This Halloween, it's not about how scary the costumes are, or how ghoulish the pranks turn out. It's not about the amount of candy in a bag or how many times one hears the phrase "Trick or Treat".
No, for the stars of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, this Halloween is all about conquering the fear of the unknown. That will be evident when 43 drivers try to conquer the monster 2.66-mile tri-oval known as Talladega.
The fear of a huge wreck comes at every lap, every move, and every second. The entire field is within two seconds of each other, stuck together as if chains were attached to the bumpers.
The seventh race in the 2010 Chase for the Sprint Cup is going to be all about chance and avoiding disaster. For points leader Jimmie Johnson and second place Denny Hamlin, the focus will be on staying close to each other.
That leaves Kevin Harvick, who's in third, a chance to show his muscle. As the previous winner at Talladega, he's got the advantage. He also won two of the last three restrictor plate races and enters as the heavy favorite.
Yet, when it comes to Talladega, one name rolls off the tongue very easily...Earnhardt.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. made a lot of people stand in awe last week when he ran to the front, led 90 laps, and finished seventh at Martinsville. Now, he comes to a track that is all about him and his father. Junior has five wins at Talladega, and starts sixth in today's race. He could spoil everyone's fun and give "Junior Nation" something to cheer for.
At the same time, Jamie McMurray enters as the defending race winner and bears a car eerily similar to Earnhardt's from 1998. The Bass Pro Shops/Dale Earnhardt Tribute Chevrolet that McMurray drives will also be one to watch for. He nearly won in April, maybe the second time is where he gets the job done.
There's no telling what will happen when the green flag flies. Simply hang on and watch to see the chaos this Halloween.
Coverage begins at Noon ET with NASCAR Countdown on ESPN2, then switches over to ESPN at 1 p.m. ET for flag-to-flag coverage.