2007 NASCAR Fantasy Preview: Talladega Superspeedway

Aaron’s 499

The Superspeedway Crapshoot

This weekend we head for the second restrictor plate race of the season at Talladega Superspeedway.

This race is the 1/4 mark of the season, so the teams should have all of their issues ironed out by now if they have a realistic chance of making the Chase.

Restrictor plate races are always a crapshoot with only a few drivers averaging good finishes. There are a lot of drivers who have good cars that get caught up in a wreck somewhere during the race and don’t finish anywhere near where their car should have finished without being involved in the “Big One.

My Pick To Win Talladega

So, with that being said I am going to pick Kurt Busch to win this weekend at Talladega.

Kurt has had some bad luck the last 2 weeks getting caught in the pits late in the race when a caution has come out. This has relegated him to being a lap down or at the tail end of the lead lap, which is just about as bad as being a whole lap down. Kurt has one of the best average finishes at Talladega and should have a car capable of winning here.

Frontrunners at Talladega

Jeff Gordon is on a roll and always has a good car for these races. Jeff also knows how to use the draft and knows which cars his works the best with in the draft.

The Hendrick teams seem to help each other out a lot at these tracks too. But, will the little feud after Martinsville between Jeff and Jimmie Johnson come into play here this weekend? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Speaking of Jimmie Johnson, he currently sits 4th in the points and has won a series leading 3 races already this year.

However, Jimmie always seems to have some bad luck towards the end of the races at Talladega. Last year he was taken out at the end of the race when Brian Vickers inadvertently got into Dale Earnhardt Jr. and caused Junior to crash into Johnson taking both drivers out of the race on the last lap.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had been the man to beat from 2001 thru 2004 at Talladega when he had 5 wins and two 2nd place finishes here.

The last 4 races haven’t been quite as good for Junior as he has lost a few engines and then got caught up in the aforementioned wreck last year. Still Dale should have another car capable of winning once again at Talladega.

Tony Stewart has been another of those drivers who has seemed to finish well at Talladega lately.

Tony has finished 2nd in 3 of the last 4 races at Talladega and likes to ride around at the back of the pack until later in the race unless he has a car that will run up front the whole race. He just doesn’t like running in the middle of the pack during the race because that is where the wrecks usually occur if there is going to be one so this is a smart strategy to use. It doesn’t take long to go from the back to the front with this kind of racing.

Mark Martin had his worst finish of the year last weekend at Phoenix in his first race with the COT.

Mark hates running restrictor plate races but he almost won at Daytona earlier this year. Mark is another driver you won’t hear much about until the end of the race. He might get up there and lead a few laps early in the race for the bonus points but he won’t really start racing until the end of the race.

Matt Kenseth is the best restrictor plate racer that Jack Roush has. Lately Matt has been in contention to win at the end of the restrictor plate races but still hasn’t broken through with a win. He needs help at the end and can hopefully get one of his teammates behind him late in the race.

Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer all seem to have pretty good cars for the restrictor plate races and Kevin came from nowhere in a hurry to win the Daytona 500 this year. Either of these drivers could head to victory lane if they can get the help when they need it.

Yahoo! Fantasy Picks

Group A

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr (starter)
  • Jeff Gordon

Group B

  • Kurt Busch (starter)
  • Martin Truex Jr (starter)
  • Mark Martin
  • David Gilliland

Group C

  • Paul Menard (starter)
  • Tony Raines

Darkhorse

  • Paul Menard

Stay Away From

  • Greg Biffle