Thursday, April 28, 2016

Are You Feeling "Really" Lucky? - Talladega Edition

When it comes to picking a winner at Talladega you can have your guesses but if you guess the right winner you might want to go buy a powerball ticket. Luck would certainly be needed to make picks and we hope the luck is on our side. No one predicted Brad Keselowski in 2009. No one predicted David Ragan in 2013 so we hope we can predict that cinderella story of 2016. Talladega is a place that has many wild cards who do better at Dega' than anywhere else on the earth, We have the pick 4 challenge in both series this weekend as the Superspeedway Challenge emerges in the Xfinity Series for the first time. Are you feeling lucky? No I mean are you feeling really lucky?

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pick 4

Danica Patrick 

Yes I am going there. Danica Patrick is a very good restrictor plate driver despite her finishes. Which should you be surprised. She is doing speeds like she was doing back with her IndyCar deals and she was a pretty good wheel girl in Indycar. Patrick has led laps here and has become a pretty popular driver in Talladega. Like I remember one year when fans all around us were Jr fans and they began cheering for Danica because Jr wrecked. I think with JR Nation support Danica could wheel her way to victory lane for her first career victory and break another barrier in the Sports World!

Michael McDowell

McDowell has been the dark horse pick for many years now and well he has a reason to be. He's pretty good at tracks like these. In 2014, at Daytona, he finished a career best 7th. In 2013, McDowell finished 15th here, the same place he finished in this years Daytona 500. McDowell in the #95 Thrivent Financial Chevrolet SS is certainly on many others lists of picks and it comes to no surprise. McDowell will be driving a Richard Childress Racing affiliated Chevrolet and Richard Childress Racing has had success in the past.

Ryan Blaney

The New Kid on the block did very well here in the May of 2015 and it really didn't surprise anyone. Not making much noise here recently could be a ticking time bomb just waiting for his first career win and the first win for the Wood Brothers since the 2011 Daytona 500. Blaney could take the lead in the Rookie Of The Year battle and lock the Wood Brothers into the Chase. Blaney could become the first Wood Brothers champion in a very long time and remember. Most of those guys who win championships for the Wood Brothers are now Hall of Famers.

Matt DiBenedetto

Cinderella needs two shoes so does Matt DiBenedetto. DiBenedetto of course was the Cinderella of Bristol and he is missing a shoe. I feel Talladega could be where DiBenedetto finds that other Glass Slipper and land BK Racing in the Chase for the First time in their history. In fact in Victory lane for the first time. Matt has the tallent to do it and certainly now has the star power and fan support needed to tame the beast called Talladega. DiBenedetto also has teammate David Ragan who won at Talladega in 2013 for advice and help.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Pick 4 Superspeedway Challenge

Ryan Ellis

Ryan Ellis will be entered in the #97 Obaika Racing Entry and has the talent at Superspeedways to do so. Ellis also has the nice guy approach that the everyday fan can pull for. Ryan Ellis, who just made his second start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been getting a lot of track time here recently and I think that will pay off this weekend at Talladega. Imagine what a race win would do for Ryan? I think Ryan has the talent and the charisma to be successful on Saturday.

Derrike Cope

Superspeedway Experience, A hard working team behind him, and luck will be the three keys to success for Derrike Cope and Derrike Cope Racing. After missing Daytona due to circumstances out of their control, They continued fighting and That's what I think you will need to win Saturday in the Xfintiy Series. If Derrike can avoid the wrecks and be in the right place at the right time. I think he will add another Superspeedway trophy to the case. As he did in 1990 Derrike needs to be in the right place at the right time and capitalize on someone else's misfortune.     

Darrell Wallace Jr.

I was one of the few people in the campgrounds in 2014 when Darrell drove for Joe Gibbs Racing who stood up for the Alabama native. He has the speed to land that #6 car in victory lane and what better place for Darrell to win then at his home track. I have been very impressed by Bubba and can see a victory in his very near future if not Saturday afternoon. I think that the Tennessee Volunteer fan can strive in Alabama Crimson Tide country and sing Rocky Top in victory lane. Seriously Bubba if you win Sing that song than get security to escort you out.  

Joey Gase

After a fifth place finish last year, Joey Gase could land in a little better situation at Talladega this year. With Sparks Energy on board, Joey Gase can show fans who he is and that he means business. If you ask me I think Joey is as ready as anybody for a first win and would seriously send smiles for miles and in every seat in the grandstands. Joey has that shot to land a chase spot which makes this race even more important for them.  

JD Motorsports Talladega Preview

Chastain Fast at Talladega

TALLADEGA, Ala. – Ross Chastain has run only three NASCAR races at Talladega Superspeedway, but he has an interesting history at the track.
       Chastain finished third in a Camping World Truck Series race at NASCAR’s biggest track in 2013, showing that he quickly picked up the intricacies of running well in Talladega’s big drafting lines.
       That knowledge will be of good use to Chastain Saturday as he drives in the Sparks Energy 300 Xfinity Series race at the fast 2.66-mile track.
       “Racing at Talladega is a whole different kind of animal,” Chastain said. “It takes a lot of patience and is really stressful mentally. But if you can hang with the front group there, you have a real chance to do something big.”
       Chastain will drive the Flex Seal Chevrolet for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller in Saturday’s race.
       Practice sessions are scheduled at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (ET) Friday. Qualifying is set for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, with the race to follow at 3 p.m.

Preece Set For Talladega

 TALLADEGA, Ala. – Rookie Ryan Preece, riding along 17th in Xfinity Series driver points at this early stage of the season, gets a big new test Saturday.
       Preece will race for the first time at super-fast Talladega Superspeedway in Saturday’s Sparks Energy 300 Xfinity race.
       Typically, cars circle the 2.66-mile track in giant drafting packs, an art and a science that rewards experience and patience.
       “I’m looking forward to getting there and getting adjusted to it all,” Preece said. “The big drafts will take some getting used to, I’m sure. It helps that I’ll have a couple of teammates (Ross Chastain and Garrett Smithley) out there, too.”
       Preece will be in the G&K Services Chevy in Saturday’s 113-lap event.
       Practice is scheduled at Talladega at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (ET) Friday. Qualifying is set for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, with the race to follow at 3 p.m.

Smithley Set For Talladega

 TALLADEGA, Ala. – Garrett Smithley will run his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Talladega Superspeedway Saturday, but he won’t start the event with zero experience.
       Smithley raced in an Automobile Racing Club of America event in 2014 at the giant 2.66-mile track. He finished 18th.
       “At least I know my way around the place well,” Smithley said. “It’s all about getting together with the right drafting partners and being in the right place at the right time. I’m ready for the challenge.”
       Smithley finished 20th last week at Richmond in his best run of the season. He jumped two places to 18th in the Xfinity standings.
       Smithley, in the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller No. 0 Chevrolet, will be sponsored by Instalco this weekend.
Practice is set for 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Talladega. Qualifying is scheduled at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, with the race to follow at 3 p.m.

David Starr and TriStar Motorsports Split Ways

It was announced late last night that David Starr was released from TriStar Motorsports and that JJ Yeley will take over the #44 Toyota Camry starting at Talladega. Yeley raced the #44 last weekend in Richmond to a season best finish of 12th as David Starr was feeling ill. Starr's best finish in the #44 so far in 2016 was a 17th at Bristol. Starr joined the team full-time in 2015.  "We have made significant changes in an effort to improve our overall program," said team owner Mark Smith. "With our commitment to our sponsor, we felt that an immediate change was necessary. We have every confidence in the team we have assembled and we will continue to pursue our competitive goals. We wish David all the best in his career and we will announce further plans as they are confirmed." David Starr is the third driver in 2 years to be released from the team, as halfway through the 2015 Season Cale Conley was released from the team. At the end of 2015 Blake Koch revealed he would be leaving TriStar Motorsports to drive for Kaulig Racing. All of these moves are in effort to increase the competitive level of TriStar Motorsports (Koelle,2016)

Just Another Ordinary Day In Paradise - Talladega Edition

When it comes to Talladega there are those who have perfected it and there are those who can't stand to come here because they can't find that one setup that clicks or they always seem to find a way to be collected in the big one. Talladega has it's drivers it doesn't like just like me and you and it always seems to be Ryan Newman who commonly is involved in an accident here. If your last name is Earnhardt something says you will be good here as both of the Earnhardt's make up the most wins here at the track. Here is Just Another Ordinary Day in Paradise.

Driver Averages at Talladega (Since 2014)

  1. Kevin Harvick - 9.75
  2. Ryan Newman - 10.50
  3. Clint Bowyer - 11.00
  4. Paul Menard - 12.75
  5. Martin Truex Jr. - 14.00
  6. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - 15.00
  7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 15.00
  8. Kurt Busch - 15.50
  9. Brad Keselowski - 16.25
  10. Denny Hamlin - 16.25
  11. Jimmie Johnson - 16.75
  12. Cole Whitt - 17.75
  13. Kasey Kahne - 18.25
  14. Joey Logano - 19.25
  15. Austin Dillon - 19.25
  16. AJ Allmendinger - 20.25
  17. Casey Mears - 20.75
  18. Aric Almirola - 20.75
  19. Greg Biffle - 21.00
  20. Kyle Busch - 21.00 
  21. Josh Wise - 21.75
  22. Carl Edwards - 22.00
  23. Landon Cassill - 22.00
  24. Danica Patrick - 22.25
  25. Matt Kenseth - 22.50
  26. Michael Waltrip - 22.50
  27. Kyle Larson - 23.00
  28. Ryan Blaney - 23.00
  29. Chris Buescher - 24.00
  30. Bobby Labonte - 25.00
  31. Michael Annett - 27.33
  32. Jamie McMurray - 28.50
  33. Matt DiBenedetto - 29.00
  34. David Gilliland - 30.25
  35. Tony Stewart - 30.25
  36. David Ragan - 33.25
  37. Trevor Bayne - 33.75
  38. Michael McDowell - 35.00
  39. Brian Scott - 42.50

Making First Talladega Start (Either First Ever or In A While)

  1. Chase Elliott
  2. Regan Smith