5 Drivers to Watch in the Aaron’s 499
5 Drivers to Watch in the Aaron's 499
This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes its way to the legendary Talladega Superspeedway for the Aaron's 499. Expect some wild racing as we return to a restrictor plate track.
This is the first race of the year at Talladega, and it comes after a rough weekend at Richmond International Raceway for many of the those top contenders in the points standings such as Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski. Considering that it looks like Brad Keselowski's team penalties will stand, he will be trying hard for a win this weekend in the race he won a year ago.
Talladega has a rough reputation like a short track but for a very different reason. What sets Talladega apart from other tracks is that it's a restrictor plate track, which means tandem drafting and the Big One is bound to happen at some point. The Big One is a grand equalizer to the field that tests a driver's ability to dodge trouble and the inevitable multi car crash. There are some drivers who were never able to master this track well.
There are certainly some drivers who have proven that they have the ability to take on this challenge and succeed. The most popular driver in NASCAR, Dale Earnhardt Jr., has five wins at this track winning four times in a row from 2001-2003. In recent years Dale hasn't been quite as lucky. For some drivers like Tony Stewart, a win here could be absolutely critical in turning the season around.
Jake Thompson is a NASCAR Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @JakeThompsonCU.
A win here could turn his horrid season around. He has had the skill to dodge the Big One before, but he has also been the first domino to fall as well.
Logano is looking for a trip to victory lane to justify his new found contention on the track. He has a lot of experience winning here in the Nationwide Series so he should be able to have a chance.
Busch needs a solid finish after two weeks of crashes following a sweep at Texas Motor Speedway. He fought Brad Keselowski for the win last year after pushing him to the front of the field.
The reigning Sprint Cup champ won here last year and could seriously use some positive momentum as the penalty appeal process continues next week.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The question on everyone's mind is can Earnhardt bring back the domination he had at Talladega at one point, in this new Generation Six car? We will see come Sunday.