Talladega Superspeedway Huge Wild Card As NASCAR Playoffs Hit The High Banks

Stewart Haas Racing Sweeps Top 4 Starting Spots

Scott Stiller
October 14, 2018 - 11:31 am
Stewart Haas Racing's Kurt Busch Edges Teammates To Win Talladega Pole Position

Adam Hagy - USA TODAY Sports

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Talladega, AL (93.7 The Fan) - The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs continue today with the 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.  The race is the middle race of Round 2 in the playoffs with only Hendrick Motorsports Chase Elliott locked into Round 3 after his victory last week at Dover.

Elliott is not content to lay back with his No. 9 NAPA Chevy.  Elliott knows there are points available that could be crucial to advancing to the final round.

“I think it’s nice to be able to know you’re going to move on, but you can’t get complacent in the fact that you are moving on, and you can’t let those points just sit out there and not try to go get them because those bonus points you get for winning or winning a stage, that’s huge, and you need as many as you can get,” said Elliott. “One or two points could be the difference in you making the Round of 4 or not.  We are going to keep the hammer down and see what we can do”.

Elliott qualified fifth for today’s race, behind all four Stewart Haas Racing Ford’s.  Kurt Busch is on the pole followed by Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola.

“Man, that’s impressive,” said Busch about SHR going 1-4.  “It’s impressive teamwork.  It’s a commitment level to build restrictor plate cars at this level and to get all 4 of us up there.  It starts with Doug Yates and Roush Yates Engines”.

Bowyer's front row start is key because he is 10-points below the 8th place cut line, which is currently occupied by Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney.  Bowyer had a ball joint break at Dover sending him into the wall and ending his day early.

“We got ourselves in a hole right now, points-wise, but we’ve been there before and know what we have to do,” said Bowyer.  “It’s all about making good, quick, decisions by all of the team – the guys in the pits, my spotter and me in the racecar.  If we can do that, we will be in a great position to get another Talladega win and hopefully advance in the NASCAR Playoffs”.

Bowyer’s teammate Almirola is also in the bottom-four as far as advancing following a late-race accident at Dover.  Almirola sits 10th in points, 10-points behind Blaney too.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson is also below the cut line, 12-points behind Blaney going into today’s race.  He has some ground to make up not only in the points, but on the track where he qualified 34th for today’s race.  Larson’s teammate, Jamie McMurray, starts 3-places ahead in 31st position.

The 1000Bulbs.com 500 starts at 2 p.m. ET with television coverage beginning at 1 p.m. on NBC and can be heard on the radio on Motor Racing Network affiliates.

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