After a very short week for the NASCAR Nationwide series, they head to Alabama to tackle Talladega Superspeedway.
The teams hit the track Thursday afternoon for both their practices and getting ready for qualifying on Friday. With all the restrictor plate races, qualifying means little when it comes to the drop of the green flag.
On driver who is looking to take it three in a row this weekend is Kyle Busch. It will not be easy to do because Talladega is very unpredictable but Busch is more than capable of doing it. Don the numbers behind him support his chances coming in?
No, but the numbers are deceiving, his best finish was third in 2006 but his worse was 40th in 2005. He runs 42 percent of the laps in the top 10, but he can’t seem to earn the finishes.
I think Busch will want to get up front early, he will be the favorite coming into the race but can he close the deal?
One driver wanting to take the limelight away from all the Sprint Cup drivers will be Michael Annett. He had a fast car in the first practice and while his final practice speed was nothing to phone home about, most drivers were focused on drafting.
Annett only has one start at Talladega, he finished 21st last spring. He learned some things during the practices today and even led the first practice.
I would be watching this young driver, he might not lead all the laps but if he can save his equipment he could be up front when it matters, the checkered flag.
My final driver is Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. He once again needs to qualify on time, Friday morning. In the last two weeks he has shown some speed in all the practices. Talladega is not an easy place to just survive, so he will have to be on top of the wheel the entire race and try to get a solid finish.
He is more than capable of doing so it’s just avoiding the big one and not making mistakes will decide whether or not he leaves Talladega with momentum heading to Richmond.
Drivers will once again have to deal with weather. With most of the reports calling for severe weather on Saturday, close to an 80 percent chance. This means this race might not be run until Monday, because Talladega does not have lights.
This changes the mindset of the drivers and crew chiefs. If we start this race and make it to halfway and weather comes, it is official. The weather though might win on Saturday so teams might be looking at another long weekend.
The Aaron’s 312 is Saturday at 2:30 ET on ABC.