|Randomness of beastly Talladega makes anyone a contender.|
The first Talladega race in May saw Ricky Stenhouse Jr. win the first race of his career and the next plate race at Daytona in July he won as well. Roush Fenway cars have been very good in plates races the past few years, but Stenhouse has taken control as the elite plate racer. If he can win again, he'll get himself an automatic berth into the next round of eight.
“I’m definitely looking forward to going back to Talladega,' Stenhouse said. "(Crew chief) Jimmy Fennig has been working for some time now on our Talladega car and been massaging it and getting it ready to go. He kind of takes over the whole speedway program until the week of and then our team gets it and works on it some more, but we want to go in and win Talladega. That would solidify us on making sure we get to that next round, but, if not, I think it’s a race track that we could still gain a lot of points. Nothing is guaranteed when you go there. I’ve been crashed out of them just as easy as finishing well, but I definitely feel confident going into Talladega this weekend.”
Ford will be going for its fifth consecutive Talladega win.
What makes this race on the mammoth 2.66-mile high banked layout so special is because of the randomness. It's a wild card race for the top drivers and their championship dreams can be shattered quickly. If Busch gets caught up in wreck here, his championship dreams are crushed with only one more race to go in this round. And it's so possible. No driver is safe here and it is weighing on Busch's mind.
"If I look at two that are kind of worrisome, the two most worrisome tracks for me are Talladega this weekend, and Texas because of the repave, that unknown there," Busch said. "Those are the only two that I’m a little worrisome about. The rest of them, I’m not worried at all. I feel like we’re pretty good. If we can have a decent finish this weekend, I feel like Kansas next weekend has been really good for us, recently.”