Greg picked up his third win of the season on Sunday, two of which coming from Kyle Larson as he had four of his eight drivers in the top eight of the finshing order at Martinsville. However, he didn’t get to cut much out of Eric’s lead with him having another typical day out of his team. Eric had two cars in the top four and four in the top 11. In fact, he had six of his eight drivers in the top 17 and all of his cars in the top 24.
Greg had six in the top 22.
CJ had just two drivers in the top 10 but did have five in the top 20.
2023 FANTASY STANDINGS
1 TEAM ERIC
2 TEAM GDP – 445 points
3 TEAM CJ – 635 points
1 TEAM ERIC – 2,110 points (2 wins)
J Logano… 425 (1 win)
C Bell… 380 (1 win)
A Bowman… 335
K Harvick… 270
D Suarez… 195
D Hamlin… 180
B Keselowski… 170
B Wallace… 155
2 TEAM GDP – 1,665 points (3 wins)
K Larson… 355 (2 wins)
R Chastain… 280
T Reddick… 275 (1 win)
R Blaney… 250
C Briscoe… 170
A Cindric… 120
C Buescher… 65
R Stenhouse Jr… 30
Waived/Traded Drivers… (120 points)
4/13 (After Race 8) Waived E Jones (80 points) and picked-up R Stenhouse Jr.
3/13 (After Race 4) Waived H Burton (40 points) and picked-up C Buescher.
3 TEAM CJ – 1,475 points (3 wins)
K Busch… 295 (1 win)
W Byron… 275 (2 wins)
M Truex Jr… 230
T Gibbs… 165
AJ Allmendinger… 140
A Dillon… 120
C Elliott… 90
R Preece… 65
Waived/Traded Drivers… (95 points)
4/13 (After Race 8) Waived R Stenhouse Jr. (95 points) and removed C Elliott from IR.
3/5 (After Race 2) Placed C Elliott on IR; picked-up R Stenhouse Jr. for Las Vegas.
Weekly Race Points Standings
Week 9 Martinsville
1 GDP 245
2 ERIC 185
3 CJ 135
Driver Standings (Top 10)
1 J Logano… 425 (ERIC)
2 C Bell… 380 (ERIC)
3 K Larson… 355 (GDP)
4 A Bowman… 335 (ERIC)
5 K Busch… 295 (CJ)
6 R Chastain… 280 (GDP)
7 W Byron… 275 (CJ)
7 T Reddick… 275 (GDP)
9 K Harvick… 270 (ERIC)
10 R Blaney… 250 (GDP)
TRACK: Talladega Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval). DISTANCE: 500 Laps — STAGE 1: 60 Laps, STAGE 2: 60 Laps, FINAL STAGE: 68 Laps, MILES (500.08 Miles)
TRACK HISTORY/RACE TRENDS
The spring race has been around since 1970 but the Fall race was the 1st race ever here at Talladega on Sept. 14, 1969. This year will mark the 108th and 109th races on the high speed Alabama superspeedway.
- The last 3 winners each started 19th and 16th respectively.
- 13 of the previous 14 races prior to Wallace’s win in 2021 were won by the top 6 Rows.
- Only 2 pole winners (Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 2017, Denny Hamlin 2020) won in the last 36 Cup races at Talladega. Those are the only 2 front row starters to win since the playoff race of 2011 (23 races). Previously, 5 of the 13 races before were won by front row starters.
- Ford has won 10 of the last 15 overall Cup races at Talladega
- Toyota has only won 3 times in the last 28 races overall. 2 of which were won by Denny Hamlin.
- Chevrolet has won 5 of the 7 superspeedway races in this Next Gen era. Ford won the other two, both were from Team Penske.
- Both races last year ended in regulation. Just 2 of the previous 7 did.
- At Talladega though, just 8 times since 1995 has a driver earned their first or second career wins there.
- Wallace last year was the12th driver to pick up his 1st career win at Talladega joining Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2017), Brad Keselowski (2009), Brian Vickers (2006), Ken Schrader (1988), Phil Parsons (1988), Davey Allison (1987), Bobby Hillin Jr. (1986), Ron Bouchard (1981), Lennie Pond (1978), Dick Brooks (1973) and
- 6 straight years now a driver scored their 1st or 2nd career superspeedway win at Talladega. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. started it in the Spring of 2017, followed by Aric Almirola in the Fall of 2018, Chase Elliott in the Spring of 2019, then Ryan Blaney did so in the Fall of 2019 and Spring 2020 race while Bubba Wallace did it in the 2021 Fall race and Chastain last spring.
- Since the win and advance format was introduced to the sport in 2014, the playoff race has always been won by an existing playoff driver with the exception of 2021. They’re 8-for-9.
- 6 times has a non-playoff driver won the NASCAR Cup Series’ playoff race at Talladega. It first occurred in 2005 with Dale Jarrett. It happened again a year later (2006) with Brian Vickers. Then we saw it twice in 2009 and again in 2013 with Jamie McMurray as well as 2011 with Clint Bowyer and last year with Bubba Wallace. Only Wallace is in Cup anymore.
- 4 of the last 5 Talladega playoff winners were outside the top eight in the playoff standings entering Talladega including Wallace not even being in the playoffs in 2021.
- Just 2 in the last 6 Talladega races has seen the eventual winner scoring stage points in the opening stage.
- However, in 4 of the last 5 races, the winner actually finished 2nd in Stage 2. Chastain finished 9th in the 2nd stage back in April and Chase Elliott won the second stage last Fall. Furthermore, since 2017 (the start of stage race) we’ve had 12 races at Talladega. The eventual race winner finished 2nd in the 2nd stage 5 times.
- In the first stage, they had 5 top 4 finishes in the first 6 tries but since? Just 2 top 10 (6th in Spring 2020, 3rd Fall 2022).
- For Daytona/Talladega last year, the race winner scored 8 points (Chase Elliott 3rd in Fall Talladega race) in Stage 1.
- For Daytona/Talladega last year, the race winner was 6th, 9th, 10th and 1st respectively in Stage 2.
- Just 1 race winner (Elliott) last year led any laps in the first 2 stages. Austin Cindric led all 21 of his laps in the Daytona 500 in the final stage. Chastain led just the final lap here last April while Austin Dillon led all 10 of his laps in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 in the final stage too.
He has 4 top 12 finishes in his last 6 starts at Talladega including a runner-up finish in the spring of 2021. He was 15th and 12th last year.
Can he really pull off a win in his first race back? He won the last time out here and has two trips to victory lane in his last eight Talladega starts. His pair of Talladega finishes last year were seventh and first respectively to give him five top eight finishes in his last eight Talladega tries overall.
He can win at any given time on a superspeedway, but for his odds and having just one top 10 in his last 7 superspeedway starts give me reason to pause too. However, six Top-7 finishes in his last nine Talladega tries also gives me optimism.
No one has as many wins on superspeedway’s since 2018 as Hamlin’s three though. In his last 12 Daytona 500 starts, he has eight top five finishes. He was third in the 2020 summer Daytona race too.
At Talladega, he has seven straight top seven’s in the Fall race.
He also has 10 top five finishes in that span (since 2018) with the next best being Logano’s seven. He, Blaney and Logano are the only drivers to lead at least 200 laps in the last 21 races as well. He’s got five career superspeedway wins which is two shy of Brad Keselowski for most in the series today.
Blaney has an astounding three Top-2 finishes in his last seven tries at Talladega including a pair of wins (2019, 2020) at that. Also, he’s led a lap in eight of the last nine Talladega races and has a win in the 2021 Daytona regular season finale too.
6 of his last 9 Daytona results overall (counting the summer ‘400) have been inside of the top 6 (he was 8th in February). The 2021 Daytona 500 loss in the end (4th place) still resonates with him as the sting still burns. He’s had two Top-4 finishes in his last four Great American Races at that.Since the start of the 2020 season, only Hamlin has as many speedway wins as Blaney, but Blaney tops all with average finishing position (10.1) too. He’s had the second most Top 5’s (5) and tied for most Top 10’s (8) in that span. He also has the third most laps led (187) in that span.
He won the season opening Daytona 500 and driving a car that’s won six times here. Cindric also was third in Atlanta 2 last year and third in the return trip to Daytona back in August and ninth here last year in the Fall.
He had a Top-5 finish in both Talladega races a year ago and always a threat to get the job done.
He won here in 2021, was runner-up in the 2021 Daytona 500 too. If he can stay out of trouble, the odds are good for a win on Sunday.
You always go with Brad on a superspeedway race. He’s won six times at Talladega, including last spring of 2021. He was also runner-up that Fall too. two RFK Racing’s three wins also came on superspeedway’s so this could be a good omen this weekend. His first Cup win came here as a driver, so why not his first Cup win as an owner too? Both cars looked good in Daytona back in February.
This is a tough one. He’s 0-for-15 in regards to Top-5 finishes at Talladega. However, he does have a pair of sixth place finishes here since 2020, was in the Top-2 in the closing laps at Daytona back in February and this 17 car is a past spring race winner at Talladega too.
He was second here in the spring of last year and also won last August in Daytona. On top of that, he and teammate Kyle Busch were 1-2 at the end of the Daytona 500 before an overtime restart. Furthermore, Dillon has six Top-13 finishes in his last seven Talladega tries.
The Stewart-Haas Racing driver has eight top 10 finishes in his last 13 starts at Talladega including five of which in the top five. He won there in the Fall of 2018, was fourth and spun across the finish line to a third place result in June of 2020. He also won a Duel at Daytona this past February.
Jones has had five Top-10 finishes in his last six Talladega starts including four of which in the top six. Jones led 25 laps here last spring and 23 more last Fall.
Six Top-11 finishes in seven Talladega tries in the Xfinity Series including a win last year. He was 20th and 19th in his pair of Cup Series starts here too.
You always go in his direction on superspeedway’s. Haley has eight career Cup and/or Xfinity Series wins. Five of which have come at either Talladega or Daytona. Three of his last five Cup finishes here have been inside of the top 15 too.
He won the Daytona 500 in 2021. McDowell also has three Top-8 finishes in his last four Talladega starts including a third place finish in the 2021 spring race and the same result here last Fall.
He’s looking improved this season and we all know that Front Row Motorsports has been producing some strong speedway cars over the years. Gilliland was seventh here last Fall.
His best season to date so far and was 14th in this race last year. LaJoie is always a threat on superspeedway’s and worth a play this week.
Who To Fade?
This could be debatable. He was second in Daytona and won Atlanta from the pole. He’s also a three-time Talladega winner. However, four of his last five Talladega finishes have also seen him finish 26th or worse too with just one Top-10 finish in his last six here. For that, I’ll look elsewhere.
Last spring was his 1st and only Talladega top 5 finish (1-for-16). He’s only 1-for-37 for top 5’s on superspeedway’s. In fact, his last 5 finishes at Talladega are 39th, 40th, 40th, 37th, 4th and 18th respectively. 5 of his last 9 results are 39th or worse.
He won an Xfinity Series race at ‘Dega as well as having two straight seventh place finishes on the 2.66-mile track before being 39th, 39th and 28th respectively. He also crashed out and finished 39th in the Daytona 500 too.
Not one of his better races. Just 1-for-35 in trips to victory lane. Busch’s last nine finishes in the Fall Talladega race have been 11th or worse including his last six being 30th, 27th, 26th, 19th, 27th, 27th and 20th respectively. He was 32nd, 18th and 3rd in the last three spring races too. Six of his last seven finishes have seen him come home 18th or worse.
He’s finished 34th, 23rd, 22nd, 19th and 36th on these tracks last season. Despite being third in Daytona, I’m still skeptical. His spring Talladega finishes are: 29th, 17th and 22nd respectively.
Martin Truex Jr.
He’s had just 2 top five finishes at Talladega since 2007. His last 11 finishes there are 40th, 35th, 23rd, 26th, 23rd, 20th, 24th, 23rd, 31st, 12th fifth and 26th respectively.
Just one top five finish in Daytona and only one in 14 career Talladega starts too. Two of his last three Talladega results have been in 38th place.
He’s only had two top five finishes in his last 21 Talladega starts. While he was fourth and eighth at Talladega last year, he’s also had finishes of 30th, 21st, 10th, 12th and 20th on these types of tracks last year too.
Three of his four Talladega finishes have been inside the Top-15. However, none of which were better than 10th either.
His 2 Atlanta finishes last year were 4th and 6th. His 4 combined Daytona and Talladega results were 18th, 31st, 24th and eighth respectively. This year, he was seventh in Daytona and had a good car in Atlanta before being caught up in a crash.
His three Talladega finishes were 20th, 34th and 36th respectively.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Almost always a superspeedway threat. Stenhouse Jr. was runner-up in the 2020 spring race. He was ninth in the Fall race in 2019 too. However, can the Daytona 500 champion win again? Stenhouse’s last five Talladega finishes are 38th, 33rd, 16th, 30th and 22nd respectively.