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Y! Sports picks: Good Sam 500

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Track Facts

Venue: Talladega Superspeedway
Race length: 500 miles
No. of laps: 188
Qualifying: Sat., Noon ET
Race: Sun., 2:20 p.m. ET (ESPN)
STAT OF THE WEEK
Polar opposites: In 21 races at Talladega, Jimmie Johnson has 8 DNFs. Brad Keselowski has just one in seven starts.
MAY RACE
Top 5
1. Brad Keselowski
2. Kyle Busch
3. Matt Kenseth
4. Kasey Kahne
5. Greg Biffle
RECENT WINNERS
2011: Clint Bowyer
2010: Clint Bowyer
2009: Jamie McMurray
2008: Tony Stewart
2007: Jeff Gordon
2006: Brian Vickers
2005: Dale Jarrett
2004: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2003: Michael Waltrip
2002: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
ALSO THIS WEEKEND:
Camping World Series
Fred's 250, Talladega Superspeedway, Sat., 4:22 p.m.

EXPERT STANDINGS
NOTE: Jay Hart ended the regular season with 816 points, followed by Jay Busbee with 775 and Nick Bromberg with 755.
Hart:  2138 points (5 wins)
Bromberg:  2128 points (1 win)
Busbee:  2125 points (3 wins)
YAHOO! SPORTS FANTASY AUTO RACING
Check your team | Expert picks
Talladega preview (PDF)

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Talladega Superspeedway for Sunday's Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500.

Clint Bowyer is the defending race winner.

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Who Will Win?

Jeff Gordon: Ole Four-time is running good enough to win a championship, but he needs to win a few races and then get a little help to get there. He can get both Sunday at Talladega, in what could be his last best chance to climb back in the hunt. The pick here is he gets the win. As for the help, well, we'll see. – Jay Hart

Clint Bowyer: Rawhide will make it three straight wins in the Talladega Fall race and grab his third win of 2012. Plus, a win on Sunday moves Bowyer from the periphery of the championship discussion to smack dab in the middle of it. Raise your hand if you predicted that at the beginning of the season. Yeah, thought so.– Nick Bromberg

Brad Keselowski: Back in May, Keselowski figured out how to master the supposedly tandem-only Talladega track running all by himself, holding off Kyle Busch for an impressive win. Since then, he's established himself as a legit championship contender, and Talladega is fast becoming one of his favorite tracks. He's on a roll, he's in familiar territory … what's not to pick?– Jay Busbee

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Top Storyline

We went almost 700 laps from Jeff Gordon's Chicago wall-slam to Matt Kenseth's spin-and-bump at Dover on Sunday with the only things in between being green-flag racing and debris cautions. Don't count on us getting close to that number until after Talladega, as the question is when, not if, the first crash will happen. – Nick Bromberg

Just a warning, friends: This could be a horribly boring Talladega. I hope it's not, but the possibility is there, simply because of the mathematical burden of a terrible finish. Three drivers are firmly in the hunt, and at least two are all but out of it. That leaves about half a dozen with at least a faint chance of getting back in the Cup mix. Think they're going to risk their season on a daring move? Nope. So those of you waiting for the Big One might, just might, have to wait till next spring. – Jay Busbee

What strategy will Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Brad Keselowski employ? In the past, Johnson has gone conservative while Keselowski has gone aggressive. Keep an eye on the Blue Deuce. He will dictate what everyone else will do. – Jay Hart

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FROM THE SOURCE

"[Talladega is] definitely is the one track in the Chase I’ve kind of been a little concerned about. There are a lot of great tracks for the 48 coming up in the Chase, but this one is definitely one where anything can happen." – Jimmie Johnson

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