Though not impossible, it’s highly unlikely that Sunday’s race at Talladega will be contested without at least one or two major multi-car wrecks commonly known as “The Big One.” Such is the nature of big-pack racing at 2.66-mile, high-banked Talladega, where drivers run flat-out, three- and four-wide for close to three hours, only tapping the brakes on occasion to prevent running over each other. And despite their greatest efforts not to trigger a melee, melees are inevitable, because one small mistake by one driver can set a huge, chain-wrection-style wreck in motion.
“Anything can happen at Talladega Superspeedway,” Cup Series veteran Austin Dillon said. “It’s a little bit of a coin flip, but my No. 3 team will be doing everything we can to try and win. In order to succeed at Talladega, you have to have a little bit of luck, and use momentum at the very end to take advantage of positions. It’s speedway racing. It’s drafting. And it’s chaos, but we’re up for the challenge.”
Chase Elliott, who picked up his lone Talladega win to date in the spring of 2019, always comes to the Alabama track with a certain degree of trepidation, and Sunday’s race will be no exception. “Talladega is such a toss up with how crazy that place can be,” said Elliott, who will be pursuing his first win of 2022 in his No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. “I’m not sure you can ever really feel good about heading into Talladega.”