Back in season-opening Daytona 500, the Fords were the strongest cars on the track and ended up taking six of the top ten finishing positions. This weekend at Talladega, it looks like not much has changed, as four of the top six qualifiers for Sunday’s GEICO 500 are driving Fords, including the pole sitter, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. The races at Talladega and Daytona are incredibly difficult to predict, but if I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that if an organization/team has been good on the first couple plate tracks that season, they should be good for all four. The teams barely got any practice this weekend thanks to rain, but that’s not a big deal because practice means nothing at Talladega. Neither does starting position, but if you’d like to see how they’ll line up on Sunday, you can do so by clicking here.
Final Top 25 Ranking For The Talladega GEICO 500
1. Kevin Harvick – Starts 6th – DraftKings Price: $9,300 – Yahoo! A Group
This #4 team is still searching for their first win of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season and it could very well come here at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday afternoon. Harvick has gone to victory lane once here in his 32 career starts but is always a threat to win whenever the series stops at this big superspeedways. The #4 Ford was arguably the best car in this year’s Daytona 500 (Harvick led a race-high 50 laps) and this team brought the exact same car to Talladega this weekend for the GEICO 500. Momentum-wise, Harvick now has three straight top 5s after his 5th-place finish at Richmond one week ago, and he has a very good chance of making it four in a row here on Sunday. Harvick hasn’t finished worse than 15th at Talladega since the 2013 season.
2. Brad Keselowski – Starts 3rd – DraftKings Price: $10,500 – Yahoo! A Group
If you don’t think that Brad Keselowski should be one of the favorites at Talladega this weekend, then you must just hate one of the best plate racers in the series. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. currently leads all active drivers in terms of number of wins at this race track, but Brad Keselowski is going to take over that title once Junior retires at the end of the year. BK has only made 16 career starts here at ‘Dega but has already visited victory lane on four separate occasions, including two times in the last five races. This #2 team already has two victories this season but they could very easily add a third here on Sunday. Keselowski didn’t have a good race in this year’s Daytona 500 but he had a good car. He will be solid here on Sunday.
3. Clint Bowyer – Starts 17th – DraftKings Price: $8,200 – Yahoo! B Group
Honestly, this is setting up as a perfect storm for Clint Bowyer this weekend. In other words, I think there’s a pretty good chance that this #14 Ford gets to victory lane this weekend. This team has been knocking on the door for the last month or so, and now we’re at a track where Bowyer has a very good record; in 22 career starts here, Clint has posted an average finish of 14.7 (3rd-best in the series) with two victories and 12 total top 10s. Also, let’s not forget that Bowyer’s teammate (Kurt Busch) ended up in victory lane in this year’s Daytona 500. I’m expecting a very good GEICO 500 race out of Clint Bowyer and this #14 team.