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Four to Follow: The Big One is coming for NASCAR at Talladega

NASCAR’s biggest wild card race is finally upon us. Superspeedways are always unpredictable, but there’s something about Talladega in October that makes it that much more crazy. Here are four key storylines to follow for NASCAR at Talladega:

Split Strategy
When you go pack racing at a superspeedway, the biggest inevitability is the big wreck. To avoid the big one, there are two trains of thought – get to the front and stay there, or hang in the back as long as possible. Last year, hanging in the back got Kyle Busch wrecked and out of the Chase. So what strategy will your driver take on Sunday?

Earlier this week, NASCAR announced they would be limiting the number of green-white-checkered finishes at Talladega this weekend to one for both the Cup cars and Trucks. This was a likely response to the spectacular crash by Austin Dillon in the Coke Zero 400 earlier this year, but does it entirely eliminate the threat of those types of wrecks? It seems like a stretch at best.

History Repeats Itself
If history is any indication for what may be coming this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, you cannot predict the winners at the two and a half mile wrecking monster. While names like Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. have earned their fair share of victories at the track, Chase outsiders like Jamie McMurray and Clint Bowyer each have two wins at the track in the last ten years. Then there was also David Ragan’s improbable victory for Front Row Motorsports. If you’re trying to predict the winner this weekend for the Camping World 500, you have your work cut out for you.

Who gets eliminated?
Of course, the biggest story of the weekend is that four more drivers will be eliminated from the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. both have the biggest holes to overcome, and are likely in a must-win situation. Meanwhile, those close to the bubble like Brad Keselowski cannot afford a wreck. Who will move on to Round 3 and become the elite eight of the playoffs?

All the big pack racing action gets underway from Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday with the Fred’s 250 for the Camping World Truck Series on your local Fox station. Then catch the Camping World 500 on Sunday on NBCSN, and see who gets eliminated from the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

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