Talladega Superspeedway is known for the Big One. But as the track prepares for the final restrictor plate race in its 30-year history it feels like the equivalent of a NASCAR earthquake has already happened.
Typically, NASCAR’s playoff opener, held at cookie-cutter oval Chicagoland, has been a bit of a snoozer. A switch to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, racing held in near 100-degree heat last Sunday, was looked at as a bit of a gamble. Moving to Sin City, a track Kevin Harvick dominated this March to the tune of a race-low 11 lead changes, was like drawing 18 and hitting against the dealer in blackjack.
Ten races. Sixteen drivers. One Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship.
Stock car racing’s national playoff begins Sunday out in Las Vegas. An inaugural second race at the 1.5-mile speedway has already seen the cream rise to the top; all 16 title contenders qualified inside the top 18. (Jamie McMurray, 12th quickest, is the first non-playoff driver.)
Ever have a friend who has a case of bad timing? They pull the punchline two minutes too late, show up just as the movie sells out and find their perfect match only to find out, well, they’re married. You know that guy?
Plenty of race fans do. In their world, he’s called NASCAR.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wraps up its regular season this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It's the last chance for several bubble teams to clinch spots in the postseason and keep their championship hopes alive. The green flag flies on Sunday (Sept. 9) at 2 p.m. ET and can be seen on NBCSN.
At first glance, there’s nothing unique about this weekend’s NASCAR race at Chicagoland. This cookie-cutter 1.5-miler has been on the schedule since 2001 and produced little in the way of memorable finishes.