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Alabama 500

Horsepower Fantasy Racing: Picks for the Alabama 500

Since the inception of the 16-driver playoff field, this race has experienced mixed feelings for all involved.  The main reason:  this race decided who was in, and who was out, heading into the third round.  It meant in order to advance, the control factor was eliminated from the driver, but instead was in the hands of the others surrounding them.

It put fate as the way one would advance or not, and it had a lot of teams puzzled and conflicted in how to run it.

But this year, this race instead sets up the final race in the round.  But, that doesn’t mean things are not still risky for all involved.

How can they not be, because a track as big as Talladega, with it’s unpredictability, and unexpected moments, anything can and often has occurred.  Teams must trust themselves, and their fellow racers, to do the right move at the right moment, all to avoid calamity.  Even then, that is tough to avoid, because in a split second, what was a normal afternoon turns into a pile of wasted metal, fluid, and rubber.

This is Talladega, and it has become a race to worry and to fear, but also respect.

All the participants know this, because they too are gambling in order to achieve a victory.  A couple have already gotten away with avoiding what can happen in this race, because they are locked into the third round.  But, the rest are still undecided.

What is decided is their choice of winners.  Here’s who they picked to win the Alabama 500:

NOTE:  Writers in all caps are in the second round of playoffs.


MISAN AKUYA:  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

These playoffs have no magic.  The fattest two guys have won two races each.  Dale Earnhardt Jr in his final start in the 88 can provide some magic for us.  With six wins and nothing on the line except pride perhaps he pulls it off.

ROB BLOUNT:  Chase Elliott

No reason given.

BILLY FELLIN:  Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

He’s won at the last two plate races.

DALTON HASTINGS:  Martin Truex Jr.

No reason given.

ASHLEY HOBBS:  Clint Bowyer

Everything says to pick Ricky Stenhouse Jr.; 2 plate wins this year will do that. But, I think the pressure might get to him and his team. Therefore, I choose to go with Bowyer, a guy who has nothing to lose, and is also phenomenal at the plate tracks.

ASHLEY HULL:  Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

No reason given.


No reason given.

Klarissa Mitchell:  NO PICK

Deadline passed with no pick submitted.

Dustin Parks:  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

I’m not in the running for a title, but how can I not pick this guy one last time at this track.  It would be a perfect finish to a career at the plate tracks if he pulled this off.

Patti Rodisch:  Dale Earnhardt Jr.

No reason given.

SAL SIGALA JR:  Brad Keselowski

No reason given.

ROB TIONGSON:  Jamie McMurray

All of the focus for Chip Ganassi Racing’s Cup efforts have primarily been on Kyle Larson, and why not? Well, this Sunday, Jamie McMurray will win and remind us that the No. 1 car is number one…for this upcoming race day!


No reason given.


Playoff Standings following Charlotte:

Ashley Hobbs (3082) Martin Truex Jr. WON – [6] 2 40*

Misan Akuya (3079) Jamie McMurray finished 5th – [6] 0 38

Ashley Hull (3076) Martin Truex Jr. WON – [5] 2 34*

Sal Sigala Jr. (3073) Denny Hamlin finished 4th – [3] 0 30

Rob Blount (3058) Kyle Larson finished 10th – [3] 1 20

Ashley McCubbin (3045) Jimmie Johnson finished 7th – [1] 0 11

Rob Tiongson (3038) Kurt Busch finished 22nd – [3] 0 14

Billy Fellin (3034) Kyle Busch finished 29th – [4] 1 20

Penny Whitecotton (3034) Brad Keselowski finished 15th – [2] 1 12

Dalton Hastings (3033) Brad Keselowski finished 15th – [1] 1 11

Dustin Parks (2151) Martin Truex Jr. WON – [2]

Klarissa Mitchell (2148) Jamie McMurray finished 5th – [0]

Patti Rodisch (2140) Kevin Harvick finished 3rd – [2]

*Advanced into third round of Playoffs


Summary of Picks:

Dale Earnhardt Jr-3

Chase Elliott-2

Jamie McMurray-2

Ricky Stenhouse Jr-2

Clint Bowyer-1

Brad Keselowski-1

Martin Truex Jr-1

About Dustin Parks

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