How the 12 remaining playoff drivers fare at Talladega

Yahoo Sports
Welcome to Talladega. (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire)
Welcome to Talladega. (Photo by David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire)

Welcome to the second round of the NASCAR playoffs. Before each playoff race we’re taking a look at how each of the playoff drivers have done at the track hosting the upcoming race.  Let’s look at the stats from Talladega.

Alex Bowman

6 starts
1 top 10
Average finish: 27.3

Bowman’s lone top 10 came in the spring, his first race at Talladega with Hendrick Motorsports. He finished eighth. He crashed in three of his first four Talladega starts.

Kyle Larson

9 starts
2 top 10s
Average finish: 21.3

Larson was on a run of three-straight top-15 finishes at Talladega before he crashed and finished last in the spring race. Larson’s best finish at Talladega is a sixth in the fall race of 2016.

Martin Truex Jr.

27 starts
2 top 5s, 8 top 10s
Average finish: 21.3

Truex has four-straight DNFs at Talladega. Can he make it five on Sunday? He’s crashed out of the last three races and started first and finished 40th in 2016 after his engine blew up just over 40 laps into the race. His best Talladega finish is a fifth all the way back in 2006.

Ryan Blaney

8 starts
1 top 5, 2 top 10s
Average finish: 20.5

Blaney finished fourth in his second Talladega start in the spring 2015 races. He’s finished 18th in each of the last two Talladega races.

Kyle Busch

26 starts
1 win, 6 top 5s, 7 top 10s,
Average finish: 20.5

Busch’s lone Talladega win came in 2008. He’s finished second and third in the 2016 and 2017 spring races but his fall race luck has been less than stellar. His last four finishes in the fall Talladega race are 40th, 11th, 30th (when JGR laid back) and 27th.

Joey Logano

19 starts
3 wins, 6 top 5s, 8 top 10s,
Average finish: 17.7

Logano has won three of the last six races at Talladega including the fall races in 2015 and 2016. He’s also the guy who won the spring race at the track and finished fourth in the fall of 2017. He should be a contender unless he gets wiped out in a crash.

Aric Almirola

17 starts
2 top 5s, 5 top 10s
Average finish: 17.2

Almirola has really turned his fortunes around at Talladega recently. He finished 10th in the spring of 2013 for his first Talladega top 10. His second didn’t come until the fall race of 2016 when he finished eighth. He’s been fourth, fifth, and seventh in the next three races. Another top 10 will go a long way.

Clint Bowyer

25 starts
2 wins, 6 top 6s, 12 top 10s
Average finish: 16.1

Bowyer won the fall races in 2010 and 211 at Talladega. Since then he’s finished in the top six times but none of those finishes have come in the last four races. He’s been 14th, 35th and 31st in his three races with Stewart-Haas Racing.

Kurt Busch

35 starts
8 top 5s, 19 top 10s
Average finish: 15.5

Busch was second to Logano in the spring. He’s got five top-10 finishes in the last six races, a run that stacks up very favorably compared to the rest of the playoff field.

Kevin Harvick

35 starts
1 win, 7 top 5s, 15 top 10s
Average finish: 15.1

Harvick’s lone Talladega win came in the spring of 2010. He’s been remarkably consistent with Stewart-Haas Racing and has finished outside the top 20 in just one of his nine Talladega starts with the team. Harvick doesn’t need the points to advance to the third round but if he did, Talladega wouldn’t be such a scary place.

Brad Keselowski

19 starts
5 wins, 7 top 5s, 11 top 10s
Average finish: 15.1

Here’s the guy who’s the co-favorite along with Logano. Keselowski won this race last year and also won in 2014 and 2016 at Talladega. He’s extremely boom-or-bust at the Alabama track. His finishes since the start of 2014 go 38th, first, 22nd, fourth, first, 38th, seventh, first, and 33rd.

Chase Elliott

5 starts
2 top 5s, 2 top 10s
Average finish: 13.2

Elliott has crashed out twice in his five Talladega starts but also has finishes of fifth and third. He even finished 16th in the fall race last year even though he crashed and failed to finish the final six laps of the race.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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