NASCAR makes its first of two scheduled trips to Alabama for the GEICO 500 this weekend, an event that debuted in 1970 and is one of the faster tracks on the schedule. In fact, the GEICO 500 is one of four races that will use restrictor plates. There are 12 drivers who have won this race at least twice.
We have picked the winner in each of the last six NASCAR events, so let’s keep the money train rolling.
Here are five drivers to consider putting on this week's card. (Odds weren’t available when this article was posted.)
Brad Keselowski - Brad Keselowski finished second last week and has now finished sixth or better in seven of his last eight races. And if we’re being honest, Keselowski should have won the Toyota Owners 400. Regardless, Keselowski is in great form and is the defending champion at this event, an event he has won three times. Keselowski has won four NASCAR races overall at the Talladega Superspeedway. Given his current frm and his history on this track, Keselowski has a chance to join Jeff Gordon as the only driver to win this race four times.
Joey Logano - Joey Logano has not had much success in the first Alabama race, as he's finished 25th or worse in each of his last five appearances. However, Logano has won two of his last four races at the Talladega Superspeedway and does have six top-10 finishes overall. Of course, Logano is also coming off a victory at the Toyota Owners 400 and has posted five straight top-five finishes this season. This should be the year Logano drives well in the first Alabama race and gives himself a shot at back-to-back victories.
Kevin Harvick - Now that Logano is off the list for driver looking for his first win of the season, Kevin Harvick seems to be the next driver in line. Harvick has three straight top-five finishes and has finished in the top-10 in eight of his last 12 races overall. As for his history in Alabama, Harvick won this race in 2010 and has posted top-10 finishes in four of his last six appearances overall at the Talladega Superspeedway. Harvick hasn't gone this long without winning a race since the 2012 season. He’s due, which is what I said about Lagano last week. I like Harvick this weekend.
Jimmie Johnson - Jimmie Johnson snapped his two-race winning streak with an 11th place finish last week, but he’s still driving well enough to be on the card for a fourth straight week. Few drivers are in better form than Johnson right now, and he’s going to a race that he's won twice. Johnson hasn’t finished better than 18th in his last three appearances at the Talladega Superspeedway, but I’m still backing on the trend of him stringing together multiple wins once he tastes victory lane. More wins are coming. Johnson has a good shot to become the eighth racer to win this event at least three times.
Denny Hamlin - Denny Hamlin is another driver looking to win his first race of the season and actually hasn’t won since his September victory in the Federated Auto Parts 400. The good news is Hamlin has posted back-to-back top-10 finishes, which includes a third place finish last week. Also, Hamlin won this event in 2014 and has finished in the top-10 in 50 percent of his last six appearances at the Talladega Superspeedway overall. We’ve seen eight different drivers win races this season, so might as well play the odds of another guy getting the victory who has been inching closer and closer.