you want, but in the end, your best bet is to just go with your gut.
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4/25/10   |   kantwistaye   |   4215 respect

 This is one of the weeks that absolutely suck for Fantasy NASCAR.

4/25/10   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Debi_L wrote:
Yep, I guess in addition to "go with your gut" I really should have put "or roll the dice"

Roll the dice, load the gun, whatever.  It's Russian roulette at 190 mph.

4/24/10   |   cuddles127017   |   8133 respect

Another rained out race. 

4/24/10   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Talladega Speedway and NASCAR has suspended all NASCAR activities for Saturday, due to the severe weather either in the area or approaching the area.  Fans have been advised to take precautions and anyone in tents has been asked to take them down.  The Nationwide race will immediately follow the Cup race on Sunday and will be shown on ESPN2. This means almost 800 miles for those drivers doing double duty. 

Might be a very short Victory Lane celebration if one of those double duty drivers wins the Cup race

4/24/10   |   LoriDbl18fan   |   138 respect

You said it right... more than likely it'll be a "where did he come from?" type of win.  It's almost impossible to pick the winner for 'Dega until after we get down to the final laps and see who is still standing.  After reading Kyle is in the Pedigree paint scheme though, I'll guess that he won't have the best day.  No matter how good that car is, something always seems to happen when he's driving that scheme.

4/24/10   |   bwfc2good4u   |   327 respect

The racings been so good this year that I'm not even sure we needed Talladega to liven things up. I think when we get to about 50 to go the wrecking is really going to start as all the "girls" (I think Kevin Harvick called Carl Edwards this after he cruised at the back and wrecked half the field a couple of years ago). Guys like Edwards who've coasted will start barging their way through towards the end and the big one will follow at some point I'm sure.

One other thing though is I think the "Aarons 499" is a little optimistic now that we have any chance of running 499 miles now that the 3 green/white checker rule is in place. I think most NASCAR fans, myself included would imagine that we're going to use the green/white checker up to its maximum which could be causing millions of dollars worth of damage as well as completely shaking up the title race and the top 35 race. Cannot wait!!!

4/24/10   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

kramer wrote:
Logic says if they don't get caught up in the big one, Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon will be at or near the front of the pack at the end of the day.  Last year this race had 2 big wrecks, and the first one only took 7 or 8 laps...hooray for Talladega, NASCAR's biggest crapshoot!

Yep, I guess in addition to "go with your gut" I really should have put "or roll the dice"

4/23/10   |   kramer   |   11004 respect

Logic says if they don't get caught up in the big one, Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon will be at or near the front of the pack at the end of the day.  Last year this race had 2 big wrecks, and the first one only took 7 or 8 laps...hooray for Talladega, NASCAR's biggest crapshoot!