Cup Teams Take It To Talladega

From a NASCAR Fan’s View

Once again the NASCAR Cup teams take it to Talladega. You know, the place they run door handle to door handle and bumper to bumper at close to 200 miles per hour for numerous laps around the just over two-and-a-half-mile oval. A place that often has one or more big ones in the course of a day on the fastest track in racing. Yeah… that’s the one.

Talladega has always been one of my favorite races. Every time they visit the place I try my best to be available to watch. There were times when I was much younger, I remember traveling with my parents during several vacations we would drive past the place on race day. From the road we were traveling, you could see just enough to whet your appetite and hope you mom and dad would pull into the track and we would get to see it in person. Traveling by the place on race day is the closest I’ve ever been to actually attending a race at the super speedway.

I even remember the few times the timing was right as we traveled, we could listen to the race on the radio as we drove by. Believe me, my family loved stock car racing and, though we never got to attend a Talladega race in person, we always either watched it on TV or listened to the race on the radio almost every time they raced there.

So… what do you think the race today will be like? Will it be a lot of follow the leader or will it be get out front and try to stay there? Those are a couple of good questions and I’m not so sure I have an answer for them. How many cars do you think will finish the race? After all, Daytona and Talladega are know to be tracks where they often have “The Big One” and it is possible we could see one today. In fact, it’s possible we could see more than one.

Looking at the way things panned out after qualifying, this could be a very interesting day at the races in Talladega. The Toyotas and Fords occupy most of the top fifteen starting spots with only two Chevys. That could mean the Toyotas are finally making a turn in their season and it would be a welcome turn considering. With last week’s performance by Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr., maybe they will finally take a win. After all, Denny is starting on the pole and all four of the JGR Toyotas are starting in the top ten.

The SHR Fords also kind of help fill out the top ten along with the Penske Fords. Aric Almirola starts on the front row with Denny Hamlin and they are followed by several fast Toyotas and Fords namely those of Ty Gibbs, Chase Briscoe, Ryan Blaney, Christopher Bell, Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano.

If it weren’t for the lone Chevy of last week’s winner, Kyle Larson, all of the top ten starters would be Fords and Toyotas. I found that to be quite surprising when I think of the how the Chevys have been running and qualifying so far this season.

Once again I have to bring up how this fan thinks qualifying affects the outcome of a Super Speedway race. When it comes down to it I believe qualifying has less to do with how the race will end up at a track like this than to say, one like Martinsville or Bristol and others. The reason for that, at least in my opinion, is because pit stalls are more important at the shorter tracks than they are at the Super Speedways. That doesn’t mean the pit stop strategies and locations aren’t important every race but, they just seem to me to be less important on a weekend like this one. I could be wrong – wouldn’t be the first time – but I could be right.

I’m really not sure which of the drivers or teams might win today’s race. It could be someone totally unexpected or it could be someone like Kevin Harvick (who would like nothing better than to get a win in this, his final season in NASCAR.) I suppose it could be one of the Toyotas, like Martin Truex Jr. or Christopher Bell. Shucks, it could even Ryan Blaney in his Penske Ford. I really don’t expect that to happen but, I suppose it could.

When it comes down to it, I guess I’m in agreement with Larry McReynolds when he says (in particular at Talladega or Daytona) “if you’re in it, you can win it.” That seems to hold particularly true, especially at a place like Talladega. Honestly, I would be a bit surprised if a Chevy won. Maybe even the one driven by Chase Elliott…

Hey, this is Russ and that’s my view… See ya next time…
All views expressed are strictly the opinion of the writer
© April 23, 2023 – all rights reserved
Rusty Norman, and
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