Talladega and Daytona are the only two tracks that require cars to be equipped with restrictor plates, but these two tracks are different when it comes to handicapping them.
Talladega is known for more passing than you’d usually see at Daytona, which generally makes for a more exciting race but it also usually causes what drivers refer to as “the big one,” which can take out 10 or more cars in a blink of the eye.
The key to winning here is staying out of trouble and avoiding the big wreck, and though this track has had its surprises, you usually will find the experienced plate drivers in victory lane.
Kurt Busch 12/1
We have always been impressed with the way Kurt Busch has raced on plate tracks and without a doubt he also might be the unluckiest driver when it comes to plate racing since he has yet to win one. In his last 10 races here, Busch has only been outside of the top 10 three times, which is an amazing feat considering how fast you can lose positions if you lose the draft. You will almost find Busch up front in the plate races, which help keep him out of trouble and have led to his success here and at Daytona. With the way this team has turned it around this year, we think this could be the race, which Busch finally breaks through with a win at a Superspeedway.
Tony Stewart 10/1
Tony Stewart won here last year for the first time and with the way his new team has looked so far in 2009, we think another win is within his reach again. Talladega has been a very good track for Stewart, but it's also a track that has given us some of his most famous outbursts. Becoming an owner has really turned Stewart into a more patient driver, which has resulted in his great start this year. If Stewart can avoid trouble, he could be the first owner/driver to win a race since Ricky Rudd did it many moons ago.
We tend to bet the plate races a little different than other races. We usually make just two or three wagers and then throw a couple of long shots in the mix since so much can happen if they have the big wreck. So below is our long shots for the Aaron’s 499.
Live Long shots
Jamie McMurray 35/1
McMurray looked great this year at Daytona and has had some decent races here. With the way the Rousch cars looked at Daytona, we’re sure he will unload another great car this week.
Kevin Harvick 15/1
This team has really let us down this year, but Harvick has always done well on plate tracks. This team is in for big changes next week in order to try and jump start its success, so look for a big effort this week since everyone on this team might be looking for a job soon.
Casey Mears 20/1 (Field)
Mears is another driver that has been a huge disappointment for RCR this year and will be changing crew chiefs with Harvick next week. Even though Mears has been a bust this year, he has always shined on plate tracks. Usually the field is a sucker bet, but if you like Mears it is the only way to bet him this week.
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