Talladega continues to be unpredictable - NOTES by Lugnut - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

NASCAR NOTES: Talladega continues to be unpredictable

Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton - Pool/Getty Images Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton - Pool/Getty Images
Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy" Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy"

The only thing that is predictable about Talladega is that it's unpredictable. You never know what to expect, and the final lap is always one of the most exciting laps in all of NASCAR racing.

Maybe the unpredictability of Talladega comes from the fact that the track was built over the site that was originally an Indian burial ground. Legend has it that the Indian spirits are still upset over being moved to a new location during construction.

Talladega has at times catered to experience, with five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champions - Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon - winning races on the 2.66 mile tri-oval since 2007.

However, experience does not always lead to victory. In fact, the old saying that ignorance is bliss might be true at Talladega, as it has produced 10 first time NASCAR Sprint Cup winners, several of which have never won another race in the Series.

As we enter this week's event, Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola seems to be leading the list of possible first time winners based on his three top 10 finishes in 2013. Still, there are other first time Talladega choices to choose from in David Gilliland and David Ragan from Front Row Motorsports.

If there is not a surprise winner, you might want to keep an eye on Hendrick Motorsports as you make your picks for this week. Only two drivers have won more Talladega races than Dale Earnhardt Jr. He posted four consecutive victories on the Alabama high banks between 2001 and 2003 and a fifth win in 2007.

Providing stiff competition to the Hendrick camp will be Richard Childress Racing drivers Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton. Both came off impressive runs last week in Richmond, with Harvick taking the victory and Burton coming home in fifth. RCR has 12 victories, which is more than any other owner, and its teams seem to be peaking at just the right time.

So as we prepare for the edge-of-your-seat action this weekend, I'm sure that you will agree that the only thing predictable about Talladega is that it's unpredictable.

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