Talladega is the very definition of a “Super Speedway.” The track is a tri-oval that covers 2.66 miles, making it the biggest track on the NASCAR circuit. As for speed, well, with its long back stretch, cars hit the 200 mile-per-hour mark with relative ease, which makes “Dega,” as the drivers like to call the track, both the most exciting and the most dangerous track that NASCAR drivers run on each year.
Case in point: the Talladega Superspeedway has the record for the fastest recorded time by a NASCAR stock car in a closed oval course—216.309 mph, set on June 9, 2004 by Rusty Wallace. Meanwhile, Bill Elliott still holds the official record at 212.809 mph, set in 1987, because the lap run by Wallace was not done during a NASCAR event.
Incidentally, the man who has won five times with a record 27 top-10 finishes at Dega is none other than Dale Earnhardt, Jr. whom the media have been wondering if he has the car to win at Talladega.
The biggest active winner at Dega is Jeff Gordon, who has taken the checkered flag six times, trailing only Dale Earnhardt Sr., who won 10 times at the iconic speedway.
So who are the drivers to watch come Sunday at Dega?
Without question, the Joe Gibbs Racing duo of Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch, who are both hot and have a history running well on the big track like Dega, are worthy of top consideration. How about Roush-Fenway Racing, and Fords in general? The cars with the “blue oval” have also enjoyed racing on the big tracks. That could bode well for Carl Edwards, Gregg Biffle and Brad Keselowski.
There is no doubt that whoever the winner is on Sunday, it will be an entertaining race. The history of Talladega tells us that the track will have something to do with the outcome.
Saturday May 4—Nationwide Series
TV: ESPN 3 p.m. ET
Sunday May 5 – Sprint Cup Series
TV: Fox 2 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio
As the sports media columnist for the Washington Examiner, I receive all of the press releases from the broadcast networks.