NASCAR at Talladega 2022: Odds, Preview and Top StorylinesApril 23, 2022
NASCAR at Talladega 2022: Odds, Preview and Top Storylines
The next stop on the schedule for the NASCAR Cup Series is the Geico 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway this Sunday.
This will be the 106th race hosted by historic track in Lincoln, Alabama, known as the largest oval on the circuit.
Ryan Blaney, who has yet to win a race this season, is tied with Kyle Larson
(one win at the Wise Power 400) as the odds-on favorites to take the checkered flag at Talladega.
For drivers to succeed, they'll have to contend with 33 degrees and 16.5 degrees of banking in the turns and tri-oval, respectively.
There's also three degrees of banking on the backstretch, which means drivers will have to co-exist in the draft.
Here's a quick overview of the odds and how race fans can watch the action on Sunday at Talladega.
Geico 500 Information
Date: Sunday, April 24
Start Time: 3 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Fox Sports app or FoxSports.com.
Ryan Blaney: +600 (bet $100 to win $600)
Kyle Larson: +600
Alex Bowman: +600
William Byron: +700
Joey Logano: +800
Denny Hamlin: +800
Chase Elliott: +800
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: +1,400
Kyle Busch: +1,400
Brad Keselowski: +1,400
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Preview and Top Storylines
For Bubba Wallace, the Talladega Superspeedway is a special place.
He made history as he won his first Cup Series race at the Alabama track last October.
"So, just that day … it just put everything in perspective about how hard you work and how much you put in to put it together," Team Wallace's competition director Wheeler told Zack Albert of Nascar.com. "And a lot of guys in that team, it was their first win. I know it was Bubba’s first win, but it was Bootie’s first win, it was engineers’ first win, it was tire guys’ first win. There’s a lot of people on that team that haven’t ever won a national series race or even a Cup race. For me it was, I had another win under my belt, maybe it was my first win as comp director, but I remember calling Denny up and saying how much it felt differently. As much as we were excited, it was more of a ‘wow’ than happiness."
And while Wallace isn't the odds-on favorite to win it this weekend, past experience as a winner always gives him a chance.
"You definitely go to some of these speedway tracks going, ‘hey, we won the last race, we can do this again.’ Talladega is one of them, obviously," Wheeler added. "It’s the last event we were there, we won. So I don’t say it’s a swagger, but there’s a confidence saying we can do it again, and I think it’s where it makes you very powerful in what you’re doing, because people around you, too, realize you’re a good speedway racer or a team, and it takes people helping you to win these races or following you to help win races. Having that confidence and people around you having that confidence in the car and the team does make you faster and have a better chance."
Oddsmakers believe Ryan Blaney has the best opportunity to win after placing fifth last week at Bristol.
The 28-year old Team Penske driver is currently No. 1 in the NASCAR Power Rankings and has six top-10 and four top-five finishes this year.
He's a strong driver on superspeedways, so he could have a breakthrough race and get his first win of the season.
Blaney will have to fend off Kyle Busch, though, if he wants to take the checkered flag.
The Candy Man took home the win at Bristol Motor Speedway last week and is trying to build momentum for the rest of the Cup Series schedule.
"We got a lot of work to do to win more races and be in contention each and every week," Busch told Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press. "I feel like I’m in the prime of my career and I would love to be running up front and dominating and winning races and contending for championships. That’s our ultimate goal."
Don't count out Alex Bowman, William Byron or Joey Logano. All three are at the top of the rankings and odds to come in first at Talladega.
Overall, stock car racing fans should expect a great race on Alabama's iconic 2.66-mile oval this Sunday.