Winning at Charlotte ease the tension of Talladega

Ryan Blaney (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

CONCORD, N.C. –  The Oct. 15 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is all but certain to have a profound effect on the Playoffs.

Though Talladega isn’t an elimination race per se, the random nature of events at a restrictor-plate track can elevate the championship prospects of drivers who avoid the inevitable “big one” and dash the hopes of those who don’t.

But there’s a strategy that can make the outcome at Talladega moot. Just win Sunday’s Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and lock up a spot in the next round before heading to the heart of Alabama. That, says playoff driver Ryan Blaney, is the only way to approach Talladega with any sense of comfort.

“If we’re in Victory Lane (at Charlotte), to be honest with you, I feel that’s the only way that you can really feel good about heading into a speedway like (Talladega),” Blaney said. “Even if you win a couple stages, yeah, that’s great and you have a bunch of gap.

“But you can go out and get caught in one before the first stage and lose a bunch. I don’t think you can ever feel comfortable going into a speedway race unless you’re locked in. Hopefully we can win the race. That’s our main goal. Maybe a solid day helps out. I don’t think you really be comfortable unless you win the race going into next week.”

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.