Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch have this in common: Each has won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway – Harvick in 2010 and Busch in 2008.
Both remain serious contenders for the championship entering the second half of the Chase. Harvick is third, 29 points behind leader Matt Kenseth. Busch stands fifth, 37 points arrears. The largest comeback after five Chase races was 146 points by Jimmie Johnson in 2006. That was under the “old” point structure. Under the current one, that deficit equates to roughly 35 points. In other words, a comeback like the one Harvick and Busch have to make is not unprecedented.
Those are the positives. The not-so-good news is their three key rivals entering Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 500 entering Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 500 entering Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 500 – Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon – also have victories, nine of them to be exact.
The take-away is that Harvick and Busch must elevate their Talladega performances if they’re to make gains this week. That didn’t happen when the series visited Talladega in May. Harvick finished 40th, eliminated by the multi-car accident at lap 44 that also hobbled Busch. The latter driver wound up 37th, 54 laps behind winner David Ragan.
Busch was third in last fall’s ’Dega event; Harvick finished 11th.
Harvick’s Talladega Driver Rating is 77.0, 20th-best and nearly 15 points behind his season-to-date mark. His average track finish is 16.4.
Busch’s stats are similarly below par: 16th- best Driver Rating (79.9) with an average finish of 22.9. The latter number makes Talladega the driver’s third worst track behind Kansas and Homestead-Miami speedways.
“Don’t wreck; that’s the perfect strategy,” said Harvick. “How you do that I don’t know, but I’m hoping we have the luck we need to make sure that we don’t have any major issues this weekend.”