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The opener at Dover set the tone for the other two races of the Round of 12.
Now, the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series heads off to the most unpredictable track in the playoffs.
Superspeedway races always have the potential to bring surprises.
Talladega can either make or break a season depending on how things go.
Some genuine championship contenders ran into trouble at Dover and will have to make up ground this weekend.
As always, keep in mind that Talladega can be a bit of a lottery, making it tricky to predict.
Where: Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, AL
When: Sunday, October 13th at 2:00 PM EST
How: NBC (TV) | Motor Racing Network (Web radio) | NBC Sports App
After winning the race in April, Chase Elliott is the early favorite.
The Hendrick Motorsports cars dominated the weekend at ‘Dega earlier this year.
Ryan Preece, running with a Hendrick-equipped JTG Daugherty car, finished third.
With Elliott once again arriving as Hendrick’s top driver, it’s easy to see why he is the favorite.
The Chevrolet cars also had a very good showing at Daytona, scoring a 1-2-3 led by first-time winner Justin Haley.
Coming off a terrible weekend at Dover, a win would be a great help for Elliott.
The Hendrick driver suffered an engine failure only eight laps into the race, finishing dead last.
This has dropped him down to 11th in points, seven points behind the cutoff.
Brad Keselowski leads all active drivers with five wins at Talladega.
The Team Penske driver is well-known for his draft technique.
Keselowski is arguably the best superspeedway racer as well.
His most recent win at the track came in 2017 during the playoffs.
He has led an average of 30 laps per race in six starts since then.
The 2012 champion had an average race at Dover, finishing 11th.
This result leaves him sixth in points, 20 ahead of the cutoff.
Joey Logano is second, behind his teammate, in career wins at Talladega among active drivers.
The Team Penske driver is a three-time winner at ‘Dega.
Logano’s most recent win came in April 2018, a result that also qualified him for the playoffs.
The reigning Cup Series champion has four consecutive top 5 finishes at Talladega, including one win.
Logano has six top 5 finishes, including three wins in his last six starts at the superspeedway.
He also had a troubled race at Dover, suffering a rear axle failure before the green flag.
The Team Penske driver finished down in 34th and dropped to ninth in points.
Logano enters Talladega tied with William Byron for the eighth and final spot in the next round.
Aric Almirola is the defending 1000Bulbs.com 500 winner.
The Stewart-Haas driver is well-known for his superspeedway skills.
Almirola won last year’s edition of the race after taking the lead during the final lap.
He finished seventh at Daytona earlier this year and ninth at Talladega.
Almirola also has six consecutive top 10 finishes at ‘Dega, including three results inside the top 5.
He led 27 laps in the April race, which was his second-best mark of the season.
Almirola is already out of the championship fight following an early exit in the Round of 16.
Scoring his first win of the season will be the motivation.
Denny Hamlin had a solid run at Dover, starting from the pole and leading the most laps on his way to a fifth-place finish.
The Joe Gibbs driver kicked off the year scoring his second Daytona 500 win, and his third win at a superspeedway.
Hamlin has one win at Talladega, which came during the 2014 season.
While he isn’t considered a superspeedway specialist, Hamlin did lead at least one lap for nine consecutive races at Talladega from 2014 until 2018.
He finished a solid fourth in last year’s edition of this race.
Hamlin is now up to second in points and is safely on his way to the Round of 8.
Kevin Harvick is also a one-time winner at Talladega.
Stewart-Haas was the team to beat in last year’s edition of this race, leading a combined 155 of 193 laps.
Harvick led the race for 46 laps and won the second stage, but dropped to 28th after pitting for fuel during the final restart.
Despite having scored his only win at Talladega nearly a decade ago, Harvick remains among the front-runners at the track.
He arrives at this weekend’s round coming off a solid fourth-place finish at Dover.
Harvick is now fourth in the standings, a comfortable 42 points ahead of the cutoff.
The odds for the 100Bulbs.com 500 are provided by DraftKings.
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