It’s almost a guarantee that Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway will be just what the title sponsor suggests — a monster.
It will be the first year that Talladega serves as the middle race in the Round of 12 instead of the second-round elimination race.
But that doesn’t mean the intensity will be any less. Actually, it might make it even greater.
With the comfort in knowing next week’s cutoff race at Kansas offers a final chance if something goes haywire at unpredictable Talladega, drivers likely will be more inclined to take bigger risks to earn important stage points. That could transfer into three breathtaking sprints to the finish line at the 2.66-mile Alabama track.
We asked three past Talladega winners — Jamie McMurray, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Brad Keselowski — the keys to rolling into Victory Lane.
And just in case you need their credentials, Talladega is home to maiden Monster Energy Series victories for both Stenhouse (2017) and Keselowski (2009). Keselowski has gone on to earn three more wins, while McMurray has scored a pair of victories — in 2009 and 2013 — at the restrictor-plate track.
So, what does it take to win at ‘Dega? We’ll let the experts tell you.