2012 Aaron's 499:
The Big Picture:
Junior is now just five points behind Biffle and having a great 2012 in spite of his winless streak.
The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings:
Those five wins that Junior has at Talladega are a bit dated now though. He last scored a Talladega win back in 2004. That was a very different type of restrictor plate racing from the partner racing that we saw in 2011 and the hybrid pack-partner racing that we saw in Daytona earlier this year.
Junior is on a roll though in 2012. He currently sits second in points just five points behind leader Greg Biffle and is fresh off one of his best runs of the year. Dale's second place effort in Richmond last week was matched only by his second place effort in the only other restrictor plate race of 2012.
Maybe, just maybe, this is the week that Dale Earnhardt Jr. breaks the streak and establishes himself as a legitimate championship contender.
Radio: MRN and SIRIUS Satellite
Actual Race: 1:00PM Eastern
2011 Polesitter: Jeff Gordon
2011 Winner: Jimmie Johnson
Before the finish that had fans on their feet one of NASCAR's 2011 bad boys Kurt Busch wasn't making any friends on the track as he caused at least two wrecks during the race. The biggest of these was the "Big One" on lap 90 when Trevor Bayne, Kasey Kahne, David Ragan, Brad Keselowski and Marcos Ambrose crashed when Kurt Busch spun the car that he was drafting with.
Roush-Fenway Racing finished first and third in Daytona as Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle combined to lead 94 laps of the race with Kenseth getting the win.
For my top pick this week I'm going to reverse that and pick Greg Biffle for the win this week in Talladega. The point leader needs to bring his car home in one piece and the best way to stay out of trouble is to stay out front.
Although the Roush-Fenway guys lead a lot of laps in Daytona it was Denny Hamlin who lead the most laps. Hamlin had a fast car all day in Daytona and brought it home in fourth. Hamlin knows how to plate race and he makes a great backup pick this week in Talladega.