Talladega: The Chase for the Sprint Cup Really Starts Here

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Talladega: The Chase for the Sprint Cup Really Starts Here
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
:ast season's Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart with Ryan Newman

The other day, I heard somebody on ESPN say that the leader of the points after the Dover race has never gone on to win the Chase. I thought, "That's odd...I wonder why." Then I saw that the next race was at Talladega and said, "Oh, that explains it."

It turns out, though, that Talladega just started following Dover this season. In past seasons, it came a couple of weeks after Dover. So there have been many drivers to go into Talladega, stay out of trouble and win.

Talladega has the reputation of being the "wild card" in the Chase because of the restrictor plates. Plates mean racing in very tight packs all day long.

Avoiding "The Big One" is almost a matter of pure luck. Getting caught up in one of those multi-car wrecks can ruin a driver's chance for a title.

But contrary to the myth, it is possible to go there with the lead and leave with the lead too. The last three drivers to go there with the lead also left with the lead.

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