Jeff Gordon, taking a different line around the track, Nudged A.J. Allmendinger off of the pole by almost a half of a second. Gordon ran a sub 50 second lap at 191.623, capturing the 71st pole of his career. Allmendinger will start alongside in second place. Other drivers in the top ten include Aric Almirola, fastest in practice, Sprint Cup points leader Greg Biffle, and Michael Waltrip in 9th starting position, with 4 career wins, all at restrictor plate tracks.
Kurt Busch, supporting a Ricky Bobby paint scheme complete with ME and a Cougar on the hood, qualified 33rd in his James Finch #51 Chevrolet. The current Ricky Bobby is 26th in points with his best finish of the year, 8th at the Auto Club 400 in March. Kurt has had a mediocre 2012 season since being relegated to one of Nascar’s second tier teams.
Some race notes: The Sprint Cup teams will be running the same packages at Talladega as they had in Daytona. As you remember, Nascar made some changes to break up the two car “Tandem Racing. The changes were largely to the radiator size and air intake opening. The smaller sizes cause the the car that’s pushing in the tandem, to have to move out so it don’t overheat. This forces the cars to switch position more often, thus slowing them down. This forces the cars to run more in packs and hopefully producing a more exciting race.
The weather in Florida in February is a bit cooler than what we will see at Talladega, so expect to see even less pushing time on these cars. There will be some cars that overheat, and we will probably see more cars with engine problems. The two and three wide pack racing will undoubtedly cause a Big One.
So look for some good spectator racing tomorrow. The Fords are tough on this track, but don’t count out those Hendricks Teams. They are on a mission to Get Mr. Hendricks his 200th win, so they will come to race. I’m picking the pole setter Jeff Gordon, to turn his season around and get a much needed victory for his 2012 campaign.
The weekend at Talladega got underway Friday night with the ARCA race. They got to all the way to Lap 11 before they had The Big One. Brandon McReynolds, the son of Fox Sports announcer Larry McReynolds got his first victory in this series with a last lap pass.