Date: Sunday – October 23rd, 2011
Time: 2 PM ET
Location: Talladega Superspeedway
Distance: 188 Laps/500 Miles
Broadcast: TV – ESPN
Radio – MRN (Motor Racing Network)/Sirius XM Ch. 90
High: 71°F – Low: 45°F
Start Time: 69°F
End of Race:67°
Chance of Rain: 10%
Wind: From NNW at 3 mph
Fantasy Racing Picks:
Target: Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson
Avoid: Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth
Analysis: Matt Kenseth hasn’t had a top-10 since 2006. Kyle Busch leads laps at Talladega, but doesn’t have the finishes to show for it.
Bargain: Regan Smith should have won here in 2008 and Brad Keselowski did in 2009. The latter has three top-10 finishes in five starts.
-Five down, five to go, as the Chase for the Sprint Cup continues this week at Talladega.
-Only seven points separate the top three drivers at the halfway point, as Carl Edwards holds down the top spot, followed by Kevin Harvick (5 behind) and Matt Kenseth (7 behind).
-Five-time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, after moving to third on the points list, was pushed to the door last week in Charlotte, as he dropped to eighth after wrecking at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Despite tumbling down the points list, Johnson is 35 points behind.
-Clint Bowyer will attempt to do something only the Earnhardt family has accomplished at Talladega, and that is to win this race in back-to-back seasons.
-Dale Earnhardt won back-to-back fall races at Talladega three times (1983-84, 1990-91, 1999-2000), while son Dale Jr. captured this race in 2001-02.
-Out of the running in the Chase this season, Bowyer raced to victory in 2010, as he edged his Richard Childress Racing teammate Kevin Harvick for the lead just before NASCAR displayed the caution flag on the final lap for a five-car accident on the frontstretch. A.J. Allmendinger’s car got airborne and flipped upside down on the track before it rolled back over.
-After the 500-mile race ended under caution, it took NASCAR several minutes to determine a winner. Officials reviewed replays and then credited Bowyer with the victory, his fourth and last career title. Bowyer is 13th on the points list, just one position out of the Chase.
-Jamie McMurray took the checkered flag for the 2009 running of this race, as he defeated Kasey Kahne to snap an 86-race winless streak in the Series.
-When Tony Stewart won in 2008, it was his 33rd career Sprint Cup title, as he defeated Paul Menard by 0.052 of a second.
-Jeff Gordon started in the 34th position in 2007 and led just one lap, but it was the final lap, as he defeated Jimmie Johnson by less than a second.
-In 2006, Brian Vickers recorded his first career Sprint Cup title, as he crossed the finish line under caution ahead of Kasey Kahne.
-In 2005, Dale Jarrett came out of nowhere to capture his 32nd Sprint Cup title, as he clipped Tony Stewart for the checkered flag.
-Chevrolet has won this race in 16 of the last 21 years. Dodge has struggled here, last winning in 1976, as legend Dave Marcis won the Talladega 500. Overall, Dodges have won only two of the previous 39 fall races at Talladega, Marcis in 1976 and Richard Petty in 1974.
-This race has been won from the pole position four times, the most recent in 1995 by Sterling Marlin. Overall, the pole sitter has won 13 of the 84 races at Talladega. The furthest back a winner has started at Talladega was when Jeff Gordon won the DieHard 500 in April of 2000, as he started from the 36th position. Stewart (2008) and Gordon (2007) own the record for winning the fall race from the furthest starting spot, 34th. Since the inception of electronic scoring in 1993, every race that has ended under green has had a margin of victory under half a second. 61 of the 84 races at Talladega have been won from a top-10 starting position.
Next Up: Martinsville Speedway
#00 David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL) Toyota/Aaron’s Dream Machine
#1 Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO) Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
#2 Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI) Dodge/Miller Lite
#4 Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA) Toyota/Red Bull
#5 Mark Martin (Batesville, AR) Chevrolet/GoDaddy.com
#6 David Ragan (Unadilla, GA) Ford/UPS My Choice
#7 Robby Gordon (Orange, CA) Dodge/Speed Energy/Mapei
#9 Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia) Ford/Stanley
#11 Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA) Toyota/FedEx Office
#13 Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA) Toyota/GEICO
#14 Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN) Chevrolet/Office Depot
#15 Michael Waltrip (Owensboro, KY) Toyota/Aaron’s Dream Machine
#16 Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA) Ford/3M/O’Reilly Auto Parts
#17 Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI) Ford/Jeremiah Weed
#18 Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Toyota/M&M’s Halloween
#20 Joey Logano (Middletown, CT) Toyota/Home Depot
#21 Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN) Ford/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire
#22 Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV) Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil
#24 Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA) Chevrolet/Drive to End Hunger
#27 Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI) Chevrolet/Menards/Serta
#29 Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA) Chevrolet/Jimmy Johns
#31 Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA) Chevrolet/Caterpillar
#32 Terry Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX) Ford/C&J Energy Ford
#33 * Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS) Chevrolet/TBA
#34 David Gilliland (Riverside, CA) Ford/TBA
#35 Geoffrey Bodine (Chemung, NY) Chevrolet/Luke & Associates
#36 Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH) Chevrolet/Golden Corral
#37 Josh Wise (Riverside, CA) Ford/Bradley University
#38 Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI) Ford/Long John Silver’s
#39 Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN) Chevrolet/U.S. Army
#42 Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia) Chevrolet/Energizer
#43 A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA) Ford/Best Buy
#46 Scott Speed (Manteca, CA) Ford/Red Line
#47 Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX) Toyota/Scott Products
#48 Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA) Chevrolet/Lowe’s
#51 Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA) Chevrolet/Phoenix Construction
#55 J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ) Ford/TBA
#56 Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ) Toyota/NAPA Auto Brakes
#66 Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ) Toyota/HP Racing
#71 Andy Lally (Northport, NY) Ford/TRG Motorsports
#78 Regan Smith (Cato, NY) Chevrolet/Furniture Row Racing
#83 Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC) Toyota/Red Bull
#87 Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL) Toyota/TBA
#88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC) Chevrolet/Diet Mountain Dew
#97 Kevin Conway (Cornelius, NC) Toyota/TBA
#99 Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO) Ford/Subway