2020 NASCAR Preview: Week 13 – Talladega

Back to the high banks..

The boys ran at Homestead last week, a track which usually ends the season. That race was far from the last chapter, being run in Week 12 of a provisional 36. Plenty of year left, and now we’re at Talladega. They’ve been on short tracks and intermediates for the past few weeks, and now they’re off to the high banks and high speeds of Talladega. It has been over four months since they’ve run a race of this nature. Who rises above the rest? And — 5,000 fans are in attendance!

Here’s what to look for:

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Chase Elliott was our winner at last year’s GEICO 500, a race in which he finished 3rd at the year prior. Chase followed up that Win with an 8th in the Fall at Talladega. Today he’ll start 11th. (And his LIVE in-car camera will be available on YouTube, wow!)

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Aric Almirola has the best average over the last ten races if you can believe that. He carries a 9.6 average finish and is riding a streak of seven straight Top 10s. At Talladega? How in the world?

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-Martin Truex Jr will start 1st today after drawing the Pole. He’ll like the clean air, I’m sure, but would like to finish much closer to the front than he has been. Over the same span that Almirola has been ripping off Top 10s, Truex’s best run was a 20th, and has been much deeper in the field than that (40th in the Fall of ’16, 35th in the Spring of ’17). Over the last ten races, his average finish is 21.8. That ties the former Champion with Ross Chastain, and puts him a tenth better than Chris Buescher.

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Ryan Preece is actually our 2nd best average among active drivers (10.5). Sure, he’s only got two Cup starts here, but those were a 3rd and an 18th. Hey, Chase finished 3rd before he finished 1st, maybe today is the day for Preece? #PreeceLightning

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-I felt bad last week when Tyler Reddick had SUCH an awesome run; I expected him to perform well at Homestead and played him in my Fantasy Nascar league but did NOT highlight him here. I’m sorry, Tyler, I believed in you but not enough to put it into text. I’m not letting that happen this week. Brendan Gaughan; he’s making his return to NASCAR after not running for months. He typically runs at ‘Dega, and he’s the type of guy who can get it done and leave a few mouths open in awe while doing it. Wouldn’t that be great? Tracks like these really favor the underdog; we saw Justin Haley win the Summer Daytona race last year, so why not Brendan Gaughan, a guy who has been running for years? Or Corey LaJoie (11th and 7th last year)? I believe in both of you, make us all proud!


First off, Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. Thanks for all you do for your sons and daughters. We appreciate it even though we don’t seem like it sometimes. As for today’s NASCAR food, we went into the Alabama bag and pulled out:

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Father’s Day Brunch: Lisa’s Breakfast Bake, some watermelon, and Alabama-inspired Country Sausage Gravy with from-scratch buttermilk biscuits (Photo: Lisa Kuhmann)

Country Sausage Gravy and buttermilk biscuits! My gal Lisa constructed these buttermilk biscuits from scratch, and then got the Country Sausage Gravy going, too. A long and daunting process, but the result is *chef’s kiss* I’ve never had this type of deal, and shy away from it when I see it offered in diners, but after having tasted the one that she produced (which is DELISH), I might consider it for the future. I had seconds, and how could I not? Another hit!

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Coverage of the race starts on FOX at 3:00pm, green flag scheduled for 3:24pm.

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