By admin | April 23, 2008
Fantasy Picks and Predictions: Talladega
By Richard Allen
After an off week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is set to get back to work in the Aaron’s 499 at the Talladega Superspeedway. As usual, any race at Talladega is a crap shoot for fantasy pickers. Players could appear headed for a great day with four drivers in the Top 5 at the white flag and have none of them finish in the Top 10 at the checkered flag. And, of course, there is always the threat of “The Big One” gobbling up an entire fantasy team. These restrictor plate races can be very difficult but here is some advice:
Jeff Gordon- Whenever there is doubt Gordon is always a solid pick. He won the race here in October in the Car of Tomorrow’s maiden super speedway voyage. Question is, if he wins this time will the fans of his teammate still throw cans at him?
Dale Earnhardt, Jr- I predicted two races ago that Junior would win at least one of the next four. Time is running out for both me and him. If a prognosticator had to pick one race for Junior to win, Talladega would be the place.
Tony Stewart- Stewart was among the best cars at Daytona, ‘dega’s sister track. He always seems to end up near the front at Talladega. So, it stands to reason that he will be near the front again.
Kyle Busch- Busch had the best car for the best organization at Daytona(among the teams that didn’t win, that is). This time, he and Stewart will not lose out on the last lap.
Casey Mears- He finished 6th here in October. He is driving Hendrick Motorsports equipment. At Talladega, those are both good things.
Bobby Labonte- He finished 11th in Daytona. Keeping out of trouble can be a key to a good finish here and Labonte is just the guy to keep his car out of trouble.
Kasey Kahne- Kahne finished 7th in Daytona. Along with teammate Elliott Sadler’s 6th place they showed that Gillett-Evernham Motorsports has put a good plate package together.
Dave Blaney- He was 3rd here in October, providing Toyota with one of its few bright moments in 2007. With the strength the manufacturer has shown in 2008, Blaney could find himself near the front again.
Robby Gordon- He had a solid 8th place in Daytona. It’s a good bet that the RGM team will have the proper nose on the car this week.
Michael Waltrip- Here is another driver who could benefit from the strength shown by Toyota. He has the knack for finishing well on the plate tracks as evidenced by the fact that all of his victories have come here and at Daytona.
Reed Sorenson- He was 5th in Daytona. He was 10th here last fall.
Prediction to win the Aaron’s 499: Kyle Busch
As always, these are only suggestions. Do your own research and good luck.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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