Talladega Superspeedway carries a reputation as the wild card of the Chase for the Sprint Cup, a 2.66-mile high-banked oval on which tight restrictor-plate racing causes havoc for competitors. In particular, all racers fear the big one—a 20-plus car wreck that can (and usually will) end the Chase hopes of a handful of drivers.
This time around, it didn't happen.
Yes, there was a big one, but none of the affected drivers were in the title hunt. In fact, the top three drivers—separated by 62 points combined before the event—left the Alabama track considerably closer to one another in the title hunt, with only three runs to go. Kevin Harvick, third in points, led the brigade with a second place finish. Jimmie Johnson wound up seventh, and Denny Hamlin was listed ninth.
Enough of the general recap. Let's go to the slideshow: