Brad Keselowski – Brad Keselowski is an elite performer at Talladega, but he’s not immune to problems. This spring he had one of the best cars cars but finished an asterisk mark 33rd after getting collected in a wreck with 23 laps to go. In the race he won Stage #1, finished just outside the top ten in Stage #2 (got a pit penalty in that Stage) and led 21 laps. If he would’ve had an incident free race I think he would’ve been a factor to win.
Martin Truex Jr. – The last four Talladega races have been brutal to Truex Jr. In them he was either involved in an accident or had an engine failure. This spring on lap 72 he 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.
Ryan Blaney – Ryan Blaney had a fast car at Talladega this spring but finished a misleading 18th after being involved in a wreck with 23 laps to go. From the race it should be noted he finished 7th in Stage #1, 3rd in Stage #2, had a 12th place average running position and earned the 12th best driver rating. If he would’ve had an incident free race I think he would’ve had a great chance to finish in the top ten.
Kyle Larson – This spring at Talladega, Kyle Larson crashed and finished dead last. On lap 72 he was caught up in a multi-car wreck that marked the end of his day. In Stage #1 which concluded shortly before his exit he finished just short of the top ten. Based on how he performed I would estimate he was likely a low-double digits driver who had a good chance to finish in the top ten.