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Talladega Test Arrives Sunday

Matt Kenseth Wreck
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Looking at the current standings in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series would lead you to believe that the championship is within the grasp of only two men.    Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson have been fantastic every week.  There seems to be no sign of a letdown from the two former champs.

Even the most casual of observers can point to the pack racing at Talladega Superspeedway for the last realistic chance for a standings shakeup.  One mistake by somebody and the resultant chaos makes the following four races either exceedingly interesting or a coronation.

To be clear, never should there be someone advocating for an accident.  In the Chase for the Championship, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch are hoping for a crash to keep their title hopes alive.  To build buzz for the balance of the season, NASCAR would hope that both Kenseth and Johnson grasp the same fate by either both finishing well or wrecking.

Based on recent performance data from, Johnson has been the best performer on the plate tracks this season with two wins and a top 5.  Conversely, Kenseth’s average finish in those races is 26th, but led the most laps in two of those three races.  Bet on both to be strong enough to win at Talladega.  Beyond that, either good fortune or the hand of the Almighty will get them to the finish in one piece.


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