2011 Aaron's 499 Predictions
(The Spread) - The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to one of its most famous tracks on Sunday for the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.
After watching the races from Daytona, we can expect much of the same this week with drivers pairing up with another driver who they trust won't leave them alone without a drafting partner.
At Talladega, you have to forget about trying to handicap the event and go with those drivers who have proven they can race on the plate tracks. Winning at Talladega not only takes knowing how to plate race, but you also need a fair amount of luck as well (which is something we saw at Daytona when longshot Trevor Baynes won at a big price).
One thing to pay close attention to this week is the Ford cars with the new FR9 engine, which have been the dominant cars all year. At Daytona, they ran up front all day with no mechanical breakdowns, unlike what many of the other teams experienced.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL.com, Busch is 11/1 to win this weekend at Talladega. Busch is the best restrictor plate driver who has never won a points race, but we think that streak ends this week. Busch has 13 top-10s at Talladega, with eight of those finishes eighth or better. What we really like about Busch on plate tracks is that he is a consistent front runner, which means he will usually be up front out of harms way when the “big one” comes. (It's not a matte of “if” it happens as “when” as it pertains to Talladega.) Look for Busch to get his first points win on a plate track this week.
Bowyer beat teammate Kevin Harvick here last October in a thrilling photo finish and will be bring that same car back for this week’s race. Bowyer has always run well here, and at Daytona, with Talladega being the better of the two plate tracks for him. In his last six Talladega races, he’s finished 12th or better five times, which include four top tens. We look for another strong race from Bowyer this week at a very nice price.
We had Montoya as our long-shot pick in last year’s fall race and he could have won if he hadn't lost his drafting partner. After a strong showing at Daytona, we like him to finally get that first win on an oval. With two straight third place finishes, it's obvious he has restrictor plate racing figured out and he could very well be the second straight long shot to win a plate race.