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Sprint Cup scouting report: Talladega

Sprint Cup scouting report

Talladega

After five weeks of jockeying for position, any driver in the Chase for the Championship can see his title chances dented by one bad moment — and not of his own doing. That's the way things always are at Talladega, the fastest and longest track in NASCAR, and a place so unpredictable that poring through statistics and history trying to find a pattern is tricky. Still, a couple of thoughts are relevant. Tony Stewart finally conquered the Alabama superspeedway with a win in 2008, but has finished out of the top 15 in five races since. Stewart/Haas teammate Ryan Newman has fared little better — four straight finishes out of the top 20 including a couple of wicked crashes — yet the team is strong at restrictor-plate tracks. If those two can hook up they might both change the trend and, at least for Stewart, charge back up the standings. Also, if NASCAR needs a shocking winner, a restrictor-plate track is the place to go. Brad Keselowski pulled off such a victory here in 2009 for Phoenix Racing and parlayed that into a ride with Penske and a spot in this year's Chase, where he's now a favorite at this track.

Times staff

Sprint Cup scouting report: Talladega 10/22/11 [Last modified: Saturday, October 22, 2011 7:42pm]
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