Enter the wild card race in the chase where anything can happen and usually does.Ã‚Â where the points leader can wreck and the points followers can win.Ã‚Â Where an unknown can find his way to the front in the final laps and leave the contenders behind….. and where the Hollywood types like to strut their stuff.Ã‚Â We’ve seen Talledega Nights and now on the eve of halloween we have “The Legend of Hallowdega”.
Award-winning filmmaker Terry Gilliam will premiere his short film THE LEGEND OF HALLOWDEGA starring David Arquette and Justin Kirk with special appearances by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Darrell Waltrip and more on October 31st, 2010.Ã‚Â The film, produced by AMP Energy Juice and @radical.media, will premiere on Halloween Sunday with the first chapter to debut on ESPN just prior to the start of the AMP Energy Juice 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Starting Halloween night, the film will be available in its entirety on www.LegendofHallowdega.com. THE LEGEND OF HALLOWDEGA is the first short film for both Gilliam and AMP Energy Juice.
Back on the track the qualifying order has been determined and practice speeds have definitely been something to watch.Ã‚Â While qualifying in the 14th and 20th spots the Joe Gibbs team mates Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin have been burning up the track in practice.Ã‚Â Both achieving speeds ofÃ‚Â 201 mph using the “2 car hookup” that has shown us before how fast you can really go on this track.Ã‚Â We’ve seen this in past visits to Talledega with the spectacular wreck of Carl Edwards flying into the catch fence after teaming up with Brad Kesolowski to blow past the field.Ã‚Â We saw it back in April as Jamie McMurray and Kevin Harvick did just the same thing and Harvick pulled off the slingshot pass to win it at the line.Ã‚Â These very elements is what makes this race so fun to watch.
But in the end it is less about team mates and more about who you are working well with on the track.Ã‚Â Kyle Busch may have worked well with Denny Hamlin in practice but will that translate to track position at the end of the race?
“You’re just trying to make sure there’s no rubs, your splitter height is right,” Busch said. “You’re getting the [spring] travels. You’re making sure your car is set to its optimums that you look for every time you come to Daytona or Talladega.
“And then once you get out there in the race, you pick who you can run well around. Does my car draft well with [Denny Hamlin] or doesn’t it? If it doesn’t, I’m probably not a guy that he’s going to want to come find at the end of the race. I’ll try to find the other guys that I tend to run well and see what happens.”
For a change Jeff Burton agrees with Kyle Busch.
“Some of it is timing,” Burton said. “Some of it is you catch a guy at the right time. If you are third in line and your teammate is behind you, he can push you all you want. You aren’t going any faster than the guy that is in front of you.
“You have to be in a position where you can have a breakaway and that is very difficult to fabricate. That is something that kind of happens on its own. If you are leading the race, I think you can fabricate that pretty well. If you are the first two cars in a line, you tend to make that thing happen. but if you’re not in the front of the pack, it is really hard to put all that stuff together to be able to take advantage of it.”
Dale Jr is always a force at Talledega with the skills he learned from Sr. in regards to restrictor-plate racing.Ã‚Â We saw it at Daytona this year at the 500 when he made a charge to the front with only 10 laps to go and wound up finishing second to Jamie McMurray .Ã‚Â We’ve seen it in the past when Dale finds a car he likes and gets it through the field better than most of the rest.Ã‚Â Ã‚Â The Earnhardt legacy does live on but can Jr finally pull off a win to break his longest ever winless streak in cup racing?
With Greg Biffle qualifying place being the best out of the chasers will he be one to watch?Ã‚Â With Tony Stewart’s ability to run from the back to the front at restrictor-plate tracks will he be making moves or hanging out and playing it safe?Ã‚Â Will the points leaders simply try to survive and stay out of “The Big One” or will they try and move towards the front and extend the points leads even further?Ã‚Â Jimmie Johnson’sÃ‚Â 18th place qualifying start certainly doesn’t speak volumes to the hard charge to the front ideal but as we all know it’s really only the last lap that matters in a 500 mile race.Ã‚Â Jeff Gordon bested his team mate by 9 positions in qualifying and has placed himself in 9th on the starting grid but will it be enough to climb out of the ever increasing points gap that he has been falling into?Ã‚Â Will Kevin Harvick be able to survive from a 34th place start in a race where the wreckÃ‚Â happens fast and being in the back of the pack can easily lead to destruction when the field blows up in front of you.Ã‚Â Then again as the qualifying times are determined today we will begin to get a better picture of how this is all going to play out.
So many factors to bear in mind as we enter this weeks race and only 3 races to follow to fix the points damage that may ensue from carnage at Hallowdega.