The second race in the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Playoffs is the YellaWood 500 this Sunday, October 2nd at the Talladega Superspeedway.
Last year this race was postponed by rain to a Monday race. Then, it was full of wrecks and shortened by rain just a few laps from the end of stage two. Bubba Wallace claimed his first Cup Series win as a result.
Even if you take the weather out of the mix, racing at Talladega is always a wild card. The pack racing, the drafting and the high speeds can create chaos at a moment’s notice. The twelve drivers still in championship contention will have extra anxiety driving to the green flag this week. Below are those drivers in their current ranked positions for the Playoffs.
|Rank||Driver||Points||Race Wins||Stage Wins||Playoff Pts||+/- Cutoff|
|1||Joey Logano (P)||3,071||2||5||25||30|
|2||Ross Chastain (P)||3,059||2||5||20||18|
|3||William Byron (P)||3,058||2||4||15||17|
|4||Kyle Larson (P)||3,057||2||4||20||16|
|5||Ryan Blaney (P)||3,056||0||6||14||15|
|6||Denny Hamlin (P)||3,049||2||3||13||8|
|7||Daniel Suarez (P)||3,045||1||2||7||4|
|8||Chase Elliott (P)||3,045||4||5||40||4|
|9||Chase Briscoe (P)||3,041||1||4||9||-4|
|10||Austin Cindric # (P)||3,034||1||1||6||-11|
|11||Christopher Bell (P)||3,016||1||4||13||-29|
|12||Alex Bowman (P)||3,015||1||2||7||-30|
Here is what all the drivers, Playoff contenders or not, will be facing.
Talladega Superspeedway Data
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
YellaWood 500 Data
Season Race #: 31 of 36 (10-02-22)
Playoff Race #: 5 of 10
Race Length: 188 laps / 500 miles
Stage 1 & 2 Length: 60 laps (each)
Final Stage Length: 68 laps
This is how the 12 remaining NASCAR Playoff drivers stack up at Talladega Superspeedway.
|Rank||Driver||Races||Poles||Wins||Top Fives||Top 10s||DNFs||Average Finish||Driver Rating|
There has not been a Playoff driver win a race to this point in the 2022 NASCAR post-season. Brad Keselowski has the most wins at Talladega among active drivers. He has six victories at the track. His most recent was the April race at the track last year. He could have a very good chance at playing spoiler to the Playoff drivers this week.
The “on the edge” nature of racing at Talladega will make it possible that anybody could win this week. A driver has to avoid being the wrong place at the wrong time during the race to be in the right place at the right time near the end of the race. That could present the chance for a win for anybody racing.
We will see how it all plays out Sunday, October 2nd at 1 p.m. central time (2 p.m. eastern time) in the YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
By: Buck Stevens