Oh, Talladega. What are we going to do with you?
Now that I’m up a fake 90 dollars for the year after Denny Hamlin’s win at Martinsville, I can devote my energy to racing’s biggest problem child. And if you think Talladega isn’t a problem, here’s one of many crash montages with crappy musical accompaniment to boot.
Talladega has no business hosting a Chase race. It’s not a matter of if a huge wreck will happen, just a matter of how soon. Even last year, after changing rules on the fly the day of the race, drivers drove single-file for 80% of the race and still almost killed someone.
So even though Talladega has no business at the big kids table, it’s tough to just send Talladega to its room for racing eternity. The name has meaning. The races have tremendously loyal fans. It’s a southern stronghold. Heck, it gave us Ricky Bobby.
So for a sport in need of new ideas, here’s one that would be awesome. Talladega loses its status as a points race. That way, drivers won’t hose over their Sprint Cup dreams because some dope can’t bump draft.
Instead, the spring winner is guaranteed a Chase spot. The fall winner gets a guaranteed check. More than $1 million. The biggest prize of the year. Second place gets squadoosh. That way, the race means something, just not something so much that it could ruin an entire driver’s season.
Now like all great ideas, let’s end it with a blooper real.
As for my picks, short and sweet are the words of the week:
15 fake dollars on Jamie McMurray at 9/1:
Big driver wins at big tracks.
10 fake dollars on Jeff Gordon at 12/1:
Best track record of anyone at Talladega. Plus the crowd might riot.
10 fake dollars on Jimmie Johnson at 15/1:
10 fake dollars on Denny Hamlin 15/1:
5 fake dollars on Mark Martin at 30/1:
Because I couldn’t bite the bullet on Brad Keselowski.
Here’s what The Spread thinks, and insert random catchphrase here.
Tony Stewart 7/1
Kevin Harvick 7/1
Kyle Busch 8/1
Jamie McMurray 9/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr 10/1
Jeff Gordon 12/1
Carl Edwards 15/1
Denny Hamlin 15/1
Jimmie Johnson 15/1
Kurt Busch 15/1
Juan Pablo Montoya 20/1
Clint Bowyer 20/1
Jeff Burton 20/1
Ryan Newman 20/1
Brad Keselowski 30/1
Matt Kenseth 30/1
Mark Martin 30/1
Greg Biffle 30/1
Kasey Kahne 30/1
Joey Logano 30/1
David Reutimann 40/1
Martin Truex Jr 40/1