THREE THINGS TOWATCH
1. In the hole
Alex Bowman has dug himself a deep playoff hole thanks to a 28thplace finish at Dover. He is 92 points behind points leader Kevin Harvick and 34 points below the cut line for advancing. Car owner Rick Hendrick has two drivers in the playoffs, but only one going into the Round of 8. “We hope Alex can get the win down there,” said Hendrick, while celebrating with his Dover winner Chase Elliott.
2. Welcome, wild-card
While Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Roval race has become a wild-card race of sorts for playoff contenders, Talladega Superspeedway will always be a driver’s worst nightmare. Eight of the 12 survivors would like to win this race and join Chase Elliott with a pass to the Round of 8. This big, 2.66-mile tri-oval, which is a lane wider than Daytona, always produces major white-knuckle moments.
3. Entertainment value
Talladega Superspeedway must have enormous entertainment value because NASCAR’s two television partners are airing races on their broadcast networks. Fox will show the Camping World Truck Series race on its primary network Saturday, while NBC is doing the same on Sunday with the Cup Series event. This will be only the second (and last) Truck Series event to make the big stage at Fox. Enjoy.
All eyes will be on Talladega Superspeedway Sunday to see how the 500-mile race scrambles the NASCAR playoff field. This is what happened to Daytona 500 champion Austin Dillon when he raced at Talladega in April.