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. Cup-winning Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman said Dave Andreychuk's name has surfaced often the past eight years with the selection committee.

    30 Oct 2001:  Left wing Dave Andreychuk #25 of the Tampa Bay Lightning skates towards the blue line during the NHL game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.  The Maple Leafs defeated the Lightning 3-2.  Mandatory Credit:  Dave Sanford /Allsport
  2. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  3. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: Alex Cobb (6-5, 4.05)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. What they're saying about Dave Andreychuk making Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    "Dave helped me so much when I was just starting my career, a young kid that was looking to find his way as a hockey player, a person and a member of the Tampa Bay community. In addition to watching him compile such awe-inspiring statistics, I remember him as a big brother to me and many others, making sure all the …