- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Chase leaders hope to avoid Talladega carnage
Question of the Day
TALLADEGA, ALA. (AP) - They plan and tinker, double-check this and triple-check that.
Then, they cross their fingers, stick a rabbit’s foot in their race suits, and hope the luck goes their way.
That, in essence, is Talladega Superspeedway.
“My outlook is like everybody else’s,” said Jeff Burton, who will start Sunday’s Sprint Cup race on the outside of the front row. “I hope I miss the big wreck. If you make it through that part, you can be there at the end.”
By the end of the weekend, the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship could be a whole lot clearer _ or just a big ol’ mess.
Talladega is the biggest wild card among the five playoff races left on the schedule, meaning it’s still a little too early to declare points leader Matt Kenseth or the guy in his rearview mirror, Jimmie Johnson, as the only drivers with a legitimate chance to win the Cup.
For those farther back, including Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon, this might be the best chance to make a big move in the standings.
“We recognize where we are in the points and that this could be a turning point for us,” said Gordon, who trails Kenseth by a rather-daunting 36 points and teammate Johnson by 32. “We need to come out of here with a pretty solid finish and make up some of those points that we’re behind right now. This is a track that we can do it at.”
Talladega is the longest, fastest oval in the series, but horsepower-sapping restrictor plates lead to tightly bunched racing at 200 mph _ putting a premium on working with others in the draft and avoiding the slightest bobble that can cause a crash that takes out a huge pack of cars.
There’s a sense that good fortune is as much a part of the Talladega strategy as making the proper adjustments on the cars or getting out of the pits faster than anyone else.
Just ask David Ragan, who stunningly claimed a victory for Front Row Motorsports in the spring race at Talladega. Getting a boost on the final lap from teammate David Gilliland, who was drafting on his rear bumper, Ragan passed three of the biggest names in the sport _ Kenseth, Johnson and Carl Edwards. Gilliland made it a 1-2 finish for the tiny, underfunded team.
Ragan called it “a true David vs. Goliath moment.”
Nah, that’s just Talladega.
“The chances of that perfect storm happening in two consecutive races at Talladega is probably not realistic,” Ragan said. “We’re certainly not counting on any situations like that to come out thin air late in the race.”
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
- House backs faster deportations, cancels 'Dreamer' policy
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors