I put a lot of time and thought into my picks for Talladega for this weekend's race. That was probably a waste of time because what with this being the first restrictor plate COT race it should be a madhouse. Two possibilities: 1. The "big one" at Talladega could be several big ones as that ugly batwing on the back of the cars make the cars too tight to steer. 2. This could be the most boring Talladega race in NASCAR history. In any event, here are my picks:
1. 24 - Gordon to win- I saw Jeff Gordon win at Talladega in April. He's good there, sadly. It was a flip for me between Gordon, Johnson, and Stewart, as those three have the COT figured out.
2. 48 - Johnson - Winner in spring '06 and has a good average finish at Dega. See above re: COT.
3. 2 - Kurt Busch - not thought of as a great superspeedway racer, but his avg finish at this track is enviable. (10.2 with many, many top 10s)
4. 20 - Stewart - has won at Daytona several times. Strangely, never at Talladega. He could very well break that streak this Sunday.
5. 29 - Harvick - already won the Daytona 500 and finishes well at Talladega usually.
6. 8 - Earnhardt - once the undisputed master of the Alabama track, he has not won in a while here. However, he is a force to contend with whenever NASCAR comes to Dega.
7. 1 - Truex - had a sting of bad luck at superspeedways in his early races. His last two starts have been much better and he should be in the top ten.
8. 12 - Newman - has a 19.8 avg finish at T'dega but that statistic is skewed because of freshman and sophomore non-starter efforts. He has multiple recent top tens at Dega and Daytona.
And for the superspeedways-only picks:
9. 6 - Ragan - In three superspeedway starts, he has distinguished himself. He is the leading Roush car right now at Daytona and here.
10. 38 - Gilliland - I have never put him in a top 10 before but his 9.5 avg finish at Talladega is the best of all active drivers. His pole in the Daytona wasn't bad either... RYR engines at these tracks are a well-known powerhouse.