Martin Truex Jr. – Talladega hasn’t been a kind track to Martin Truex Jr. Over the last four races he’s either wrecked or had an engine failure. Can he have problems again? I hope not, one would think he’s due for a little good luck. This spring on lap 72 Martin Truex Jr. was involved in a wreck. It didn’t mark the end of his race, but it led to him finishing 4 laps down in 26th. I certainly don’t think he had a bad car. He finished 3rd in Stage #1 and shortly before his problem he was running around 10th. Last fall he finished 23rd after being involved in the “Big One” with 17 laps to go. One lap prior to that he was running in 15th. He ran very well at times and was a top ten contender. Additionally, he earned the 6th best driver rating and had a 13th place average running position. In spring 2017 he had a good chance to finish well, but his race wasn’t incident free and he was collected in the late “Big One.” From the race it should be noted he finished 4th in Stage #2. In fall 2016 he had a very fast car that easily looked top ten good, but he finished dead last because of an early engine failure. In the three Talladega races prior to that he had an 8.3 average finish. Daytona is the most recent restrictor plate track visited and at that venue in July he led 20 laps and finished 2nd.
Jimmie Johnson – Talladega races in the fall haven’t been bright spots on the schedule for Jimmie Johnson. In 6 of the last 7 October races he’s finished 17th or worse and to find his most recent top ten (in the fall) you have to go back to 2010. In the last three combined Talladega races he’s run well. This spring he had one of his better recent Talladega races. He finished 12th, had a 10th place average running position and earned the 4th best driver rating. Additionally, he finished 10th in Stage #1 and 7th in Stage #2. Last fall he had a tough race and finished 24th after wrecking in the “Big One” with 17 laps to go. One lap prior to wrecking he was running in 7th. In spring 2017 Johnson had a good race. He finished 8th, finished 5th in Stage #2 and earned the 5th best driver rating. In the three Talladega races prior to that he finished between 18th to 23rd.
AJ Allmendinger – AJ Allmendinger is capable of sneaking in a good result at Talladega. In 2 of the 3 races at plate tracks this year he’s finished in the top ten. The bad news is, neither of those were at Talladega. Recently, Talladega has been a trouble spot on the schedule for him. In 4 of the last 6 Talladega races he’s finished 22nd or worse. In the last three he’s crashed. This spring he was collected in the “Big One” with 23 laps to go which led to his 34th place finish. Prior to wrecking he was running outside the top 20. His average running position for the afternoon was 21st. Last fall, Allmendinger finished 22nd after being involved in a wreck with 31 laps to go. He’s a driver who typically runs in the back until the end so he never really showed his hand. In spring 2017, he showed potential but was collected in the “Big One” with 20 laps to go which led to his 31st place finish. Two laps prior to his wreck he was running in 4th. In the two Talladega races prior to that he ran well and had results of 10th and 14th. Currently at Daytona, the other plate track on the schedule he has four straight top tens and his results this year are 3rd and 10th.