[media-credit name=”talladegasuperspeedway.com” align=”alignright” width=”163″][/media-credit]499 or so miles will make up the Aaron’s 499 tomorrow afternoon, and all 499 miles will surely be filled with chaos throughout the 43-car field. A slue of rule changes has been passed down by NASCAR officials to break up the two car tango, which we saw last season. The racing during first and only restrictor plate race of the season at Daytona was a mix of the two car tango and pack drafting. Throw out the jet-dryer fiasco and you still had a fantastic kickoff to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Tomorrows race in Alabama should be no different.
I am not one to brag, but when you perfect something, its worth talking about… As today is the day of the 138th Kentucky Derby, I will claim to have hit the exacta last weekend in Richmond.
My winner pick last week ended up in Victory Lane at the end of the night, my first win of the season. Kyle Busch did not completely dominate the race last weekend, and if it wasn’t for a late-race caution, defending Sprint Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart would have went on to win the Capitol 400. In the end, it was the pit crew of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota that boosted Busch to victory in Old Dominion. Knowing the last stop of the night was the most important, the No. 18 team put together a stop that allowed Busch to win the race off pit road and hold off the field for the remaining 12 or so laps. It was Rowdy’s fourth consecutive win in the spring race at Richmond, and my first win of the season.
My dark horse impressed many with his performance last weekend at RIR, but the winless streak stands at 138 races for Dale Earnhardt Jr. Although he failed to reach the point last week, Jr had the best shot he’s had all year to snap the winless streak. Jr Nation had a glimpse of hope on the final restart, but Dale Jr was not quick enough to reach the bumper of the No. 18. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second, completing my exacta for last weekend.
Much like my Daytona picks earlier this season, my Talladega picks will be a craps shoot. Practice speeds, starting spots, and historical data all go out the window when the green flag flies at Talladega. Being built on a Native American burial ground, Talladega Superspeedway has a history of wild races.
My winner pick this week is the pilot of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge. My first trip to Talladega was marked by Brad Keselowski’s pass on Carl Edwards on the final lap for his first win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. His stats are decent at Talladega, unlike his record at Daytona. 4 of his 5 top-10’s, both his top-5’s, and his only win on superspeedways have come at Talladega. Keselowski looked good in today’s Aaron’s 312 until the big one with three laps to go. He’s looking to balance his misfortune at Daytona earlier this year and claim his second victory of 2012.
Dark Horse Pick
A guy that seems to fly under the radar each week is Joey Logano. He might have stole my thunder today however, when he passed Kyle Busch for the win in today’s Aaron’s 312. Logano is a B-list starter for me on my fantasy team this week, and much like Keselowski performs a bit better at Talladega than Daytona. He has two top-5’s and four top-10’s at the superspeedway, and a respectable average finish of 14.5 at the 2.66-mile speedway. Watch for Logano to find help early in the race and finish the race towards the top of the leader board tomorrow.
That’s all for this week so until we head to Darlington…You Stay Classy NASCAR NATION!