Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Talladega tells a lot about Chase

The 2.66-mile, high-banked Talladega Superspeedway, carved from pine-covered hills, has a reputation for scrambling nerves and points standings, but it has really done a much better job settling things since the Chase for the Championship format was instituted in 2004. Consider:

In 2004, eventual champion Kurt Busch finished fifth and took the points lead later in the week when race-winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. was penalized 25 points for using profanity on live television.

• In 2005, Tony Stewart finished second to take the points lead en route to his second championship.

2006 provided the exception to the rule, though with a caveat. Jimmie Johnson was challenging for the race lead on the final lap when then-teammate Brian Vickers wrecked him passing for victory. Johnson left the campfire smoky valley in eighth place, 156 points out, but came back to win his first Sprint Cup championship.

• Proving again he makes his own rules, Johnson finished second in the fall and left Talladega second in the standings — by just nine points — before rallying to win a consecutive championship.

Bad pub

Helio Castroneves' indictment on federal tax evasion charges is a blow for the Indy Racing League, which wielded the effervescent Brazilian like a public relations wand even before he won the Dancing With the Stars competition last season. Fans who followed the IRL before are unlikely to turn away because of Castroneves' situation, no matter its legal resolution. But those fickle new ones that Castroneves lured in are likely to feel betrayed by the broad-smiling man they thought they knew, if he is found guilty. Bad week for the IRL.

Indy Racing League 2009 TV schedule

April 5 St. Petersburg Versus 2-5 p.m.

April 19 Streets of Long Beach Versus 3:30-6:30 p.m.

April 26 Kansas Speedway Versus 4-7 p.m.

May 24 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Ch. 28 Noon-4:30 p.m.

May 31 Milwaukee Mile Ch. 28 3:30-6 p.m.

June 6 Texas Motor Speedway Versus 9 p.m. – Midnight

June 21 Iowa Speedway Ch. 28 1-3:30 p.m.

June 27 Richmond International Raceway Versus 8-11 p.m.

July 5 Watkins Glen International Ch. 28 1-3:30 p.m.

July 12 Streets of Toronto Ch. 28 1-3:30 p.m.

July 26 Edmonton City Centre Airport Versus 5-8 p.m.

Aug. 1 Kentucky Speedway Versus 8-11 p.m.

Aug. 9 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Versus 1-4 p.m.

Aug. 23 Infineon Raceway Versus 5-8 p.m.

Aug. 29 Chicagoland Speedway Versus 9 p.m.–midnight

Sept. 6 Raceway at Belle Isle Park Versus 3-6 p.m.

Sept. 19 Twin Ring Motegi Versus 10:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.

Oct. 10 Homestead-Miami Speedway Versus 4-7 p.m.



Talladega tells a lot about Chase 10/03/08 [Last modified: Friday, October 3, 2008 8:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. The homer that almost was hurts Rays in Tuesday's loss



  2. Former Buc Mike Glennon says right things about Bears QB situation


    Mike Glennon's go-to line about being recognized around town since becoming a Bear worked as well as ever, producing laughs.

    Quarterback Mike Glennon, shown last season with the Bucs before signing in the offseason with the Bears, is showing good humor about a looming competition in Chicago. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  3. Tampa Bay Super Bowls: A brief history and some predictions for 2021


    At last, Tampa will host a Super Bowl again. It used to be that the Cigar City would host one a decade, but by the time February 2021 rolls around, it will have been 12 years since the epic showdown between the Steelers and Cardinals. Because it has been awhile, let's revisit those past Super Bowls while also peering …

    Santonio Holmes hauls in the game-winning touchdown in the Steelers' 27-23 Super Bowl XLIII victory over the Cardinals in 2009, the last time Tampa hosted a Super Bowl. [JAMES BORCHUCK | Times]
  4. Rays bats go silent in second straight loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Sure, Alex Cobb was to blame for the Rays' 4-0 loss on Tuesday.

    Derek Norris strikes out with the bases loaded as the Rays blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb made mistakes on back-to-back pitches to the first two Angels hitters Tuesday, allowing homers to Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout, but otherwise gave the Rays another solid outing, working into the eighth and scattering seven hits.