Talladega action and uncertainties

Admittedly I am a short-track gal, but Talladega racing is too exciting not to love. However, the fantasy racing prospects? Well that’s a whole other matter. The best that you can hope to achieve is that enough of your drivers get bonus points for qualifying and laps led that even if it all goes south with the big one at least you can come away a respectful score.

Drafting will not be a major factor today since this Gen 6 car design mismatches the bumpers and fenders. Oh they’ll do it at the end especially and a miscalculation in uucoupling will cause a wreck, but it won’t make the difference between a win and a loss.

With a handful of laps into the race my prediction is that the winning cars will be racing all day, not hanging in the back. So who will win? Could be anybody, seriously! But I’m thinking it will be one of these scenarios: a dark horse like Aric Almirola or Davd Ragan, or Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, or Kevin Harvick.

Here’s how I crunched my stats for the race to get my final picks: NASCAR Fantasy Fusion

My team is: Brad Keselowki, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, and David Ragan.

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Talladega or horror movie? Hmm.

Although I am a short-track kinda of gal, racing at Talladega is provocative. By the end of the race I’ll be watching like most people watch scary horror films — just peaking through my fingers.

Then there’s the sheer speed and danger that it creates as well as the impending “big one.” Oh yeah, and it is an impossible race for fantasy racing folks. There’s a million lead changes, so everybody gets extra points, so it comes down to who doesn’t crash out or make mistakes on pit road.

With the tweaked cars most of the two-car tandems have gone away for the full race, however it will be used a lot at the end of the race and periodically throughout the race to gain strategic track position. As the great equalizer, drafting also makes it possible for a non-Chaser or dark horse to take the victory, which I also find compelling.

So my “pick and pray” fantasy picks this week are: Kyle Busch’ Dale Earnhardt., Jr., Kasey Kahne; and Michael Waltrip (I know, I just couldn’t resist!)

Enjoy the rest of the race!

Talladega Flashback: the Good, the Bad & the Snarky!

Well we all know that Talladega Superspeedway is anything, but boring. We expect the inevitable “big one,” the flaring tempers, blown engines, overheating radiators, diverse racing styles like “pack tendem,” but really last weekend was over the top.

The racing was definitely “good,” with an exciting finish to the Sprint Cup race. Way to go Brad Keselowski for the win with a push from Kyle Busch no less, and the second win this season for Bred. This race was also the “bad” for Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick. Here is a nice recap if you missed it. Click here

The “bad” actually started on Saturday during the Nationwide race when Eric McClure got caught in the “big one” and needed to be cut out of his car and airlifted to the hospital. Fortunately it was just an overnight stay, but he suffered a concussion and internal bruising. So glad he is okay. Here is video of the crash. Click here. Jeff Green will be subing for Eric this weekend at Darlington.

Okay so for the snarky, 2012 Sprint Cup champ Tony Stewart gave an awesome post race press conference, delivering a dry and completely sarcastic monologue which is hysterical. I saw it while exercising in the gym. Even with the sound down it was hysterical. I nearly fell off the treadmill. Here’s the transcript. This is what happens when Smoke gets snarky. Click here.

Though not as funny as Tony Stewart’s shenanigans, Kurt Busch drove the Ricky Bobby Talladega Nights “Me” car and carried the gag through the race with movie script lines and a stuffed animal (cougar) in the car. Interesting. Oh and yeah he ended up doing an amazing lateral slide and finished in 20th. Click here to view the story and paint scheme.

All in all a very interesting race weekend, and I’m thinking Darlington isn’t going to be a walk in the park either!

Hoping for a safe, full race at Talladega!

Although I am definitely a short-track racing fan, there’s something about Talladega Superspeedway. It is  my favorite “pick and pray” track. I pick my drivers and pray that they don’t get caught up in the big one, and it all comes down to the final laps. Qualifying and practice doesn’t matter at all.

Yesterday at the Nationwide Series race we saw clearly how horrific the big one can be as Eric McClure wrecked hard and was airlifted to the hospital. Thankfully he is okay. Kudos to the track emergency personnel who practice weekly for just this type of incident for their quick response and for the safety crew who got the track buttoned up and ready to go green in just under 20 minutes.

In the end Joey Logano pulled off an exciting win splits seconds in front of Kyle Busch. If you missed the race, check out these links:

Eric McClure’s hard lick. Click here and for video here.

Joey Logano’s win. Click here.

Yesterday’s race also demonstrated the morphed style of racing — pack-tandem! Scary. So far today’s race has been a bit tempered. Hopefully the weather is done with. I think we’ll have enough issues with keeping the engines cooled and dealing with typical Dega racing. Good luck to all the drivers and the fans who will be peeking through their fingers at the end of today’s race.

Enjoy!

Taking a risky move at Talladega!

Inspired by today’s drivers I am taking a risky move on my Fantasy picks: Kevin Harvick (no risk, I hope); Brad Keselowski (medium risk); Joey Logano (usually no risk high risk though the Toyotas aren’t looking good this weekend and he is paired with Kyle Busch who hasn’t performed well at Talladega); and David Ragan (virtually no risk).

Anything goes here … so enjoy the race. Should be very eventful!

No draft-dodgers at Talladega!

Talladega is the track that I probably most hate to love, if you know what I mean. You know something big is bound to happen at any moment, but you don’t know what exactly, and it could just ruin a driver’s run at the championship. But, then again, it is always a great race! I think you may start seeing my quandary here.

Here’s a pretty accurate rundown of just 10 of the things that could ruin a driver’s day at Talladega. Click here.

The two-draft tandem draft (eHarmony racing) has certainly added an interesting nuance at Talladega, and one that even the drivers who hate it can’t avoid. I can’t wait to see who Tony Stewart decides to run with and if the Roush Racing team sticks with their decision to only pair up with team members.

Should be interesting. So should my final picks for my fantasy team. Back to you later.

eHarmony racing returns to Talladega!

Ok so racing has always been unpredictable at Talladega Superspeedway, but this two-car tandem deal has really put it over the top … and I have to admit I like it! Driving really, really fast on a challenging track with a partner, and not necessarily a member of your team … why wouldn’t I like it?! Guess I’m just not a traditionalist. I think it is really cool especially when they coordinate a switch. It is like a crazy choreographed racing move at 150+ mph.

I checked out practices today and the twosomes gave me a good idea of how I will strategize my fantasy picks. Still pondering …

Anger management & making switches smooth the trick at Talladega today?

lt seems like the track that’s always eaten up cars and impatient drivers offers a new, equally wild option with the two-car draft. Here’s what Dale and Juan Pablo had to say about it: Dale,  Juan Pablo.  Clint had a funny comment about his strategy being trying not to wreck!

Should be an interesting day at the track and hopefully less chaotic than the Nationwide race.

Crossing my fingers and toes: here are my picks: Kevin Harvick; Clint Bowyer; Dale Earnhardt, Jr.; and David Ragan.


Joey Logano pushes Kyle Busch for Nationwide win

Wow! Another crazy finish at Talladega — surely a prelude to tomorrow’s Sprint Cup race. By the time the race was completed half the field was in the garage and the remaining cars weren’t very pretty. Logano said it seemed more like Martinsville than Talladega. Yikes.

For a moment there it looked like Joe Nemechek was going to get the win. How cool would that be?! He was so happy just to be running upfront. Classy old school driver. What a wild ride Mike Wallace took – he was actually airborne in that last crash that brought out the caution. Check out the YourTube video. Great that the cars are safe enough for him to walk away.

Hope Joey Logano does well tomorrow too. He always seems to be the bridesmaid!

Will the restrictor-plate greats rule or will it be the underdogs?

The restrictor-plate super speedways have their top tier drivers: Dale Earnhardt Jr.; Clint Bowyer; Carl Edwards; Kevin Harvick; Kurt Busch; cool and collected Matt Kenseth (good skills to have at Talladega); Denny Hamlin; Tony Stewart and Juan Pablo Montoya. They know how to drive fast cars, can pick good drafting partners and can mostly stay out of trouble. That last one is very important as well as coming from strong engine shops. You gotta be there at the end to win.

The dark horses may rule the day though. Remember our season opener and the driver who is now a household name — Trevor Bayne? Guys like David Ragan; David Reutimann; A.J. Allmendinger; Travis Kvapil; Brad Kesolowski and Joey Logano could come out and surprise us — as long as their engines and driver wisdom hold out. And wouldn’t it be great to see drivers like Bill Elliott and Michael Waltrip run well?

This season has provided some amazing race endings and with the multi-car draft and the mere fact that it is Talladega, we should have a good one tomorrow. Remember the Bowyer/Harvick finish in October? Check it out on You Tube. Here’s some cool race preview info: Click here.

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