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THIS IS MORE THAN A RACE..

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THIS IS MORE THAN A RACE..

Post by Swiss Miss on Wed May 01, 2013 8:33 am




The Talladega jinx

Numerous strange occurrences at the track have led to rumors of Talladega Superspeedway being cursed. Stories of the origin of the curse vary. Some claim that a local Native American tribe held horse races in the valley where the track currently resides where a chief was killed when he was thrown from his horse. Others say that the site of the superspeedway was once an Indian burial ground. Still another version says that after the local tribe was driven out by the Creek nation for their collaborating with the forces of Andrew Jackson, a shaman put a curse on the valley.[8]
Since the construction of the track, many strange happenings and untimely deaths have fueled the rumors of a curse. In 1973, Bobby Isaac left his car during the race on lap 90 because of voices he claimed to have heard which told him to park his car and get out. Earlier on lap 14 in the same race, young driver Larry Smith died in a seemingly minor wreck. In 1974, the morning before the Winston 500, drivers and crews alike found multiple cars sabotaged by cut brake lines and sand in the gas tank.

To some, Bobby Allison's 1987 wreck described above was yet another reminder of the curse. In 1993, Bobby's son, Davey Allison, died in a helicopter crash in the infield of Talladega.

The "Big One"

Speeds in excess of 200 mph (320 km/h) are commonplace at Talladega. Talladega Superspeedway has the record for the fastest recorded time by a NASCAR stock car in a closed oval course, with the record of 216.309 mph set by Rusty Wallace on June 9, 2004.[7] Wallace circled the 2.66-mile (4.28-km) trioval in 44.270 seconds, which surpassed the previous record held by Bill Elliott (212.809 mph) set in 1987, but doesn't replace the record due to the fact it was a radio test and not a NASCAR sanctioned event. Buddy Baker was the first driver to test at a speed over 200 mph, with a 200.447 mph lap during testing on March 24, 1970. Baker's record was set while driving the #88 Chrysler Engineering Charger Daytona, which is currently undergoing restoration in Detroit, after being found in the late 1990s in Iowa. The late Benny Parsons was the first driver to qualify at over 200 mph, doing so in 1982 with a speed of 200.176 mph.

In May 1987, Bobby Allison, after a blown engine, cut his right-rear tire from the debris while going through the tri-oval portion of the track. The car was vaulted airborne. His car damaged a portion of the frontstretch catch fence, but did not enter the spectator area. NASCAR imposed rule changes to slow the cars after the incident, with a 1988 rule requiring cars running there and at Daytona to use restrictor plates. The most often cited reason is a fear that the increasing speeds were exceeding the capabilities of the tires available at the time, as high-speed tire failure had led to some gruesome crashes at slightly lower speeds. The plates limit the amount of air and fuel entering the intake manifolds of the engine, greatly reducing the power of the cars and hence their speed. This has led to an extremely competitive style of racing at Talladega and Daytona.


Racing at Talladega Superspeedway in 2008. Denny Hamlin in the #11, is leading Brian Vickers on the inside, racing alongside Ken Schrader in the #40. Paul Menard is leading Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne and Martin Truex, Jr. in the outside lane.

The reduced power affects not only the maximum speed reached by the cars but the time it takes them to achieve their full speed as well, which can be nearly one full circuit of the track. The racing seen at Talladega today is extremely tight; often in rows of three or four cars, and sometimes even five lanes wide on the straightaways throughout most of the field, as the track is wide enough to permit such racing. Breaking away from the pack is very difficult as well.

Such close quarters, however, makes it extremely difficult for a driver to avoid an incident as it is unfolding in front of him, and the slightest mistake can lead to a multi-car accident – dubbed "the Big One" by fans and drivers. It is uncommon, but possible, to see 20 or more cars collected in the crashes. Occasionally, cars go airborne. NASCAR has made several advances in safety over the years to lessen the chance of a car going airborne.



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Re: THIS IS MORE THAN A RACE..

Post by sangria on Wed May 01, 2013 10:42 am

Great blog, Cocoa!!

The background on the track, was very interesting......btw, I think Hamlin had indicated that he was returning, with this race.........
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Re: THIS IS MORE THAN A RACE..

Post by Swiss Miss on Wed May 01, 2013 11:21 am

sangria wrote:Great blog, Cocoa!!

The background on the track, was very interesting......btw, I think Hamlin had indicated that he was returning, with this race.........

Thanks San.

HAMLIN SAYS HE’LL START RACE AT TALLADEGA

Denny Hamlin says he will be back in a race car Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway -- if only to start the event.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver, out since suffering a compression fracture in a lower back vertebra in a crash March 24 at Auto Club Speedway, wrote Tuesday on Twitter that he had been cleared to start Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event on the 2.66-mile track. He’s then expected to turn his No. 11 car over to Brian Vickers, who has been driving the vehicle in his absence, and who will finish the race.

But by starting, Hamlin will get credit for whatever driver points are accumulated in the event -- which will bolster his hopes of contending for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Hamlin needs to be inside the top 20 in points to be eligible for a Wild Card spot in the playoff, and he currently stands 28th after sitting out the past four events. He enters Talladega 71 points behind 20th-place Kurt Busch.

“I can not wait to get back in the car,” Hamlin wrote on Twitter. “The smell of fuel and tires. Ahh.”

"Obviously, my injury is very, very hard because there is no exact science to the risk," Hamlin said at Richmond. "No one knows what the risk will be if I race this week or if I race two weeks from now. Bone healing is completely subjective. It takes bone healing a year most times to be 100 percent, so how do you quantify how much more risk is there this week versus two weeks down the road or three weeks down the road or two months down the road, so that's the tough part of it. Everyone is erring on the cautious side because no one ultimately wants to be responsible and have their name on the line of clearing a driver and then he goes out and gets hurt."

Hamlin has said for the past two weeks that his hope was to start the race at Talladega, a big track where he could likely pull onto pit road and get out of the car without losing a lap. His target for a full return has been the May 11 race at Darlington. There was no immediate indication Tuesday from either Hamlin or his JGR team that he would be able to go the full distance in that event.

If Hamlin’s recovery extends beyond Darlington, though, he would have to re-evaluate his return.

“Obviously, if it goes past Darlington our chances are crushed even harder,” he said at Richmond. “Eventually you have to have a shutdown point of not going out there and racing for nothing at a point. I think a recovery on the kind of surgery that I would like to have is about a month-and-a-half or so -- I could potentially come back maybe for the tail end of the year. I don't think anything would be season-ending, I guess you could say. Eventually you have to know the point at which you're looking at improbabilities of making the Chase and just being smart about it."
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Re: THIS IS MORE THAN A RACE..

Post by Swiss Miss on Wed May 01, 2013 11:57 am

Although Denny Hamlin tweeted yesterday that he plans to start at Talladega, NASCAR has confirmed medical clearance not yet given.
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Re: THIS IS MORE THAN A RACE..

Post by sangria on Wed May 01, 2013 3:24 pm

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Re: THIS IS MORE THAN A RACE..

Post by sangria on Wed May 01, 2013 4:04 pm

PENSKE PENALTIES UPHELD BY NASCAR
May 01, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com



Penske penalties remain in effect; Roger Penske plans to appeal the ruling to the Chief Appellate Officer

Penalties levied against Penske Racing after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway were upheld Wednesday afternoon.

The National Stock Car Racing Commission, a three-member panel, heard the team's appeal at the sanctioning body's research and development center in Concord, N.C.

Following the outcome, team owner Roger Penske said he would appeal the ruling to the Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook.

The Nos. 2 and 22 Penske Racing Fords of defending series champion Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano failed a pre-race inspection at Texas on April 13. NASCAR officials confiscated unapproved parts from the rear end housing, forcing both teams to scramble to make the starting grid.






DRIVER REPORTS FOLLOWING TOYOTA OWNERS 400

On April 17, NASCAR issued penalties to both teams, docking both drivers 25 championship points. Crew chief Paul Wolfe, car chief Jerry Kelley and engineer Brian Wilson of Keselowski's team, plus crew chief Todd Gordon, car chief Raymond Fox III and engineer Samuel Stanley of Logano's team were handed six-week suspensions. Wolfe and Gordon were also fined $100,000. Penske competition director Travis Geisler was also banned for six weeks.

All penalized Penske personnel, who were also placed on probation until Dec. 31, were on duty the last two race weekends pending the appeal
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Re: THIS IS MORE THAN A RACE..

Post by sangria on Wed May 01, 2013 4:07 pm

and from Jayski.....

UPDATE 2: The National Car Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel upheld the penalties Wednesday to the Penske Racing teams of #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-Joey Logano. Team owner Roger Penske said he would appeal the ruling to National Stock Car Racing Chief Appellate Officer John Middlebrook. "I can't make any comments, it's clear we have a process and I'm better off to wait to see that conclude," Penske said. "All I can say about the process is it's fair and equitable. We had an opportunity to explain our case in detail. We will move onto the next step."

The appeals panel of Pocono Raceway president Brandon Igdalsky, former NASCAR senior vice president Paul Brooks and Bowman-Gray Stadium operator Dale Pinilis took about five hours to hear arguments from both sides and deliberate on the decision. The three-person panel was chosen from a list of 49 eligible members.

"We take our inspection process very seriously," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "We believe we do a strong and credible job with it. The level playing field in the garage we believe is the best it's ever been. As the sanctioning body, we have to uphold the rules and regulations in the rulebook. The inspection process we believe in very strongly." Sprint Cup director John Darby presented NASCAR's side.

Team owner Roger Penske attended the hearing with chief lieutenants Walt Czarnecki (vice president of Penske Corp.) and Tim Cindric (Penske Racing president). Team manager Travis Geisler and crew chiefs Paul Wolfe (Keselowski) and Todd Gordon (Logano) also were present.(USA Today)(5-1-2013)
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Re: THIS IS MORE THAN A RACE..

Post by scouter534 on Thu May 02, 2013 6:59 am

Thanks Cocoa. Very interesting blog. San, BB looking sad in those pics.
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Re: THIS IS MORE THAN A RACE..

Post by Swiss Miss on Thu May 02, 2013 10:41 am



TALLADEGA THROWBACK THURSDAY!!

On this day in 1976, Buddy Baker won the Winston 500- his 3rd consecutive victory at 'Dega! This record held up until 2003 when Dale Jr. won the Aaron's 499, his 4th 'Dega victory in-a-row!
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Re: THIS IS MORE THAN A RACE..

Post by sangria on Thu May 02, 2013 11:49 am

LOL Scout..... I'm not worried....that boy will just take it out on Talladega....... oh, and...... voodoo
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Re: THIS IS MORE THAN A RACE..

Post by StAugustineFL on Fri May 03, 2013 6:13 am

Thanks Cocoa.

voodoo
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Re: THIS IS MORE THAN A RACE..

Post by Swiss Miss on Fri May 03, 2013 7:42 am

NASCAR FANTASY PREVIEW: TALLADEGA

Fortunately, for players of the NASCAR Fantasy Live game, winning is not everything. The game scores drivers in five categories and finishing position is only one of these. The other categories are laps led, fastest laps run, place differential and quality passes. Each week, the relative importance of these categories shifts and it is important to know where the majority of points will be earned. At Talladega Superspeedway, players will earn maximum points in the quality passes category.

A quality pass is a pass for position while a driver is running inside the top 15, so two statistics will be of primary importance. Drivers who spend the most laps racing in the top 15 are eligible for quality passing points and they earn the best average running positions.


The Favorites

At Talladega, Matt Kenseth has consistently been at the top of the charts in terms of average running position. In the past three races, his ranking in this category has been third or better, with a league-leading 3.23 in last year’s edition of the Aaron's 499. Quality passes are not only scored at the finish line, but at one of many scoring loops around the track. As the draft shuffles the leaderboard, even slight variations at the front of the field generate major points. Kenseth has also converted his time at the front of the field into some impressive finishes, with a third in last year’s Aaron's 499 and a victory in the fall Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500.

Jeff Burton is coming off an impressive Richmond run and that gives him momentum at the right time. In recent years, he has been one of the top performers on the plate tracks and along with only Kenseth, he swept the top-10 last year. His luck ran out at Daytona this February, but that does not mean it is gone for good. In the 2011 edition of this race, Burton had the second-best average running position to Clint Bowyer and he seems to be more comfortable in the lead pack than mired in traffic.

Likewise, Kurt Busch is coming off a top-10 finish at Richmond and he holds a steady wheel in the draft. From 2004 through 2007 he scored seven consecutive top-10s at Talladega and came close to winning in back-to-back races. His finishes have not been nearly as impressive in recent seasons, but he continues to accumulate points with solid runs at the front of the pack in the middle stages of races. In his last five attempts, he has been ranked in the top five in the average running position category three times.

Dark Horses

Greg Biffle enters the weekend with a four-race, top-15 streak at Talladega. Three of these strong runs were in the top 10 and last spring, he finished fifth in the Aaron's 499. He underscored that strong run with the second-best average running position of 6.2, which means he raced among the leaders for most of the afternoon. In the fall race, he finished sixth despite getting caught up in the last-lap melee and also scored the sixth-best average running position.

Toward the end of his career with Richard Childress Racing, Bowyer was one of the most successful drivers at Talladega. He won back-to-back fall races in 2010 and 2011, which were part of a five-race, top-10 streak. Numbers like that are not accumulated through luck alone and Bowyer posted the best or second-best average running position in three consecutive races. He has not lost any speed with Michael Waltrip Racing, but his strategy seemed to change last year and he spent a little less time with the leaders. Still, dollar for dollar he is one of the best values in the game.

Cap Values

On the plate tracks, players need to spread their money around instead of spending a lot on marquee drivers. Fortunately, there are some great opportunities to manage salary cap because there are always some strong part-time racers entered.

Michael Waltrip was within a straightway of winning last fall’s Good Sam 500 before he was wrecked by an unsuccessful block by Tony Stewart. He had a head of steam and was being ably pushed by Casey Mears, which would have scored not only first-place position points, but would have added 10 place differential points. Waltrip’s price tag this week is $12.50, which means there are only about a dozen cheaper options in the game.

Danica Patrick is worth the risk this week as well. Her performance in the Daytona 500 this February was eye-opening because she managed to stay out of trouble all afternoon. Everyone kept waiting for her to make that one mistake that would either trigger a "Big One" crash or get the No. 10 shuffled out of the draft, and while her lack of experience may have cost a position or two on the final lap, she nevertheless scored a top-10. In NASCAR, lightning occasionally strikes the same place twice.
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Re: THIS IS MORE THAN A RACE..

Post by Swiss Miss on Fri May 03, 2013 7:51 am

Fantasy Power Average

   Rk Driver Power Avg.


 1.  Matt Kenseth 10.85
 2.  Jeff Burton 10.87
 3.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. 11.26
 4.  Kyle Busch 11.57
 5.  Clint Bowyer 11.58
 6. Greg Biffle 13.64
 7.  Paul Menard 14.09
 8.  Kasey Kahne 14.18
 9. Kurt Busch 14.33
 10.  Joey Logano 14.78
 11.  Kevin Harvick 15.39
 12.  Brad Keselowski 15.51
 13.  Martin Truex Jr. 15.74
 14.  Denny Hamlin 15.97
 15.  Aric Almirola 16.13
 16.  Jeff Gordon 16.68
 17.  Elliott Sadler 16.83
 18.  Jamie McMurray 17.74
 19.  Juan Pablo Montoya 18.32
 20.  Tony Stewart 18.51
 21.  Brian Vickers 18.55
 22.  Regan Smith 19.03
 23.  David Reutimann 19.3
 24.  Jimmie Johnson 19.3
 25.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 20.29
 26.  Casey Mears 20.5
 27.  David Ragan 20.69
 28.  Marcos Ambrose 20.84
 29.  Ryan Newman 20.99
 30.  Trevor Bayne 21.84
 31.  Danica Patrick 22.12
 32.  Carl Edwards 22.37
 33.  Michael Waltrip 23.24
 34.  Mike Bliss 23.75
 35.  Landon Cassill 25.52
 36.  Bobby Labonte 27.02
 37.  Scott Speed 27.14
 38.  David Gilliland 27.82
 39.  Dave Blaney 27.87
 40.  Travis Kvapil 28.27
 41.  Terry Labonte 29.88
 42.  David Stremme 35.13
 43.  Josh Wise 37.33
 44.  Michael McDowell 37.64
 45.  JJ Yeley 37.81
 46.  Joe Nemechek 38.41

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Re: THIS IS MORE THAN A RACE..

Post by Swiss Miss on Fri May 03, 2013 7:56 am

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