I do not like to speculate about who is doing what in the Chase until after this week’s race is done. The great equalizer, or the great points bump draft, has arrived in the largest track on the circuit known as Talladega.
With restricter plate racing on tap this weekend, we are not really sure who will be part of the Big One and who will avoid the large wrecks. Get caught in the big wreck and you can go from leading the points to being out of contention. Just ask Jeff Gordon how fast you can drop spots in the Chase.
You also have to consider engine durability in this race as well. The drivers will have the pedal pushed wide open the entire race. Losing an engine can be a bigger shot to championship dreams than a wreck. There is no fixing a ruined motor.
The point I am making is that we will truly separate the contenders from the pretenders at the end of the race on Sunday. Some drivers can still afford a bad race and others cannot. If the points leaders struggle, all could very well be alive for the title after Sunday. Drivers that have struggled, struggle again, and your racing for wins the rest of the year with the title out of sight.