You know the “Big One” is coming, right? When you clump 40 cars together in one or two big packs for three hours, it’s not a matter of if the big multi-car wreck will occur, taking out numerous cars, perhaps even dozens, at a time; it’s just a matter of when. Of course, the close-quarters nature of the racing at Talladega Superspeedway isn’t the only cause for this. It’s also the high speeds — and the fact that so much is a stake.
After all, Talladega is one of only two tracks on the NASCAR Cup Series tour where almost anyone can win. Because drivers who wouldn’t normally have a chance to go to Victory Lane see Talladega as one of their few opportunities, there’s no telling how many “Big Ones” liable to take place this weekend on the 2.66-mile high-banked track. Here’s the bottom line: One little slip by one driver in a pack where cars are bunched tightly together will spell calamity for many.
To circumvent this possibility, some drivers may even intentionally race at the back of the pack for a good portion of the race. We’ve seen this happen a lot in recent years at Talladega, and the strategy usually pays off. However, most drivers won’t hold anything back from the drop of the green flag until the checkered flag waves, meaning they’re willing to run the risk of getting caught up in a wreck and seeing their day end prematurely. Buckle your seatbelt both figuratively and literally. The “Big One” looms. Hopefully, no one gets hurt in the process.