As the Chase for the Sprint Cup begins to wind down, the Amp Energy Juice 500 at Talladega Sunday won't be the only racing action taking place at the 2.66-mile restrictor-plate superspeedway.
The Camping World Truck Series will begin its final four-race stretch of the 2010 season on the biggest track in NASCAR, competing in the fifth annual Mountain Dew 250 tomorrow.
Here's what you need to know heading into the weekend known as "Hallow-Dega":
NASCAR Sprint Cup:
Amp Energy Juice 500 (Race No. 7 of 10 in the Chase for the Sprint Cup)
TV: ESPN, 1 p.m. Sunday
Defending race winner: Jamie McMurray
The main story entering the 188—lap event is the three-way battle for the Sprint Cup between four-time champions Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, and Kevin Harvick. Johnson holds a mere six-point advantage over Hamlin in the standings, while Harvick is 62 points behind.
It should be expected that Harvick will play a major factor in the result of this race, as the No. 29 Chevy has traveled to Victory Lane in the last two restrictor-plate races (April at Talladega and July at Daytona).
Another storyline of Sunday's race is whether the fast-paced competitive action from the spring race will return to wreak havoc on this year's Chase standings. Last April, the lead was swapped a record 88 times between 29 drivers—impressive even for Talladega.
With crashes occurring at any moment, drivers will avoid "The Big One" by dropping back in the early stages of the event to dodge an early end to their day.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series:
Mountain Dew 250 fueled by Fred's (Race No. 22 of 25)
TV: SPEED, 4 p.m. Saturday
Defending race winner: Kyle Busch
Unlike the Sprint Cup situation, Todd Bodine holds a 282-point advantage over Aric Almirola in the Camping World Truck Series standings, making the 2010 championship "The Onion's" to lose at this point.
Thus, the 94-lap race will have a simple focus on the race action, as Kyle Busch and Ken Schrader join series regulars in Alabama. Busch won the 2009 event at Talladega after an 11-truck crash caused a green-white-checkered finish. Given the tough racing associated with the Truck Series, a similar result may occur this weekend.
Have any predictions for the weekend ahead? Comment below.
Ryan Papaserge is a junior Journalism/Mass Communication student at St. Bonaventure University and a writing intern at Bleacher Report.