The frantic style of racing on restrictor plate tracks is limited to a total of four races each season. Daytona International Speedway holds both the season opener and the Independence Day weekend race every year. Talladega Superspeedway, the site of this week's event, hosts a spring race and this final plate competition during the Chase. The racing has similarities across both tracks, but the action at Dega is more aggressive and prone to wrecks.
Practice sessions: Friday, Oct. 18, at 1:30 p.m. EDT, 3 p.m. EDT
Qualifying: Saturday, Oct. 19, at 11:10 a.m. EDT
Race: Sunday, Oct. 20, at 1 p.m. EDT
Location: Talladega, Ala.
Length: 2.66 miles
Turns 1-2: 33 degrees
Turn 3: 32.4 degrees
Turn 4: 32.5 degrees
Frontstretch: 16.5 degrees
Backstretch: 2 degrees
Drivers to keep an eye on
Matt Kenseth | No. 20 Home Depot "Let's Do This" Toyota | Joe Gibbs Racing
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Kenseth has finished eighth or better in three straight Talladega races, highlighted by a third and first last year. Earlier this season he had to settle for eighth after leading 142 of 192 laps. Kenseth has now held an average running position of 10th or better in four straight Dega events, pacing 20 or more laps each time.
Kenseth already owns two wins in the Chase and is coming off another podium finish, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Even when he doesn't come through with a victory, he remains a solid fixture, having finished inside the top 15 in nine straight races heading into this week.
Jimmie Johnson | No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet | Hendrick Motorsports
Earlier this season Johnson finished fifth at Talladega with a career-best average running position of fourth. More impressive was the sweep he achieved at Daytona this season by capturing both races.
Johnson has been sharp throughout the Chase, with one win and five consecutive finishes of sixth or better. He's now only four points back of the lead in the championship standings. Expect nothing but another masterful game plan from the No. 48 team to extend their restrictor plate success.
Greg Biffle | No. 16 Scotch Blue Ford | Roush Fenway Racing
Biffle placed fifth and sixth at Talladega a year ago, recording the two best average running positions of his career at the site. Unfortunately, disaster struck earlier this season for Biffle, as he was collected in a large wreck in the early stages of the race.
However, The Biff has finished 17th or better in 13 of the last 14 races this season. He also placed sixth in the Daytona 500 and 17th in the July race.
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About Eric McClung
Eric McClung has been profiled by the FSWA for covering the fantasy sports spectrum and is a two-time award finalist. He's also made several appearances in print and on radio. McClung began contributing to KFFL in 2008 and currently serves as one of KFFL's featured fantasy NASCAR experts.
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