Who is hot and cold entering the Alabama 500 at Talladega

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Recent races at Talladega Superspeedway usually deliver in the last 10 laps, if not the last one.

Only twice in the last 26 races has the final green-flag run lasted longer than 10 laps.

In the 94-race history of the 2.66-mile track, there have been 23 last-lap passes for the win. In the 12 Chase for the Sprint Cup races it’s held, there have been seven.

However, four of the last six races, including the last two visits, have ended under caution.

But this is Talladega. None of these numbers mean anything. Bring on the chaos.

Here’s who is hot and cold entering the Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Brad Keselowski

  • Lost 32 points to the bubble at Kansas after an accident left him with his season-worst finish of 38th and his first DNF since the 2015 Daytona 500.
  • Finished top 10 in seven of the last eight races.
  • Won the fall 2014 Talladega race in a must-win situation. Has won at Talladega three times in 11 races and is the only repeat winner in that time.
  • Won May Talladega race and the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.

Kyle Busch

  • Top-10 finishes in the last six races, best streak of 2016.
  • One of two drivers with top-10 finishes in all five Chase races in 2016 (Matt Kenseth).
  • Finished 25th or worse in 11 of 22 Talladega starts.
  • Finished in the top three in all three restrictor-plate races this season.
  • Kansas was first Chase race this year he didn’t lead a lap in.

Matt Kenseth

  • Top-10 finishes in the last five races, including two runner-up results.
  • Since 2013 Daytona, has finished 14th or worse in 12 of 15 restrictor-plate races.
  • Only one finish of 20th or better in last six Talladega starts.

Jimmie Johnson

  • Finished top 10 in the last four races, best streak of 2016 after having only four top 10s in the
    prior 18 races.
  • 363 laps led in the Chase, 266 in the regular season.
  • One top 10 in last six Talladega starts.
  • Already advanced to Round of Eight with Charlotte win.

Who is cold

Carl Edwards

  • Finished fifth in this race last year, his only top-20 finish in the last five races at Talladega.
  • Two top 10s in last seven races.
  • Seven DNFs in 24 Talladega starts.
  • Top five at Kansas was first since Kentucky in July.

Chase Elliott

  • Won pole at Talladega in May and finished fifth.
  • Results of 31st and 33rd (DNF) at Kansas and Charlotte.
  • Top 10s in four of the last eight races.
  • Last on the Chase grid, 25 points back from eighth.

Martin Truex Jr.

  • After winning two races in the first round, finished outside top 10 at Charlotte and Kansas.
  • Had an issue in 23 of the 31 races this season, including a fueling problem at Kansas.
  • Four top 10s in the last seven races at Talladega (finished 13th in May).
  • Five top 10s in the last 14 plate races (nearly won the 2016 Daytona 500).

Other notes of interest ahead of the Alabama 500.

  • The No. 24 car has won the last three poles at Talladega. Two with Jeff Gordon in 2015 and one with Chase Elliott in May.
  • Team Penske has won three of the last four Talladega races. All four of its Talladega wins have come in the last nine races.
  • Hendrick Motorsports has led the most laps in four of the last six Talladega races, but won only once (Dale Earnhardt Jr., May 2015).
  • The driver leading the most laps won only two of the last 13 races at Talladega (Keselowski, May 2016; Earnhardt, May 2015).