The biggest wild card in the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs could be Sunday’s 500-mile race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
All 12 playoff drivers know a win Sunday advances them into the next round. But, an early accident Sunday on the treacherous track could put a major dent in any championship aspirations.
The race marks the fifth of 10 playoff races in 2022, but the second in the Round of 12. Four drivers will be eliminated from playoff contention after the Oct. 9 race on the Roval at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
No. 99 Tootsie’s Chevrolet driver Daniel Suárez enters Sunday’s race in Alabama sixth in points just 11 points inside the top-eight transfer positions with two races remaining. He knows there’s a chance to earn valuable points in each of the two stages at Talladega and even more with a good finish or a win.
Suárez arrives at Talladega after finishing 12th Sunday at Texas where he earned 13 bonus points by finishing fourth and fifth in the first two stages.
Scoring bonus points in Talladega might be a bit risky.
No track can gobble up a large amount of cars as quickly as Talladega. An early multicar accident would lead to a poor finish and no chance for bonus points, making advancing to the next round of the playoffs difficult.
Do you hang near the back of the pack, eschewing stage points, and hope for a good finish or do you charge to the front to earn stage points but risk becoming involved in “The Big One” so common to Talladega?
Tune in Sunday at 2 p.m. EDT on NBC to find out.
Trackhouse Racing PR