NASCAR Racing: Taladega Superspeedway

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Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series are at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Since this is also Halloween weekend, it’s called Hallodega. And the 2.66 mile track is indeed scary. They race very close together with little room for error and the “Big One” normally occurs.

Coors Light Pole Qualifying took place for the Sprint Cup series on Saturday for the AMP Energy Juice 500 with 42 Juan Pablo Montoya capturing the pole with a speed of 184.46 mph and 51.86 seconds. 33 Clint Bowyer  sits next to him on the front row. 09 Bobby Labonte made it in on time, but 26 Bill Elliott had to take the champions provisional to get in. 64 Landon Cassill, 38 Travis Kvapil and 66 Johnny Sauter failed to qualify. This is an impound race, meaning there will be no practice and no adjustments will be allowed before the race on Sunday.

The Trucks qualified on Friday and raced on Saturday for the Mountain Dew 250, with 33 Ron Hornaday, Jr. on the pole and 23 Jason White next to him on the front row. 13 Johnny Sauter, who failed to qualify for the Cup race, elects to start the race from the rear. That way he can avoid the carnage during the race and be there at the end of the race. Team mate 88 Matt Crafton and 51 Aric Almirola raced together behind the large pack nose to tail and did avoid the crashes.

The first caution happened when 6 Jeffrey Earnhardt got squeezed between 9 Max Papis and 93 Mike Garvey. Contact was made between 9 and 6 and Earnhardt slid sideways up the track into 7 Justin Lofton. The Big One was the fifth caution, which had 33 rolling and tumbling, doing a pirouette, and landing on the roof of the truck. The track crew had to turn the truck over so Ron could get out of the truck.

There was an exciting but controversial finish. 18 Kyle Busch was pushing 51, who was leading. (Last year Almirola pushed Busch for the win.) 13 was right behind 18 and 18 panicked and dove down at the last second to block 13. 13 went high and the three of them were at the Finish Line almost together. However, 18 was out of control and below the Yellow Line at the Line and slid off the track after the Finish Line.

In Cup a few years ago Tony Stewart shoved Regan Smith below the yellow line and Regan crossed the Finish Line ahead of Tony. Tony was declared the winner because Regan was below the yellow line and you can’t improve your position below the yellow line. Regan finished 15th. Busch got the Truck win despite being below the yellow line. Apparently because he was out of control at the time. I’m sure Aric will remember this and not help Busch win again. And I have to wonder if anyone else will either. The media, of course lauded Busch for the close victory. In my opinion, it was a lousy Finish and win. But Kyle seams to be the media darling, racing and winning in all three Series’.

Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I’ll be back after the AMP Energy Juice 500. I love NASCAR.

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