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2012 Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway

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2012 Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway

2012 Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway

Logo courtesy of NASCAR

2012 Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway:

Talladega Superspeedway has long been known as the "wildcard" race in the Chase for the Cup. Restrictor plate racing is a crapshoot. Drivers can see their Chase dreams disappear in an instant as the slightest error could lead to "The Big One."

The Chase drivers will all need to avoid last year's catastrophe were seven of the twelve Chasers finished the race in the bottom half of the running order if they want to contend for the 2012 Cup.

Tickets:

Speedway ticket office 1-877-Go2-DEGA

The Track:

Talladega Superspeedway is the longest track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit measuring 2.66 miles. A steep 33 degrees of banking in the corners and 18 degrees in the front tri-oval make handling a secondary consideration. Talladega is big, fast, and all about horsepower and drafting.

Race Distance:

188 laps = 500 miles

The Big Picture:

Last week in Dover Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski swapped spots at the head of the point standings once again. Johnson posted his third top five finish of the 2012 Chase but Keselowski's second win of the Chase pushed him back into the top Chase spot.

Keselowski currently has two wins and one second place finish in his 2012 Chase resume. If he keeps this up for seven more races he will be tough to beat.

At the back of the points Matt Kenseth has built an insurmountable mountain for his team to climb in the final seven races. He becomes the first driver to no realistic shot at the 2012 title.

The 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings:

  1. Brad Keselowski
  2. Jimmie Johnson -5
  3. Denny Hamlin -16
  4. Clint Bowyer -25
  5. Tony Stewart -32
  6. Kasey Kahne -32
  7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -39
  8. Martin Truex Jr. -42
  9. Kevin Harvick -46
  10. Jeff Gordon -48
  11. Greg Biffle -51
  12. Matt Kenseth -72

Storylines:

Last week Jimmie Johnson took a slim point lead into Dover where he had dominated recent events. Johnson had a solid day but it was Brad Keselowski who took the win and reclaimed the Chase point lead.

This weekend the rolls are reversed as Keselowski comes into the 2012 Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway looking to extend his point lead at a track where he won earlier this year.

Keselowski had it easy after his Chicagoland win. This week the media will turn up the pressure. Is Keselowski a genuine threat to win the 2012 Chase for the Cup?

Media Coverage:

TV: ESPN Sunday, October 7th, 1:00PM Eastern.

Radio: MRN and SIRIUS Satellite

Actual Race: 2:10PM Eastern

Recent Events:

2011 Winner: Clint Bowyer

2011 Polesitter: Mark Martin

Last Year:

Last year the 2011 Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway lived up to its billing as the "wildcard" event of the Chase. Seven of the Chase drivers finished in the bottom half of the field including two near the head of the pack that suffered irreversible damage to their Chase hopes.

Two of the top four Chase drivers were involved in "The Big One" and saw their points take a major hit. Kevin Harvick came into the race second in the Chase but he was caught up in the crash through no fault of his own along with Kyle Busch who was fourth in points until Talladega.

Non-Chasers Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton battled side-by-side for the win in the final few yards with Clint Bowyer claiming the win in a thrilling finish.

Predictions:

Brad Keselowski has to be excited heading back to Talladega after winning here in May. Keselowski had a fast car and knew how to play the last-lap strategy to perfection and pick up the win.

Keselowski was not just a one-hit wonder here either. He was the best of all Chasers here in 2011 with a strong fourth place effort. No matter how you slice it Brad Keselowski makes a solid pick this weekend.

For my backup this week I'm going to look at the driver currently sitting sixth in Chase points. Kasey Kahne finished sixth and fourth in the last two Talladega races. Kahne has a fast car and needs a strong finish in order to put himself in the Chase conversation. I think Kasey Kahne makes a strong backup pick for Sunday's race.

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