This quote sums up Talladega as good as any.
“So yeah, it could take out all 12 of us in the Chase or maybe just two of them or however it works. Talladega is that one wild card that nobody really knows (what’s going to happen).”- Kasey Kahne
Brad Keselowski stayed out of trouble early and was able to ride a fuel gamble on Dover’s monster mile to his 5th win of the season. The win was the Blue Duce’s 2nd win in the Chase and puts him back ahead of Jimmie Johnson heading into a power track for him, Talladega.
2012 NASCAR Chase Standings after Race 3 of 10
|1. Brad Keselowski||2,142||With 2 wins in 3 Chase races, Keselowski is hot. He comes to a track where he won in May so he is a threat to make a power move in the standings.|
|2. Jimmie Johnson||2,137 (-5)||The 2-time Dega winner has had a rough go of it lately, but has the car to win anywhere.|
|3. Denny Hamlin||2,126 (-16)||Talladega is one of Denny’s “Stay out of trouble” tracks. Could be hard to do.|
|4. Clint Bowyer||2,117 (-25)||Talladega has become Bowyer’s track of late. He has 2 wins and 5 top 10s in the last 5 Dega races.|
|5. Tony Stewart||2,110 (-32)||Stewart is moving the wrong way down the standings and Talladega will not be his bounce back track.|
|6. Kasey Kahne||2,110 (-32)||Hendrick power performs well here so he is a contender for a good finish. Also a contender for the garage, early.|
|7. Dale Earnhardt Jr.||2,103 (-39)||Always a threat to win on the plate track tracks, Jr. needs one to get in this thing.|
|8. Martin Truex Jr.||2,100 (-42)||The MWR Toyota’s will perform well in Dega, but will his car be intact at the end.|
|9. Kevin Harvick||2,096 (-46)||RCR and Harvick need a good race to get back up in the standings. Harvick and Burton will be among the favs.|
|10. Jeff Gordon||2,094 (-48)||6 Dega wins and Hendrick power make Gordon a good pick to get back to victory lane.|
|11. Greg Biffle||2,091 (-51)||Roush Racing is holding up the bottom of the standings and needs a big Biffle finish to move up. I big wreck involving the other chase drivers wouldn’t hurt either.|
|12. Matt Kenseth||2,070 (-72)||This race is Kenseth’s only shot to get back in the Chase and even if he wins it will be a longshot.|
More than any track in the Chase, Talladega can have a surprise ending. All 12 Chasers have had success on the super-speedway, but Clint Bowyer and Brad Keselowski have shined of late. Jeff Burton and Kurt Busch look like the best choices among the non-chase drivers to steal a win from the big boys. Look for the struggling Roush cars to have a good race, but I am looking for Clint Bowyer to get his 3rd win of the season and jump up into the top 3 in the standings.