Keselowski is a Talladega master
Although not particularly known as a restrictor-plate ace, Brad Keselowski has quietly become a stud at Talladega Superspeedway. With Sunday’s win at the 2.66-mile track, the Team Penske driver has now amassed four wins here in 15 starts. Sunday’s triumph came in convincing fashion, as the 2012 Sprint Cup champion led a race-high 46 of 188 laps and was out front for the final 17 laps. “I’d rather be the guy that nobody talks about who has won here 10 times than the guy that everybody talks about who won here twice,” he said. “I never got into racing just to have somebody say my name real loud or the billboards or lights or anything like that. I got into it because I love it, I love the challenge.”
Dale Jr.’s beloved “Amelia” has seen better days
After kicking almost everyone’s butt last season at the restrictor plate tracks, Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s beloved car dubbed “Amelia” is likely headed for a junkyard. After handling difficulties led to Earnhardt’s early exit from this year’s Daytona 500, “Amelia” was just as much of a handful of at Talladega, where NASCAR’s most popular driver broke loose in the opening laps and crashed – taking teammate Kasey Kahne with him in the process. After some major repair work on the car, Earnhardt returned to the track, only to get body-slammed by the Toyota of Carl Edwards when the Joe Gibbs Racing driver had a problem with his car. The end result for Earnhardt was a 40th-place finish on a day he summarized as “terrible.”
The racing at Talladega is bordering on insane
Of the 40 cars that rolled to the Talladega starting grid, 33 were involved in at least one of the race’s eight wrecks. That’s an astounding number, given that these are some of the best race car drivers in the word. Then again, this is Talladega, and everyone knows that avoiding “The Big One” is easier said than done. Sunday’s chaotic affair was no different as mass carnage resulted in numerous drivers bowing out early with torn-up race cars. The biggest crash of the day, which occurred with 28 laps to go, involved a whopping 21 cars – more than half the field. As wild as the 188-lap showdown was, no one was surprised by all the tumult, which has become standard fare for the two plate tracks and especially Talladega.
Bad blood lingers between Logano and Kenseth
After memorably locking horns twice during last year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth are at it again. The latest unrest between the two rivals stems from a situation in Sunday’s race at Talladega, where Kenseth felt that Logano forced him below the yellow line. Angry about the move, Kenseth had some words for Logano and pointed his finger in the Team Penske driver’s direction after the two had been eliminated from the race. “I don’t think he ran me off (the track),” Kenseth said of Logano. “He did run me off.” Asked later about Kenseth being upset, Logano offered a short retort. “He can get in line with the rest of them,” Logano said.
NASCAR is lucky no one was injured on Sunday
Sunday’s race at Talladega wasn’t just full of wrecks. It was full of wrecks that had the potential to really hurt people. Thankfully, none of them did. Several drivers were rightfully shaken up, however, after taking frightening rides that could have easily resulted in downright disaster. To recap: Three drivers – Matt Kenseth, Chris Buescher and Kevin Harvick – all went airborne in at least one form or another. Danica Patrick, meanwhile, wrecked with such force that she underwent a precautionary X-ray after exiting her vehicle. While drivers are fully cognizant of the hazards that exist each time they come to Talladega, knowing what to expect doesn’t make the precarious nature of the racing any more fun. “I can’t wait to get out of this place,” Joey Logano said after wrecking on Sunday.