Talladega Superspeedway- NASCAR’s home for wild, crazy racing. From it’s inception, the Alabama track has been a source of edge of your seat racing, crazy wrecks, feel good stories and controversy.
Talladega Superspeedway was once Dale Earnhardt Jr’s personal playground. Back in the early 2000s, NASCAR’s favorite son won four races in a row between 2001 and 2003. Between 2001 and 2004, Junior racked up five wins and two runner-up finishes in a seven race span. Now are you going to tell me that plate racing is blind luck? I wouldn’t be so sure.
They once said of Earnhardt’s legendary father that he was a man who could “see air.” In reality, it seems that both Dale Earnhardt and his son had/have an astute understanding of the effects of air on one race and its relation to another car around it. While critics have thrown their lion’s share of shade on Dale Earnhardt Jr. concerning his talent in relation to his popularity, there is ample evidence of his savvy regarding the draft.
Drafting partners are a big part of the equation at Talladega. Of additional assistance to Earnhardt is his popularity within the garage, as well as with the fans. If there’s a driver out there that doesn’t like Earnhardt, you don’t hear about it much. You know you can expect some assistance up to a certain point, and then when it comes time to chase the win, you will be raced hard but clean.
This may all make yours truly sound like an Earnhardt apologist, but it’s not meant to be. Life doesn’t always present the Hollywood ending, but a victory at Talledega during his farewell tour seems like a fitting closure considering a championship is not in the offing. Between the playoff scenarios and this story, there’s plenty of great reasons to tune in Sunday. It it is to be, a Junior victory may just happen here.