Saturday, May 4, 2013

Talladega Practice Notes: Not Much Gained From Practices, Daytona Good Barometer

Kevin Harvick battles Tony Stewart during Sprint Unlmited win
Unlike most of the tracks on tour, practices at Talladega Speedway mean very little, and therefore don’t give any hint as to who might win Sunday’s Aaron’s 499. The drivers ran two sessions on Friday, the last of which only 27 drivers participated in, which gives a clear indication on how important they find the practices.

What was learned at Daytona during speed weeks and the Daytona preseason testing still applies this week at Talladega. Because the track is wider with plenty of room, we may have the possibility of seeing more competitive racing. The drivers should feel more comfortable bump drafting here because there is so much room compared to the tighter Daytona.

There shouldn’t be much adjusting to a bettors plan that was formulated before practices. The only thing to add into any equation might be starting position, which was set based on the first practice session because qualifying was rained out Saturday.

The Daytona 500 starting position proved to be vital for most of the race with what appeared to be little passing. Drivers played follow the leader for the most part. If this true again Sunday, someone like Carl Edwards (starting first) and Joey Logano (fourth) starting near the front have a great shot to grab their first restrictor-plate wins.

Kevin Harvick tops our list this week just because of how well he maneuvered while winning the Budweiser Duel and Sprint Unlimited at Daytona. In the 500, he was involved in a nine-car wreck on lap 34 that ended his day prematurely. Between his past success at Talladega and Richard Childress claiming a track record 12 career wins as an owner, Harvick is a slight notch above the top-6, who are all rated very close.

Betting propositions or matchups in plate races are not advised. The nature of the track is too volatile, which takes away any edge that may have be found within the numbers based on practices and track tendencies. This race is really a crap shoot where up to 35 drivers have a legitimate shot at winning. The best advice is weight wagers between three or four drivers from an assortment of drivers up to 30-to-1. It really is like throwing darts, but this race is always too much fun to not have action on something.

Read More Here..........Top-10 Driver Ratings

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