|There is no unexpected when it comes to racing at Talladega (Getty)|
Dodge sure picked a fine time to jump out of NASCAR. Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski has won two of the three Chase races thus far, leads the points and has done it all with a Dodge engine that appears to get much better fuel mileage than Chevy, Ford or Toyota. We’ve seen John Elway walk away from the game with a Super Bowl win and Ted Williams hit a home run in his final at-bat, but watching a manufacturer walk away with a Championship -- in this era -- would be a first.
Dodge left NASCAR in 1977 and made a return in 2001 under Ray Evernham’s guidance. They’ve had some success since coming back with a few wins, but nothing as steady as what Keselowski is doing right now with five wins on the season and seven races to go.
Of course, it’s only three races and there’s a lot of things that can and will happen, such asJimmie Johnson staying hot after finishing fourth or better in the Chase races and Denny Hamlin having the edge on at least six of the seven tracks coming up.
The one track that no one is supposed to have an edge on is Talladega, site of this week's race. This is supposed to be the one race out of the 10 Chase races that is a wild card where the deck can be shuffled dramatically. A driver and team can do everything correct during the week, run a perfect race and then out of nowhere, get caught in the middle of a 10-car pile up.
No driver can dominate Talladega, but Talladega itself can dominate any driver, which is why we see no clear-cut, single-digit favorite in the odds offered by the LVH Super Book.