Saturday’s Talladega Superspeedway qualifying sessions for the Sprint Cup series race will present a trio of firsts at NASCAR’s largest track.
Restrictor Plate Knockout Qualifying at Talladega
1. First and foremost, it will be the first time that we’ll be experiencing the knockout qualifying at a restrictor plate track.
It’s actually the second restrictor plate track since the new qualifying setup has been in practice. February’s Daytona 500 kicking off the 2014 still utilized the traditional single car qualifying setup.
New Qualifying Strategy at Talladega Superspeedway
2. With the knockout qualifying coming to Talladega, we’ll also be experiencing a new strategy on the track during qualifying. So far in 2014, you’ve seen drivers always attempt to be out on the track solo for the fastest run possible. Not at Talladega.
Expect pack racing during Sprint Cup qualifying for the fastest speeds possible. Quite possibly big teams such as Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing to have a slight advantage, having numbers for running in packs and setting up strategy. Smaller teams may try to piggyback, or disrupt. Either way, it should make for an entertaining set of qualifying sessions.
With all of this, the risk of accidents during the qualifying sessions increases.
Broadcasting on Fox’s Main Network
3. Because of number 1 and number 2, the Fox network has decided to broadcast the Sprint Cup qualifying on the Fox network, instead of the typical Fox Sports One or Fox Sports Two. It marks the first time Fox has broadcast a non-Daytona race’s qualifying session on its main network.
With all of this, Talladega should be as exciting as ever, and this is all just for Saturday’s qualifying. We’ve got a Nationwide qualifying session and race. Then wait for the main event on Sunday, where anyone who survives the race has a chance to win the race.