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Alabama 500 Betting News and Notes

Alabama 500 Betting News and Notes 6 days 57 minutes ago #456058

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Talladega Superspeedway Data

Season Race #: 10 of 36 (05-07-17)
Track Size: 2.66-miles
Banking/Turn 1 & 2: 33 degrees
Banking/Turn 3 & 4: 33 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 16.5 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 2 degrees
Frontstretch Length: 4,300 feet
Backstretch Length: 4,000 feet
Race Length: 188 laps / 500 miles
Stage 1 & 2 Length: 55 laps (each)
Final Stage Length: 78 laps

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Talladega

Chase Elliott 91.4
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 91.0
Brad Keselowski 88.7
Kurt Busch 88.4
Jimmie Johnson 88.1
Matt Kenseth 87.1
Joey Logano 84.6
Ryan Blaney 84.3
Denny Hamlin 84.2
Kevin Harvick 81.5

Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2017 races (25 total) among active drivers at Talladega Superspeedway.

Qualifying / Race Data

2016 pole winner:
Martin Truex Jr., Toyota
193.423 mph, 49.508 secs. 10-22-16

2016 race winner:
Joey Logano, Ford
159.905 mph, (03:11:38), 10-23-16

Track qualifying record:
Bill Elliott, Ford
212.809 mph, 44.998 secs. 04-30-87

Track race record:
Mark Martin, Ford
188.354 mph, (02:39:18), 05-10-97
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Alabama 500 Betting News and Notes 6 days 54 minutes ago #456059

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Talladega - Driver Tale of the Tape

1 - Martin Truex Jr (No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota)


· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 78.2
2017 Rundown
· Six wins, 14 top fives, 21 top 10s,
· Led 1977 laps
· Average Finish of 10.2

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
· Two top fives, eight top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 21.000, 24th-best
· Average Running Position of 18.252, 15th-best
· Driver Rating of 78.2, 15th-best
· 63 Fastest Laps Run
· 2359 Laps in the Top 15 (49.5), 16th-most
· 5205 Quality Passes, fifth-most

2 - Kyle Larson (No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 81.0
2017 Rundown
· Four wins, 14 top fives, 19 top 10s,
· Led 1121 laps
· Average Finish of 10.3

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
· Two top 10s
· Average finish of 19.857, 20th-best
· Average Running Position of 18.133, 14th-best
· Driver Rating of 81.0, 12th-best
· 19 Fastest Laps Run
· 682 Laps in the Top 15 (51.0), 11th-most
· 1751 Quality Passes, 23rd-most

3 - Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 81.5
2017 Rundown
· One win, ten top fives, 18 top 10s,
· Led 775 laps
· Average Finish of 11.9

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
· One win, six top fives, 14 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 15.680, sixth-best
· Average Running Position of 17.300, 12th-best
· Driver Rating of 81.5, 10th-best
· 99 Fastest Laps Run
· 2364 Laps in the Top 15 (49.7), 13th-most
· 4847 Quality Passes, seventh-most

4 - Chase Elliott (No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 91.4
2017 Rundown
· Nine top fives, 17 top 10s,
· Led 376 laps
· Average Finish of 12.3

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
· One top five, one top 10; one pole
· Average finish of 15.667, fifth-best
· Average Running Position of 10.824, series-best
· Driver Rating of 91.4, series-best
· 5 Fastest Laps Run
· 430 Laps in the Top 15 (75.3), series-most
· 892 Quality Passes, 31st-most

5 - Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 84.2
2017 Rundown
· Two wins, 13 top fives, 17 top 10s,
· Led 436 laps
· Average Finish of 11.8

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
· One win, five top fives, eight top 10s
· Average finish of 18.826, 11th-best
· Average Running Position of 17.324, 13th-best
· Driver Rating of 84.2, ninth-best
· 91 Fastest Laps Run
· 2179 Laps in the Top 15 (49.8 ), 12th-most
· 4676 Quality Passes, ninth-most

6 - Kyle Busch (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 80.9
2017 Rundown
· Four wins, 12 top fives, 18 top 10s,
· Led 1673 laps
· Average Finish of 11.6

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
· One win, six top fives, seven top 10s
· Average finish of 20.542, 23rd-best
· Average Running Position of 18.973, 18th-best
· Driver Rating of 80.9, 13th-best
· 105 Fastest Laps Run, 25th-best
· 2263 Laps in the Top 15 (49.5), 15th-most
· 4645 Quality Passes, 10th-most

7 - Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 88.1
2017 Rundown
· Three wins, four top fives, 11 top 10s,
· Led 193 laps
· Average Finish of 15.5
Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:

· Two wins, seven top fives, 12 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 15.720, seventh-best
· Average Running Position of 14.838, fourth-best
· Driver Rating of 88.1, fifth-best
· 65 Fastest Laps Run
· 2813 Laps in the Top 15 (59.1), fifth-most
· 5546 Quality Passes, third-most

8 - Jamie McMurray (No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 80.8
2017 Rundown
· Three top fives, 16 top 10s,
· Led 20 laps
· Average Finish of 13

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
· Two wins, eight top fives, nine top 10s
· Average finish of 19.560, 18th-best
· Average Running Position of 18.667, 17th-best
· Driver Rating of 80.8, 14th-best
· 80 Fastest Laps Run
· 2367 Laps in the Top 15 (49.7), 14th-most
· 5135 Quality Passes, sixth-most

9 - Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 87.1
2017 Rundown
· Eight top fives, 14 top 10s,
· Led 323 laps
· Average Finish of 14.7

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
· One win, six top fives, ten top 10s
· Average finish of 18.680, ninth-best
Average Running Position of 15.027, fifth-best
· Driver Rating of 87.1, sixth-best
· 85 Fastest Laps Run
· 2922 Laps in the Top 15 (61.4), fourth-most
· 5761 Quality Passes, second-most

10 - Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Team Penske Ford)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 88.7
2017 Rundown
· Two wins, 12 top fives, 17 top 10s,
· Led 644 laps
· Average Finish of 13.4

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
· Four wins, six top fives, ten top 10s
· Average finish of 14.882, fourth-best
· Average Running Position of 16.486, ninth-best
· Driver Rating of 88.7, third-best
· 63 Fastest Laps Run
· 1778 Laps in the Top 15 (54.8 ), eighth-most
· 3808 Quality Passes, 13th-most

11 - Ryan Blaney (No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 84.3
2017 Rundown
· One win, three top fives, 11 top 10s,
· Led 260 laps
· Average Finish of 18

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
· One top five, two top 10s
· Average finish of 21.333, 27th-best
· Average Running Position of 15.928, eighth-best
· Driver Rating of 84.3, eighth-best
· 14 Fastest Laps Run
· 676 Laps in the Top 15 (58.8 ), sixth-most
· 1663 Quality Passes, 25th-most

12 - Ricky Stenhouse Jr (No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford)

· Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 81.2
2017 Rundown
· Two wins, four top fives, seven top 10s,
· Led 50 laps
· Average Finish of 17.2

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
· One win, three top fives, five top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 10.375, series-best
· Average Running Position of 16.791, 10th-best
· Driver Rating of 81.2, 11th-best
· 39 Fastest Laps Run
· 738 Laps in the Top 15 (48.5), 17th-most
· 1816 Quality Passes, 21st-most
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Alabama 500 Betting News and Notes 6 days 53 minutes ago #456060

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Alabama 500 Preview
By Micah Roberts
VegasInsider.com

The first four races of NASCAR's playoffs have seen only Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. win, but that should change on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway where all 40 drivers have a legitimate chance of winning. It's the randomness of restrictor-plate racing and it's the second race in the Round of 12.

The first Talladega race in May saw Ricky Stenhouse Jr. win the first race of his career and the next plate race at Daytona in July he won as well. Roush Fenway cars have been very good in plates races the past few years, but Stenhouse has taken control as the elite plate racer. If he can win again, he'll get himself an automatic berth into the next round of eight.

“I’m definitely looking forward to going back to Talladega,' Stenhouse said. "(Crew chief) Jimmy Fennig has been working for some time now on our Talladega car and been massaging it and getting it ready to go. He kind of takes over the whole speedway program until the week of and then our team gets it and works on it some more, but we want to go in and win Talladega. That would solidify us on making sure we get to that next round, but, if not, I think it’s a race track that we could still gain a lot of points. Nothing is guaranteed when you go there. I’ve been crashed out of them just as easy as finishing well, but I definitely feel confident going into Talladega this weekend.”

Ford will be going for its fifth consecutive Talladega win.

What makes this race on the mammoth 2.66-mile high banked layout so special is because of the randomness. It's a wild card race for the top drivers and their championship dreams can be shattered quickly. If Busch gets caught up in wreck here, his championship dreams are crushed with only one more race to go in this round. And it's so possible. No driver is safe here and it is weighing on Busch's mind.

"If I look at two that are kind of worrisome, the two most worrisome tracks for me are Talladega this weekend, and Texas because of the repave, that unknown there," Busch said. "Those are the only two that I’m a little worrisome about. The rest of them, I’m not worried at all. I feel like we’re pretty good. If we can have a decent finish this weekend, I feel like Kansas next weekend has been really good for us, recently.”

The drivers I'll be rooting for this week are Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski. The first win of Keselowski's career came at Talladega in 2008 as a part-time driver for an underfunded team. He's won four times at Talladega, the last coming in the spring of 2016. Hamlin won at Talladega in 2014 and has been one of the best plate racers the past four seasons.

The sentimental side of me wants Dale Earnhardt Jr. to finally win in his last season. He's won six times at Talladega, the last coming in 2015. Come on Junior. You got six races left, and this is your best chance to make it happen.

“I’d like to fly under the radar a little bit," Earnhardt said of what may be his final Cup race at Talladega. "I don’t want to put too much pressure on us – it messes up the way you think, the way you use strategy in the race, everything. But Talladega is a great track and a great opportunity to win. I think we’ll also have a chance to win at Martinsville and Texas, and some of these other tracks we go to.”

Come on Junior, go out with a bang.

Top-5 Finish Prediction:

1) #2 Brad Keselowski (10/1)
2) #11 Denny Hamlin (10/1)
3) #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (18/1)
4) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (10/1)
5) #14 Clint Bowyer (25/1)
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Alabama 500 Betting News and Notes 5 days 18 hours ago #456111

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Talladega Fantasy Racing Preview
By: Jeff Wackerlin
Racingone.com

Detailed driver notes and statistics to help set your fantasy racing lineup for Sunday's Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Who's HOT at Talladega

• Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has finished in the top five in the last two races, including a win in the spring.
• Team Penske's Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano each have two wins in the last six races. Keselowski has combined to lead 167 laps in the last races while Logano has won the last two fall events.
• Kurt Busch is the only driver that has finished in the top 10 in the last four races.
• Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard (holds best average finish in all three restrictor-plate races in 2017) have finished in the top 10 in four of the last seven races.
• Six-time winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. has combined to lead 251 laps in his last 10 starts.
• Denny Hamlin, who led 43 laps in the spring, has finished 11th or better in four of the last seven races, including a win in the 2014 spring race.
• Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson (finished eighth in the spring) and Jamie McMurray (finished second in the spring) each are two-time winners.
• Kyle Busch, who led 48 laps in the spring, has the second-best driver rating in the last five races.

Keep an Eye On at Talladega

• Kasey Kahne (10.0), Matt DiBenedetto (13.3), David Ragan (13.7), AJ Allmendinger (14.0) each rank in the top 10 in average finish among all drivers that have competed in all three restrictor-plate races in 2017. Aric Almirola has raced in two events, posting a 4.0 average finish.
• Ryan Blaney, who scored stage points in both stages in the spring, holds a top 10 driver rating in the last five races at Talladega.
• Chase Elliott has started eighth or better, including one pole, and one top 10 in three starts at Talladega. He's also finished second in three of the four playoff races this season.
• Although he hasn't had much luck as of late, Matt Kenseth ranks first in laps led (256) in the last 10 Talladega races.
• Furniture Row Racing teammates Martin Truex Jr and Erik Jones each scored points in both stages in the spring at Talladega.
• Ryan Newman has posted the fourth best average finish (14.9) among drivers that have competed in all of the last 10 restrictor-plate races.
• Kyle Larson has posted a 9.0 average finish in his last two restrictor-plate starts, including a sixth-place finish in the spring at Talladega.

MRN.com Staff Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Chase Elliott
Pete Pistone: Kevin Harvick
Robbie Mays: Jamie McMurray
Tyler Burnett: Clint Bowyer
John Singler: Brad Keselowski

Driver Notes - Ordered by Average Finish (Top 15) in the Last Five Races at Talladega

Kurt Busch has finished 12th or better in his last six starts at Talladega and is the only drive that has finished in the top 10 in the last four. Busch won this year's Daytona 500 for his first win and 20th top five on a restrictor-plate track.

Paul Menard finished ninth in the spring for his fifth top 10 in the last eight Talladega races. His only finishes outside the top 13 in that span were two DNFs. Menard is the only driver that has finished in the top 10 in all three restrictor-plate races this season.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has finished in the top five in his last two Talladega starts, including a win in the spring race. Stenhouse went on to win at Daytona in July to give him the best average finish (8.6) among all drivers that have competed in all of the last five restrictor-plate races.

Kyle Busch finished third after leading a race-high 48 laps in the spring for his second top five in the last three Talladega races. Busch, who won the 2008 spring race, saw his last top five in the fall race come in 2013, in fifth. Busch's finish in the spring is his only top 10 in the three restrictor-plate races this season.

Ty Dillon finished 13th in his first Talladega Cup start in the spring. Dillon finished 16th at Daytona in July to lower his average finish to 19.7 in the three restrictor-plate races this season.

Kevin Harvick has finished 15th or better (four top 10s) in four of his seven Talladega starts with Stewart-Haas Racing. His lone win at the track came in the spring event in 2010 with Richard Childress Racing. This year, Harvick led 50 laps in the Daytona 500 in his first points paying race driving a Ford. Harvick has 28 top 10s, including three wins, in 66 starts at restrictor-plate tracks. This weekend, Harvick will debut a new chassis (No. 008) in the Alabama 500.

Brad Keselowski has won four times at Talladega, including this event in 2014. He's combined to lead 167 laps in the last three races, which leads all drivers. Keselowski, who won in the spring at Talladega and in the summer at Daytona in 2016, is tied with Ricky Stenhouse in wins (2) in the last six restrictor-plate races, but leads all drivers with 319 laps led in that span. He won the opening stage in the spring race.

Jimmie Johnson finished eighth in the spring for his 12th top 10 at Talladega. Johnson scored his last of two wins in the 2011 spring race and led three laps in May to bring his total to 470.

Jamie McMurray finished second in the spring at Talladega for his third top five dating back to his win in this event in 2013. The runner-up finish is his only top 10 this season at restrictor-plate races and second in the last 10.

Clint Bowyer is a two-time winner at Talladega with his wins coming with Richard Childress Racing in the 2010 and 2011 fall races. Bowyer, who has 12 overall top 10s at Talladega, is coming off his best finish in three restrictor-plate starts with Stewart-Haas Racing, finishing second at Daytona.

Chase Elliott finished 30th in the spring at Talladega after being involved in a crash to raise his average finish to 15.7 in three starts. Elliott won the pole and finished fifth after leading 27 laps in his first start in the spring race last year. Elliott has a total of three poles and one top 10 in his seven starts at restrictor-plate tracks. He led 39 laps in this year's Daytona 500 before running out of fuel at the end.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. scored his sixth Talladega win in the 2015 spring race. Earnhardt has combined to lead 223 laps in his last seven starts at Talladega, but has failed to lead a lap in his last two starts. Earnhardt has started on the front row in the three restrictor-plate races this season, but his last top 10 came in this event in 2015 when he led 61 laps and finished second.

Ryan Newman posted his second finish (25th) outside the top 18 in his seven Talladega starts with Richard Childress Racing in the spring after being involved in an accident. Newman, who finished fifth in the last restrictor-plate race in July at Daytona, has 19 top 10s at restrictor-plate tracks, including a win in the 2008 Daytona 500.

Denny Hamlin led 43 laps and finished 11th in the spring at Talladega. Hamlin finished third in this event last year for his first top five since winning the spring race in 2014. He won the second stage in the Talladega spring race. Hamlin has led 198 laps and posted four top 10s, including a win in the 2016 Daytona 500, in the last 10 restrictor-plate races.

Joey Logano is seeking his third straight win in the fall race at Talladega. Logano finished sixth in this year's Daytona 500 but accidents at Talladega and Daytona in July took him out of contention in the other two restrictor-plate races this season. Logano did lead 10 laps in the spring at Talladega before getting caught up in a multi-car crash on lap 168.
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Alabama 500 Betting News and Notes 5 days 18 hours ago #456115

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Alabama 500 Betting Predictions
By Adam Burke
Bangthebook.com

This is the second race in the Round of 12 and the 31st race overall for the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. The second stop at Talladega Speedway for this season means that there will be just five races left after this one as we look towards the crowning of a champion.

There hasn’t been much doubt about who the two best drivers are during the playoffs. Martin Truex Jr. has two wins and Kyle Busch has two wins. That means that since the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway, Toyota drivers have won 10 of the last 13 races. With Truex’s win at Charlotte, his ticket has already been punched to the Round of 8, but his ticket was pretty much already punched. Truex has 3,106 points to lead the pack. Kyle Larson is second with 3,072. Kevin Harvick is third with 3,069 points. Chase Elliott is fourth with 3,059 points. Denny Hamlin is fifth with 3,056 points.

Kyle Busch is sixth with 3,055 points. Jimmie Johnson is seventh with 3,051 points. Jamie McMurray is eighth with 3,044 points. Matt Kenseth is below the cut line with 3,043 points, following by Brad Keselowski with 3,042 points, Ryan Blaney with 3,039 points, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. with 3,034 points. Points reset to 3,000 for the Round of 12, though the new scoring system allowed for bonus playoff points to be accrued throughout the regular season and the Round of 16.

Anything can happen in a restrictor plate race, so we could see some surprises this week. After all, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won two restrictor plate races this season to get himself into the playoffs, including the first race at Talladega in the GEICO 500. Guys like Clint Bowyer and David Ragan have restrictor plate wins over the last five years, so some strange things can certainly happen at the Superspeedway.

Don’t believe me? Check out the odds for this week’s Alabama 500. Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch are co-favorites at +900 per 5Dimes Sportsbook. Keep in mind that Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch have regularly been priced under +500 lately and sometimes by a wide margin. There are 13 drivers priced at +1500 or lower. This is a very hard race to handicap for that exact reason.

As mentioned, Keselowski and Busch are co-favorites. Keselowski is a three-time winner of the spring race, including a triumph in 2016, and won this fall race in 2014. Keselowski needs to make something happen this week to make himself safe from the cut, which will happen after next week’s race. Keselowski has one win at Daytona and a handful of top-five finishes. He was 38th at Talladega last year, but did lead the most laps. At +900, given his past successes, including a top-five in 2015, Keselowski may be worth an investment.

Busch only has one win at Talladega in his career. That win came in the spring race all the way back in 2008. Certainly you have to respect his body of work this season and the two wins that he had in the Round of 16, but he doesn’t have many strong finishes in any of the restrictor plate races. This season, he was third and led the most laps in the spring race, so maybe his team is turning the corner a bit. That was his second straight top-five in that event, but he hasn’t finished in the top 10 in this race since 2013. Getting Busch at +900 doesn’t happen often, so I’m sure he’ll entice some action, but there are probably better gambles on the board.

It would be pretty cool to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. win this race. He is priced at +1100 this week in search of his seventh career win at Talladega. His father owns the all-time record with 10 wins. Earnhardt’s last Alabama win came in 2015 in the spring race. He hasn’t won this race since 2004. It’s hard to see him working his way to the front of the pack, but his past results in these plate races could certainly justify a play. If you’re making a play, though, you’re hoping for nostalgia and a storyline because he hasn’t been in the top five all year long.

Basically, with a plate race, you’re throwing darts a bit. If you want those darts to hit something, here are a few possible plays. Joey Logano is the reigning two-time winner of this race. It has been an awful season for the #22 team, but he was sixth in the Daytona 500 and has some good recent history at this track. Logano is +1350.

Another dart that could hit the board is one with Denny Hamlin’s name on it at +1150. Hamlin hasn’t won this race, but he did win the spring race at Talladega in 2014. Hamlin also has a win at Daytona in the 2016 500. He was third in this race last year, but was awful in this race the three previous years.

Chase Elliott has turned out to be a pretty good plate racer and he’s knocking on the door of that first win of the year. Elliott is at +1650 this week and is probably my favorite bet on the board. Elliott won his Daytona duel and finished fifth in the spring race last year. He had the pole in the Daytona 500 for the second consecutive year, so he does get some good qualifying runs. You may get a little bit of value on the +1650 if he can qualify at a fast time this week. He’s finished second in three of the last four races.
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