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Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 Betting News and Notes

Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 Betting News and Notes

Odds & Ends - Talladega
VegasInsider.com

Talladega Superspeedway Data

Chase Race #: 4 of 10
Season Race #: 30 of 36 (10-07-12)
Track Size: 2.66-mile
Banking/Turns: 33 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 16.5 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 2 degrees
Frontstretch Length: 4,300 feet
Backstretch Length: 4,000 feet
Race Length: 188 laps / 500 miles

Top 12 Driver Rating at Talladega

Jeff Burton 90.7
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 90.0
Denny Hamlin 87.0
David Ragan 87.0
Kurt Busch 86.8
Matt Kenseth 86.7
Brad Keselowski 86.2
Joey Logano 84.8
Tony Stewart 84.5
Jimmie Johnson 81.5
Jeff Gordon 81.5
Juan Pablo Montoya 80.4

Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2012 races (15 total) among active drivers at Talladega Superspeedway.

Qualifying/Race Data

2011 pole winner: Mark Martin, Chevrolet (181.367 mph, 52.799 sec., 10-21-11)
2011 race winner: Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet (143.404 mph, 3:29:14, 10-23-11)
Track qualifying record: Bill Elliott, Ford (212.809 mph, 44.998 sec., 4-30-87)
Track race record: Mark Martin, Ford (188.354 mph, 2:39:18, 5-10-97)

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Re: Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 Betting News and Notes

Driver Highlights - Talladega
VegasInsider.com

1 - Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 98.0

2012 Rundown
-- Five wins, 12 top fives, 18 top 10s
-- Average finish of 10.6
-- Led 17 races for 503 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook
-- Two wins, three top fives, five top 10s
-- Average finish of 13.0 in seven races
-- Average Running Position of 17.5, 12th-best
-- Driver Rating of 86.2, eighth-best

2 - Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet)


-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.9

2012 Rundown
-- Three wins, 15 top fives, 20 top 10s; two poles
-- Average finish of 10.4
-- Led 20 races for 1,250 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook
-- Two wins, five top fives, nine top 10s; one pole
-- Average finish of 17.7 in 21 races
-- Average Running Position of 18.2, 14th-best
-- Driver Rating of 81.5, 11th-best
-- 1,339 Laps in the Top 15 (46.9%), seventh-most
-- 2,735 Quality Passes, seventh-most

3 - Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.7

2012 Rundown
-- Five wins, 12 top fives, 15 top 10s; three poles
-- Average finish of 12.2
-- Led 21 races for 1,132 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook
-- Three top fives, five top 10s
-- Average finish of 18.2 in 13 races
-- Average Running Position of 16.0, eighth-best
-- Driver Rating of 87.0, fourth-best
-- 2,736 Quality Passes, sixth-most

4 - Clint Bowyer (No. 15 5-hour Energy Benefiting Avon Foundation For Women Toyota)


-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.1

2012 Rundown
-- Two wins, seven top fives, 18 top 10s
-- Average finish of 11.1
-- Led 9 races for 192 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook
-- Two wins, four top fives, seven top 10s
-- Average finish of 15.6 in 13 races
-- Average Running Position of 21.8, 30th-best
-- Driver Rating of 79.5, 18th-best
-- 61 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most

5 - Tony Stewart (No. 14 Mobil 1 / Office Depot Chevrolet)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 88.4

2012 Rundown
-- Three wins, 10 top fives, 14 top 10s; one pole
-- Average finish of 13.2
-- Led 13 races for 419 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook
-- One win, nine top fives, 13 top 10s
-- Average finish of 15.5 in 27 races
-- Average Running Position of 16.4, ninth-best
-- Driver Rating of 84.5, 10th-best
-- 66 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
-- 4,584 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most
-- 1,406 Laps in the Top 15 (49.2%), sixth-most

6 - Kasey Kahne (No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.8

2012 Rundown
-- Two wins, nine top fives, 15 top 10s; two poles
-- Average finish of 13.7
-- Led 8 races for 253 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook
-- Three top fives, four top 10s
-- Average finish of 20.8 in 17 races
-- Average Running Position of 20.7, 23rd-best
-- Driver Rating of 70.1, 27th-best
-- 4,862 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most
-- 2,594 Quality Passes, eighth-most

7 - Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 98.1

2012 Rundown
-- One win, 10 top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole
-- Average finish of 10.0
-- Led 12 races for 340 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook
-- Five wins, nine top fives, 13 top 10s
-- Average finish of 14.8 in 25 races
-- Series-best Average Running Position of 14.8
-- Driver Rating of 90.0, second-best
-- 66 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
-- 4,926 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most

8 - Martin Truex Jr. (No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)


-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 97.6

2012 Rundown
-- Six top fives, 16 top 10s; one pole
-- Average finish of 11.2
-- Led 11 races for 423 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook
-- One top five, four top 10s
-- Average finish of 23.5 in 15 races
-- Average Running Position of 19.5, 19th-best
-- Driver Rating of 75.1, 21st-best
-- 4,941 Green Flag Passes, third-most
-- 2,409 Quality Passes, 13th-most

9 - Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 91.4

2012 Rundown
-- Four top fives, 11 top 10s
-- Average finish of 12.0
-- Led 7 races for 229 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook
-- One win, six top fives, 10 top 10s; one pole
-- Average finish of 15.6 in 23 races
-- Average Running Position of 18.7, 17th-best
-- Driver Rating of 76.5, 20th-best
-- 69 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
-- 4,788 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
-- 1,234 Laps in the Top 15 (43.2%), 13th-most
-- 2,553 Quality Passes, 10th-most

10 - Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 97.0

2012 Rundown
-- One win, nine top fives, 14 top 10s; two poles
-- Average finish of 14.7
-- Led 18 races for 451 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook
-- Six wins, 14 top fives, 18 top 10s; three poles
-- Average finish of 16.8 in 39 races
-- Average Running Position of 18.7, 16th-best
-- Driver Rating of 81.5, 12th-best
-- 1,302 Laps in the Top 15 (45.6%), ninth-most

11 - Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 100.7

2012 Rundown
-- Two wins, 10 top fives, 15 top 10s; two poles
-- Average finish of 10.3
-- Led 14 races for 634 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook
-- Two top fives, four top 10s
-- Average finish of 19.7 in 19 races
-- Average Running Position of 21.4, 28th-best
-- Driver Rating of 72.9, 24th-best
-- 58 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most

12 - Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Ford EcoBoost/National Breast Cancer Foundation Ford)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 100.0

2012 Rundown
-- One win, 10 top fives, 16 top 10s; one pole
-- Average finish of 11.6
-- Led 18 races for 365 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook
-- Four top fives, seven top 10s
-- Average finish of 18.6 in 25 races
-- Average Running Position of 15.3, fourth-best
-- Driver Rating of 86.7, seventh-best
-- 4,575 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most
-- 1,749 Laps in the Top 15 (61.3%), second-most
-- 3,513 Quality Passes, third-most

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Re: Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 Betting News and Notes

Good Sam Roadside 500 Preview
By Micah Roberts
VegasInsider.com

Dodge sure picked a fine time to jump out of NASCAR. Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski has won two of the three Chase races thus far, leads the points and has done it all with a Dodge engine that appears to get much better fuel mileage than Chevy, Ford or Toyota. We’ve seen John Elway walk away from the game with a Super Bowl win and Ted Williams hit a home run in his final at-bat, but watching a manufacturer walk away with a Championship -- in this era -- would be a first.

Dodge left NASCAR in 1977 and made a return in 2001 under Ray Evernham’s guidance. They’ve had some success since coming back with a few wins, but nothing as steady as what Keselowski is doing right now with five wins on the season and seven races to go.

Of course, it’s only three races and there’s a lot of things that can and will happen, such as Jimmie Johnson staying hot after finishing fourth or better in the Chase races and Denny Hamlin having the edge on at least six of the seven tracks coming up.

The one track that no one is supposed to have an edge on is Talladega, site of this week's race. This is supposed to be the one race out of the 10 Chase races that is a wild card where the deck can be shuffled dramatically. A driver and team can do everything correct during the week, run a perfect race and then out of nowhere, get caught in the middle of a 10-car pile up.

No driver can dominate Talladega, but Talladega itself can dominate any driver, which is why we see no clear-cut, single-digit favorite in the odds offered by the LVH Super Book.

In Keselowski’s case, he may be one of the few drivers who expects to win. He took the checkers in the spring race and also captured his first Cup victory on the track in 2009. Keeping with the theme of his first three Chase races, he'll be using a brand new chassis this week to get the job done.

This season, in the three plate races, we’ve seen a Dodge, Chevy and Ford win. Chevy has been the star at Talladega over the last two decades, but the Roush Fords have been very strong over the past three seasons of plate races, particularly at Daytona.

None of the current crop of Roush drivers have ever won at Talladega, but Jamie McMurray did while driving for them in 2009. In the spring race, Matt Kenseth finished third and Greg Biffle fifth, giving indication that their time is coming soon.

With eight laps remaining in the spring race, Kenseth was leading and looked to be on pace to get his first Talladega win, but then the big one came with eight laps remaining. Nine cars were involved in a wreck, and when they restarted, Kenseth was easy prey for Keselowski.

Kenseth won the Daytona 500 this season and will be using the car that sat on the pole in the July Daytona race. His chance of winning his second Cup title is gone, but he could salvage something by grabbing a win Sunday. He's the 10-to-1 co-favorite to win along with Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

The interesting part about the Chase race at Talladega is the approach that drivers near the top of the standings take. They are overly cautious and drive with a constant fear, trying to stay out of trouble.

Johnson has two Talladega wins over his career, but both came in the spring with no fear of points. Johnson has routinely dropped to the back of the field and waited for the final 10 laps to move up. It’s probably a smart strategy since he’s won five championships using the tactic. But between all the aero changes in plate races that occurred coming into this season, it was much harder for drivers sitting back to catch up.

Johnson has finished in the top-10 of the fall Talladega races in four of his five Championship seasons, but this season he has failed to finish in any of the plate races. He'll be using the same chassis that finished 35th or worse in May's Talladega race and July's Daytona race.

The laid back approach could be costly because there doesn’t appear to be any way Keselowski is going to play that game. Although early in the Chase, this could be a race where he gains even more momentum and puts extra pressure on Johnson to make a move. And based on Johnson's strategy this season on these type of races, a change is in order.

Denny Hamlin has an 18.2 average finish at Talladega and his only plate win came in the Bud Shootout at Daytona -- a non-points race -- during his rookie season. Like Johnson -- or maybe not, Hamlin may play it cautiously knowing he has six tracks remaining where he’ll hold a big advantage over the others.

Finishing 20th or worse would be devastating for any of the contenders.

Clint Bowyer is currently fourth in points, 25 behind Keselwoski, and no one seems to be talking about him. He won the fall 2010 and 2011 races at Talladega while driving a Richard Childress Chevy, but in his first run there in his Michael Waltrip Toyota, he finished sixth, suggesting he's quite comfortable in his new surroundings. This could be a race where Bowyer leaps into major contention for the Championship while everyone else contending for a title drives gingerly. He'll be using the car that finished eighth in the Budweiser Shootout.

Not only is Bowyer a play at 15-to-1 this week to win, but also at 15-to-1 to win the Championship. Of the six tracks remaining following Talladega, a strong case could be made for Bowyer as the top candidate behind Hamlin and Johnson to fare best. Talladega is definitely his wild card among all the drivers.

Earnhardt, Jr is a five-time Talladega winner, but hasn’t won there since 2004. He’s currently 39 points out of first and has a lot ground to make up. Some old school magic could get the NASCAR nation buzzing again.

Jeff Gordon is a six-time winner at Talladega and is the last driver to sweep a season, which Keselowski will be trying to match. Coming into this race, Gordon has finished third or better on five of the last six tracks. He is one driver in the field that will be letting it all hang out with a total disregard for his points.

Because this race is such a crapshoot, we have to consider other drivers outside the Chase more than any other track. Four of the past eight fall Talladega races have been won by non-Chase drivers. Also, of note, no driver has ever won the Championship after wining this race under the Chase format. Drivers outside the Chase that present the best opportunity at winning are Jeff Burton and Jamie McMurray.

Top-5 Finish Prediction:

1) #15 Clint Bowyer (15/1)
2) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr (10/1)
3) #17 Matt Kenseth (10/1)
4) #24 Jeff Gordon (12/1)
5) #18 Kyle Busch (10/1)

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Re: Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 Betting News and Notes

Good Sam 500 Storylines
Nascar.com

Call Sunday’s Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 a four-wheeled version of the Alabama Lottery in which every one of the 43 starting drivers is a potential winner. And for 12 of them – qualifiers for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™ - it’s the "wild card" event of the 10-race post season.

No fall Talladega winner has gone on to become the NASCAR Sprint Cup champion during the Chase era. And ‘Dega has ruined the hopes of many. A top-10 finish – no easy task – is the goal for members of the Chase field this weekend.

Two streaks are on the line. Spring Talladega winner and points leader Brad Keselowski bids for a season sweep, the first at the track since 2007. And Clint Bowyer tries to win the track’s fall race for the third straight year. He won in 2010 as a Chase driver; a year ago as a "spoiler."

Jimmie Johnson’s run at a sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup title could hinge on this week’s race. Johnson, who trails Keselowski by five points, has yet to record a restrictor-plate finish in three tries this season and was 26th at ‘Dega in last year’s fall race.

With non-Chase drivers winning four of the eight fall races at Talladega under the current post-season format, watch for an outlier to open the gates to Victory Lane on Sunday. Jamie McMurray and Jeff Burton are two prominent choices.

Hard to believe but 16 consecutive weekends of racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series effectively settled nothing. When the three-plus month odyssey began in mid-June Elliott Sadler led reigning champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by 12 points with Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Austin Dillon trailing by 14 in third. And now? After multiple twists, turns and lead changes it’s Sadler by 9 over Stenhouse with Dillon 25 points out. Five races remain on the schedule beginning with a "hometown" event on Oct. 13 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

A single point is the difference between championship contenders Ty Dillon and James Buescher as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to its own "wild card" affair on Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway. Red Horse Racing swept Daytona’s season opening event with John King and Timothy Peters finishing one-two. King since has been replaced by Parker Kligerman, who is making a late run at the title along with Peters, the 2010 Daytona winner.

Kyle Busch Motorsports has entered a two-truck tandem for the first time this season with Kurt Busch in the team’s No. 18 Toyota and NASCAR Mexico champion German Quiroga.

Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 Truly A Wild Card Chase Race


This is "wild card" weekend to say the least. Chase qualifier or not, anyone in the 43-car field is a contender for Talladega Superspeedway’s checkered flag. Since the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™ began in 2004, four of the eight fall Talladega winners – Dale Jarrett, Brian Vickers, Jamie McMurray and Clint Bowyer – came from outside the Chase field. The eventual NASCAR Sprint Cup champion has never won the fall Talladega race in the Chase era.

Seven of this year’s 12 Chase qualifiers (Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon) have a ‘Dega victory. Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Martin Truex Jr., Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth are still looking for one. A member of this year’s Chase field has won 10 of the past 13 races at Talladega Superspeedway.

Points Leader Keselowski Bids For ’Dega Season Sweep

Some drivers regard Talladega Superspeedway with trepidation. Not NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader Brad Keselowski, winner of the track’s spring race earlier this year and in 2009, when he scored his first of nine series victories. Keselowski, who scored Chase win No. 2 on Sunday at Dover International Speedway, leads Jimmie Johnson by five points entering the fourth round of the post season. Denny Hamlin is 16 points behind Keselowski in third place. A victory would make Keselowski the first to sweep both Talladega races since Jeff Gordon in 2007.

Talladega Could Be Springboard To Bowyer’s First NSCS Title

This is Clint Bowyer’s first Chase as a member of Michael Waltrip Racing and he’s hanging tough – fourth in the standings, 25 points out of the lead. History suggests this may be the week that Bowyer goes all the way to the top as the Kansan bids for a third consecutive victory in Talladega’s fall race. Bowyer won as a Chase qualifier in 2010. He missed the post season a year ago but repeated as the winner of the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500. Bowyer’s five most recent starts have produced five of his seven top-10 Talladega finishes.

Johnson’s ’Dega Stats Aren’t Great But He’s Solid When It’s Counted Most

Talladega stands statistically as Jimmie Johnson’s worst-performing track based on his Driver Rating of 81.5. Johnson, however, has won twice at ‘Dega, most recently in the spring of 2011. Johnson has performed at the 2.66-mile superspeedway when it counted most with top-10 Chase finishes in four of his five championship seasons. The exception was 2006 when Johnson was swept up in a final-lap accident, finished 24th but still came back to claim his first NSCS title. He was 26th a year ago when the championship streak ended. Johnson has been snake-bitten to say the least in 2012 restrictor-plate races with finishes of 42nd, 35th and 36th.

Critical Race For Biffle, Kenseth Where Fords Lacked In Recent Years

Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth held the NASCAR Sprint Cup points lead 21 times during this year’s regular season. Now they’re 11th and 12th respectively in Chase standings and on the brink of elimination after just three races. Talladega offers at least hope. Kenseth, the Daytona 500 winner, finished third in the track’s spring race with Biffle close behind in fifth place. Both drivers need a victory in the worst way and so does Ford, a winner just twice in the track’s most recent 27 races.

McMurray, Burton Take This Week’s ‘Chase Spoiler’ Roles

This hasn’t been Jamie McMurray’s season to say the least – just three top-10 finishes and none since early June. Yet McMurray goes to the post at Talladega as one of the favorites based upon his knack for finishing well at both Daytona and Talladega. McMurray was the last Ford driver to win at Talladega (fall 2009) and is both a Daytona 500 and Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola champion in Daytona. Another not-so-dark horse is Jeff Burton, who finished 10th in Talladega’s spring event and second to Bowyer in last fall’s Chase race. Bowyer claims Talladega’s best Driver Rating of 90.7 and has made more Green Flag Passes (4,048) than any other competitor.

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Re: Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 Betting News and Notes

Good Sam 500 Notes, Quotes & Chassis Selections
Robertsnascarnotes.blogspot.com

CLINT BOWYER AT TALLADEGA: Bowyer will make his 14th NSCS start at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday. In his previous 13 starts Bowyer has two wins, four top-five and seven top-10 finishes while leading 88 laps. He finished sixth in June. Bowyer averages a 20th place starting position and finish of 16th.

BOWYER AT TALLADEGA SINCE 2010: In his last five starts at Talladega, Bowyer has two wins, three top-five and five top-10 finishes. He has scored 465 points – most of any driver. Next closest driver is Kevin Harvickwith 28 points less. He has an average finish of 3.4 – best of any driver. He has led 82 laps over that span, which is second only to Matt Kenseth’s 116. He is the only driver to have five top-10s in the last five races.

BOWYER AT FALL TALLADEGA: Clint Bowyer is the two-time defending race winner of the fall Talladega race. Bowyer started second, led 19 laps and won in 2010. He started third, led 25 laps and won in 2011. In sixcareer fall races at Talladega, Bowyer has an average finish of 10.8. (compared to 19.7 in the spring race). He has led 50 of his 88 laps led in the fall race and has led in four of his six fall starts.

BOWYER CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary chassis No. 705 finished eighth in the season opening Budweiser Shootout. No. 705 also served as backup for the Spring Talladega and July Daytona races. Backup chassis No. 709 finished 11th in the Daytona 500.

MARTIN TRUEX JR ON TALLADEGA: “Our top-10 finish at Dover moved us up two spots in the standings to eighth, but we lost some ground to the leaders. We are now 42 points out. It just shows you how tough it is to win this year’s Chase. But anything can happen. Talladega is next and it really is the wild card of all the Chase races. I think the points race will be interesting after Talladega.”

MATT KENSETH ON TALLADEGA: “For the first time in my career I’m really looking forward to going to Talladega. Our restrictor plate stuff has been extremely strong this year and I think we’ve led a lot of laps at all three plate races. We were leading all three green-white-checker finishes at the superspeedways this year, but unfortunately we lost the last two. I messed up both of them and didn’t do the right things, but we’ve had really fast cars. The No.16 and us have been really fast. We’ve been able to work together and stayed up front the whole time. Hopefully we can do that again and, if there is some trouble, take advantage of that for Greg (Biffle) and I to gain some points.”

KENSETH CREW CHIEF JIMMY FENNIG ON WHAT CAR THEY'RE BRINGING: “The car we’re bringing this weekend to Talladega is the same car that we earned the pole with at Daytona in July. We have worked on the car a bit since then so I’m hoping for a good result since I think the car has good speed in it. We’re going to race and our plan is not to just ride around in the back of the field. We want to be able to be at the right place at the right time when it comes down to the finish on Sunday.”

GREG BIFFLE ON TALLADEGA: “I’m definitely looking forward to Talladega because our restrictor-plate program has been on fire for the last two and a half years. It’s unbelievable how good our engines have been. I know it’s going to be a wild race and there is a lot on the line. It takes a lot of luck to win at Talladega, but I feel like we can do it this weekend. First thing you have to do is miss the big one, then have a good drafting partner and you need to be in the right place, at the right time, to win at Talladega.”

BIFFLE CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary: RK-798 Brand new chassis; Backup:RK-794 Last ran Bud Shootout – finished sixth

MARCOS AMBROSE CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 9 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 715 for this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Talladega. This DEWALT Ford was run previously this season in the Budweiser Shootout in Daytona.

ARIC ALMIROLA CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 43 team has prepared chassis No. 716 for Talladega. This chassis also ran at the team’s first race at Talladega this season.

JIMMIE JOHNSON ON TALLADEGA: “Well, as you can probably see from our finishes this year, we haven’t had a lot of luck at the restrictor-plate tracks. It definitely is the one track in the Chase I’ve kind of been a little concerned about. There are a lot of great tracks for the 48 coming up in the Chase, but this one is definitely one where anything can happen. There are so many things that are out of your control. There is a lot of room on this track to move around though, obviously, and try things. I think the odds are in our favor to be able to finish one of these restrictor-plate races this year. At least I hope so.”

JOHNSON CHASSIS CHOICE: He's using chassis No. 698, the same chassis that raced at the Daytona Firecracker and the spring Talladega race, both of which resulted in DNF's at 35th or worse.

TONY STEWART ON TALLADEGA: “We’re looking at it as an opportunity to gain some points and positions. Every time you’re at Talladega you try to take care of yourself and your equipment by not getting yourself in compromising positions that are going to take you out of an opportunity to get you to the end of the race. For me, it’s no different whether the race is in April during the regular season or in October when I’m in the Chase.”

KASEY KAHNE ON TALLADEGA: “Talladega is really the biggest wild card in the Chase (for the NASCAR Sprint Cup). Almost everyone has a shot at the win, but you can be out of running early, too. We’re going into the weekend with a couple of good superspeedway finishes this year, and the guys at the shop put together awesome restrictor-plate cars. If we can stay out of trouble, we should have a solid day.”

DALE EARNHARDT, JR. ON TALLADEGA: “We’ve rode around and played it pretty conservative before. That hasn’t really worked out. Last couple times we’ve been racing just as hard as we can race, and I think that’s just about what we’ll do this time.”

KEVIN HARVICK ON TALLADEGA: “I go to Talladega with the approach that you have a 50-50 chance when you get there. You’re either going to have a great day because you finished or you’re going to have a torn up race car. I’ve gone with that mentality since my first race at Talladega. It’s just one of those race tracks where you really don’t have any expectations and you just go out and run as hard as you can because there are so many things out of your control.

“I love this style of racing. I love the strategy and the pushing and the shoving and all of the things that come with it. With that comes a lot of risk as far as getting torn up. Kind of like the rest of our year, we haven’t gotten the finishes that we’ve been accustomed to in the past at the superspeedways. Hopefully, we’ve been saving all of that luck up and can get through this weekend and put ourselves up front when it counts. It’ll be fun to see how it all shakes out.”

HARVICK CHASSIS CHOICE: Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No.387 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in this weekend’s Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500. Built new for competition in 2012, Harvick raced this Chevrolet to a seventh-place finish in the season’s kickoff event, the Daytona 500, after starting from the 13th-position.

JEFF GORDON ON TALLADEGA: “There is no set strategy that works best. If there was, we all would be doing it. Drafting can be fun and the finish is usually exciting, but you don’t know when, where or if you’re going to be caught up in the ‘big one.’ I’ve raced up front and been caught up in a wreck. I’ve also been involved while running in the middle of the pack and also while running what I thought was a conservative distance back of the main pack, but I’ve also won using each of those strategies.

“You may have to use each at some point during the race. You just need to be willing to change and adjust if a different plan will put you in a better position to win. You rely on your spotter providing good information about which lane is doing what or who has a ‘run, but you’re constantly looking at the mirrors in your car in that situation.

“If we’re going to have any shot at moving up the standings or having any shot at the championship, then things will need to go our way this weekend. Everybody knows they can win here, and we believe we can win as well. We always seem to have fast cars here. We look at this race as an opportunity.”

RYAN NEWMAN ON TALLADEGA: “This U.S. Army Racing team has really been on the short end of the stick at Talladega for the past few years. Despite our rotten luck, this team has not given up on succeeding at this track. Just like our U.S. Army Soldiers, we have a mission – and that mission is to win this race. And this team has proven time and again at the restrictor-plate tracks that we will do what we have to do to put ourselves in position to go for the win, and we’ll just have to see if luck is on our side on Sunday when we’re in that spot. Just like our Army Strong Soldiers, we will have to display a strength like none other this weekend – we will have to be mentally, emotionally and physically strong to be successful at Talladega. And we have to have some luck on our side. If you think about the law of averages, sooner or later we’re not only going to finish a race at Talladega, like we did at Daytona in July, we’re going to get a good finish – maybe even a win – considering all the wrong-place, wrong-time wrecks we’ve been caught up in at both tracks. We had a fifth-place finish at Daytona in July, which was huge for us. Hopefully, this is our time to come out of Talladega with a strong finish and a racecar in one piece.”

PAUL MENARD ON TALLADEGA: “When we go to Talladega (Superspeedway), it is really anyone’s game. We’ve qualified better there the last couple of races. I think the guys at ECR (Engines) are building even better motors for us. The cars have been good, too. It’s just a matter of dodging the wrecks and finishing the races.”

MENARD CHASSIS CHOICE: Paul Menard will pilot Chassis No. 388 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in this weekend’s Good Sam Road Assistance 500. This Chevrolet was last raced at Daytona International Speedway in July, where he started 13th and finished 14th. It was also utilized earlier this season at Talladega Superspeedway (May) where Menard finished 17th and in the 2012 Daytona 500 where he drove it to a sixth-place finish.

JEFF BURTON ON TALLADEGA: “Restrictor-plate races are the four races a year that I’m nervous. I’m not going to lie about it. I’m nervous because there is a high percentage that you will be caught up in a big wreck. It’s not that I’m afraid that I’m going to get hurt. I’m nervous because it means that your chances of winning can disappear so quickly and easily. There have been some spectacular wrecks there, but it’s difficult going into a race knowing that the odds are higher of you getting in a wreck than anywhere else. My theory has always been that if you don’t start the wreck, then you won’t be involved. Hopefully, everyone else is thinking the same thing. When the race starts and I get uncomfortable in a position, I’m not afraid to drop back and get out of there temporarily. If you get uncomfortable during a normal race, you need to keep digging. At Talladega Superspeedway, if you aren’t comfortable then just back out of the gas and get out of the situation. You have to be willing to do it mentally though.”

BURTON CHASSIS CHOICE: Jeff Burton will race Chassis No. 343 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. This chassis, built in 2011 for RCR’s No. 29 entry with driver Kevin Harvick, competed in three superspeedway events last season including the Daytona 500 where an engine failure relegated Harvick to a 42nd-place finish. Harvick also guided this machine to a top-five finish at Talladega in April 2011 and a top-10 finish in last season’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Burton got behind the wheel of this Chevrolet in the 2012 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona where he was involved in an early incident, but battled to an 11th-place finish. He also brought home a top-10 finish at Talladega in April and a runner-up effort in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona in July.

JAMIE MCMURRAY ON TALLADEGA: “This is the place where the adage, it’s better to be lucky than good, really applies. You obviously need to have a fast car that drafts good, but this is all about being in the right place at the right time in the closing laps. You can be in first-place when the white flag comes out and the next time by for the checkered flag you can be in 20th-place. We have had good cars at the speedway races in the past and I don’t expect this race to be any different. I have been lucky enough to win at Talladega and it is just a matter of being patient all day and put yourself in position to be up front near the end. Hopefully we can put our Bass Pro Shops Chevy in position to be there on Sunday.”

McMURRAY CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis #1009. Crew Chief Kevin “Bono” Manion and the No. 1 Bass Pro Shops/Allstate team will use Chassis #1009 for Talladega. Chassis #1009 has been used previously this season at Talladega finishing 32nd.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA ON TALLADEGA: “I’ve always said that Talladega is unpredictable. I love racing there and it’s a lot of fun as long as you don’t get involved in someone else’s mess. It’s really anyone’s race and the last 25 laps is really what it comes down to. We’ve tried different strategies in the past and the last time we got right up into the mix of things and our day was cut short do to an accident in front of us. The Target team just hasn’t had much luck on the Superspeedways this year and hopefully that luck will change this weekend.”

MONTOYA CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis #1204. Crew Chief Chris “Shine” Heroy and the No. 42 Target team will travel to Talladega with Chassis #1204. This chassis will make its season debut this weekend in Talladega.

REGAN SMITH ON TALLADEGA: “We have a great superspeedway program, but haven’t had much luck of showcasing the power of the No. 78 Chevrolet on the big tracks this year. We had an accident late in the Daytona 500, an engine malfunction after only 15 laps at the Talladega spring race and another accident in the Daytona summer race. The odds favor us of having a clean race on Sunday, and if that’s the case, then look for the Furniture Row/Farm American Chevy running up front with the ECR (Earnhardt, Childress Racing) engines. I like superspeedway racing and know that we are capable of winning at the restrictor-plate events. In my humble opinion, I crossed the finish line first at Talladega back in 2008, but NASCAR said I passed the lead car below the out-of-bounds yellow line and penalized me. It was a controversial call, but in my heart I truly feel that I did not do anything wrong.”

KURT BUSCH ON TALLADEGA: “We always get excited when talking about racing at Talladega, especially for all of the guys on this Phoenix Racing team. Obviously, this place is special for the team because it’s where it got a win in 2009. This team works hard every week but there is certainly a greater sense of excitement and anticipation for these plate races. (James) Finch is all in when it comes to the races at Daytona and Talladega so we definitely go into this race with a little higher expectation because anything can happen.”

SAM HORNISH JR ON MOST RECENT TALLADEGA RACE (2010): “It was definitely the strongest car I’ve had in a restrictor-plate race. It was strong enough that we got slapped with a speeding ticket with 40 laps to go and still came back to the front in no time at all. We lined up fourth on a restart with four laps to go and had a great feeling that our day could end up in Victory Lane. Unfortunately, a couple of guys that I had worked with all day weren’t in position at the end to help us out. I remember wishing that we had one more lap because our car was that good. We had to settle for a 15th-place finish there that day with a car that could have won the race.”

BRAD KESELOWSKI ON BEING MAJOR PLAYER IN CHASE: “There are seven races to go. It feels great to win. I’m so proud of my team. But I can’t state loudly enough how much longer this battle is. It’s very tempting, whether it’s the media or the teams themselves, to get in acomfort zone of saying, such and such has control of this Chase. But there’s a reason why it’s 10 rounds. We’re not even halfway. We’re three rounds in. By no means do I feel like we’re the favorite. Certainly, we’re not the underdog at this point. But I think there’s so much racing to go, so many opportunities for things to go wrong or right for anyone out there. It’s way too early to point those fingers and say those things. My perspective is we’ve got a lot more racing to go. Let’s just let the racing play out and go from there.”

KESELOWSKI CHASSIS CHOICE: The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger team will race chassis PRS-644 during Sunday’s Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. This chassis is new to the No. 2 fleet.

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Re: Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 Betting News and Notes

Driver Handicaps: Talladega
By: Jeff Wackerlin
Racingone.com

Motor Racing Network brings you our weekly detailed look at some of the field for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Who's HOT at Talladega

• Clint Bowyer has finished seventh or better in his last five starts, including wins in both fall events.
• Jeff Gordon leads all drivers in wins (6) and laps led (832).
• Five-time winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. has led the most laps (180) in the 10 races with the COT chassis.
• Tony Stewart has one win and six runner-up finishes.
• Brad Keselowski has five top 10s in seven starts, including two wins.
• Matt Kenseth, who finished third in the spring, has led the most laps (116) in the last five races.
• 2008 winner Kyle Busch is coming off a second-place finish.
• Jeff Burton and Kasey Kahne each have finished in the top 10 in their last two starts.

Keep an Eye On at Talladega

• Greg Biffle (12.4), Kevin Harvick (13.0), David Reutimann (13.4) and Denny Hamlin (13.4) each rank in the top five in average finish among all drivers that have raced in the last five events at Talladega.
• Jimmie Johnson (16.0), David Ragan (17.1) and Juan Pablo Montoya (17.2) each rank in the top five among all drivers that have raced in all 10 events with the COT car at Talladega.
• Martin Truex Jr. has posted a 13.8 average finish in five starts with Michael Waltrip Racing at Talladega.
• Joey Logano has finished in the top 10 in four of his seven starts at Talladega.
• Paul Menard has posted an 11.4 average finish in his last five starts on restrictor-plate tracks (Daytona and Talladega).
• 2011 Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne finished eighth in the spring at Talladega.
• Kurt Busch has completed the most laps (1,788) while running in the top 15 in the last 15 races at Talladega.
• Michael Waltrip, who won at Talladega in 2003, finished ninth in this event last year.
• Carl Edwards and Juan Pablo Montoya have posted respective average finishes of 13.5 and 19.7 in their last 10 starts on restrictor-plate tracks.

MotorRacingNetwork.com Staff Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Matt Kenseth
Pete Pistone: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Ricky Hamber: Clint Bowyer
John Singler: Kyle Busch

Top 20 Driver Notes - Ordered by current standings

(All stats/notes are in regards to Talladega unless noted)

Brad Keselowski: Coming off second win in seven starts; Has finished in the top five in his last two starts; Sixth-best average finish (12.0) in the last five restrictor-plate races (Talladega and Daytona); Will debut a new car (chassis No. 644) in the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500.

Jimmie Johnson: Winner of the 2011 spring race; Has finished 20th or worse in his last five starts on restrictor-plate tracks (Talladega and Daytona); Will return in the same car (chassis No. 698) that he last finished 36th with at Daytona International Speedway in July after being involved in an accident.

Denny Hamlin: Finished eighth in this event last year for third top five in the last five races; Tied for the fourth-best average finish (13.4) among the drivers that have competed in the last five races; 10th-best average finish (14.6) in the last five restrictor-plate races (Talladega and Daytona).

Clint Bowyer: Winner of the fall race the past two seasons; Has finished seventh or better in last five starts; Leads all drivers with a 3.4 average finish among the drivers that have competed in the last five races; Finished sixth in first track start with Michael Waltrip Racing in May; Second in laps led (82) in the last five races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 705) that he finished eighth with in the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway.

Tony Stewart: Only top 10 (seventh) in seven starts with Stewart-Haas came in this event last year; Won this event in 2008 with Joe Gibbs Racing; Prior to win he finished second six times; Fifth-best average finish (11.8) in the last five restrictor-plate races (Talladega and Daytona); Will return in the same car (chassis No. 565) that he won with at Daytona International Speedway in July.

Kasey Kahne: Finished fourth in May in his first track start with Hendrick Motorsports; 5.0 average finish in last two starts; Third-best average finish (10.0) in the last five restrictor-plate races (Talladega and Daytona).

Dale Earnhardt Jr: Last of five wins came in this event in 2004; Finished ninth in May for third top 10 in seven starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Fourth in laps led (55) in the last five races; Ninth-best average finish (14.0) in the last five restrictor-plate races (Talladega and Daytona).

Martin Truex Jr: Finished 10th in this event last year for second top 10 in five starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Fifth-best average finish (13.8) among the drivers that have competed in the last five races.

Kevin Harvick: Winner of the 2009 spring race; Win was the start of three-straight top fives; Finished 32nd in this event last year; Third-best average finish (13.0) among the drivers that have competed in the last five races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 387) that he finished seventh with in the Daytona 500.

Jeff Gordon: Leads all drivers in wins (6) and laps led (832); Swept both races in 2007; Has started from the pole in two of his last three starts: Last of 18 top 10s came in the 2011 spring race in third.

Greg Biffle: Coming off fourth top 10 in 19 starts; Second-best average finish (12.4) among the drivers that have competed in the last five races; Seventh-best average finish (12.2) in the last five restrictor-plate races (Talladega and Daytona); Will debut a new car (chassis No. 798) in the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500.

Matt Kenseth: Led 73 laps and finished third in the spring; Finish was first top 10 in the last 11 races; Has led the most laps among all drivers in the last five races with 116; Leads all drivers with a 5.4 average finish in the last five restrictor-plate races (Talladega and Daytona); Will return in the same car (chassis No. 793) that he last finished third with from the pole at Daytona International Speedway in July.

Kyle Busch: Winner of the 2008 spring race; Finished second in the spring for third top 10 in 15 starts; 23.3 average finish; Fifth in laps led (51) in the last five races.

Carl Edwards: Last of four top 10s (sixth) came in the 2011 spring race; 20.9 average finish in 16 starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 792) that he last finished sixth with at Daytona International Speedway in July.

Ryan Newman: Third-place finish in the 2009 spring race is his only top 10 in seven starts with Stewart-Haas; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 606) that he last finished fifth with at Daytona International Speedway in July.

Paul Menard: 13.7 average finish in three starts with Richard Childress Racing; Fourth-best average finish (11.4) in the last five restrictor-plate races (Talladega and Daytona); Will return in the same car (chassis No. 388) that he last finished 14th with at Daytona International Speedway in July.

Marcos Ambrose: 24.9 average finish in seven starts; Only top 10 came in the 2009 spring race in fourth.

Joey Logano: 16.1 average finish in seven starts; Last of four top 10s came in the 2011 spring race; Eighth-best average finish (13.2) in the last five restrictor-plate races (Talladega and Daytona).

Jeff Burton: Has posted a 6.0 average finish in his last two starts; Third in laps led (74) in the last five races; Second-best average finish (8.0) in the last five restrictor-plate races (Talladega and Daytona); Will return in the same car (chassis No. 343) that he last finished second with at Daytona International Speedway in July.

Jamie McMurray: 19.8 average finish in five starts with Earnhardt Ganassi Racing; Won this event in 2009 with Roush Fenway Racing; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 1009) that he finished 32nd with at Talladega in the spring.

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Re: Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 Betting News and Notes

NASCAR Practice Notes & Driver Ratings     
By Micah Roberts
VegasInsider.com

This Week's Race: Good Sam 500

Practice Notes - Talladega
Rating     Driver     Odds     Practice 1     Practice 2     Qualified     Talladega*
1     Matt Kenseth     10/1     22nd     4th     15th     3rd
Led race high 73 laps in spring race; finished third or better in all three '12 plate races.

2     Dale Earnhardt Jr.     10/1     10th     1st     12th     9th
Five-time winner, the last in 2004; using chassis that averaged 8.7 finish in three plate races.

3     Greg Biffle     15/1     14th     15th     5th     5th
Two top-five finishes in three of the plate races this season; using new chassis this week.

4     Clint Bowyer     15/1     19th     7th     3rd     6th
Winner of the past two fall races; using eighth-place Budweiser Shootout chassis.

5     Jeff Burton     25/1     33rd     DNP     26th     10th
Only career plate win at Daytona in 2000; using runner-up chassis from Daytona Firecracker.

6     Brad Keselowski     12/1     4th     25th     22nd     1st
Two career wins, including first of career in a part-time ride; using new chassis this week.

7     Jeff Gordon     15/1     3rd     8th     6th     33rd
Six career wins, the last in 2007; finished third or better in five of past six tracks coming in.

8     Carl Edwards     15/1     8th     3rd     7th     31st
Career best of fifth in 2005; Fords have the edge; using sixth-place Daytona chassis.

9     Kevin Harvick     12/1     23rd     DNP     21st     25th
2010 winner with three other runner-ups; using seventh-place Daytona 500 chassis.

10     Tony Stewart     15/1     24th     DNP     4th     24th
2008 winner, his last top-five finish; using winning chassis from Daytona that started 42nd.

* Results from the May 6, 2012 Aaron's 499 at Talladega.

Note: Practice times at restrictor plate tracks like Talladega and Daytona mean very little to the rating equation like other tracks do because individual speeds fluctuate drastically due to cars drafting.

Betting Notes: Because this race is such a crap shoot, I'm going all in on Jeff Burton. I already have wagers on Clint Bowyer and Matt Kenseth, but I'm upping the ante and taking a shot, like betting 'Black 17' on the roulette wheel. Just like Roulette, it's not a recommended batting strategy. But for restrictor-plate races, it's hard to recommend anything at all because everything gets flipped upside down, including some of the actual cars.

The proper thing to do is probably not make a wager at all because as a bettor, you have absolutely no edge. You can't gain any edge from the practices like we do at other tracks and instead of maybe having only 16 drivers that have a legitimate chance like we see elsewhere, all 43 drivers starting have a chance of winning at Talladega.

So how did I come across Jeff Burton, a driver that hasn't won a race anywhere since 2008, a driver that has only one restrictor-plate win (Daytona 2000) over his entire career. It wasn't as scientific as throwing darts or pulling two single digit numbers out of a hat - a 3 and a 1 -- to put together a car number, but it was close.

First off, it begins with greed. I want to win more and he's got a large price at odds of 25-to-1 and higher. Knowing anyone can win the race, I have to try and justify the wager in my mind with a few actual solid pieces of data. This is why 'the anyone can win' theory had me throw Terry Labonte out of my strategy.

Well, it turns out Jeff Burton has a pretty good body of work this season in plate races. He's finished 10th or better in all three, including a runner-up finish at Daytona in July. And he's also using that same chassis from Daytona, a car that once belonged to Kevin Harvick that raced to a top-5 finish at Talladega last spring.

Then, I also sell myself on the fact that a Childress car has won three of the past five Talladega races.

Sounds good enough for me. Lets go Burton!

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