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Could Talladega open door for a record 20th winner? Friday 5: Will fan access to in-car cameras lead to calls for penalties? Alex Bowman to miss Talladega due to concussion-like symptoms Dr. Diandra: How much does Talladega shake up the playoffs? NASCAR weekend schedule for Talladega Superspeedway

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Talladega Superspeedway is known for high speeds, huge draft packs, sensational crashes and difficult finishes.

On Sunday (2:00 pm ET on NBC), this could be the site of a surprise entry.

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Nineteen different drivers have won cup races this season, setting the record. If a new winner appears on the victory track at Talladega on Sunday, it will be the first time in the history of the sport that 20 drivers have won races in a single season.

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One of the great things about this opportunity is that the rider with the undisputed best Talladega record among active riders is in a group that is still looking for victory in 2022. This is Brad Keselowski, who won six times at the biggest NASCAR track. . No other active driver has more than three. (Keselowski is tied for second on Talladega’s all-time win list with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon. Dale Earnhardt tops this list with 10).

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Talladega and Daytona tend to forfeit repeat winners. The last nine races on the two tracks have been won by nine different riders.

Other seasonal non-winners who could make it to Talladega:

Ryan Blaney “Blaney’s only win this year is in the All-Star race, so he’s still looking for his first points victory as he continues to chase the championship. He won at Talladega in 2019 and 2020.

Martin Truex Jr. Superfast tracks have become a hindrance to Truex’s career. In 70 races at Talladega and Dayton, he failed to win.

Arik Almirola – In a disappointing season, Almirola’s best result – fifth place – twice. He won at Talladega in 2018 but hasn’t made the top 10 in his last four runs.

Michael McDowell – McDowell’s best run in Talladega is third overall, but he is usually very competitive in the drafts in Talladega and Dayton, winning the 2021 Daytona 500.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Stenhouse won at Talladega in 2017 and is usually drafted.

Harrison Burton “Burton had a tough rookie season, but Talladega’s drafting quirks should work in his favor. The next win for team number 21 will be the 100th.

Justin Hailey Haley hasn’t hit the top 10 in Talladega’s five starts, but he showed potential last week with a third-place finish in Texas.

Corey Lajoie Lajoie started nine races in the Talladega Cup and led exactly one lap. His best result is seventh.

Noah Gragson – Gragson, the star of this season’s Xfinity, is 48th in Hendrick Motorsports and Alex Bowman is out due to concussion symptoms. He could be a threat in the Talladega draft.

Did NASCAR make the right decision to fine William Byron 25 points and $50,000 per spin? Denny Hamlin under a warning two days after the incident?

The answer to this question will be given in the Hendrick Motorsports appeal.

But this raises a broader issue. Given that fans have more access to the video elements of the sport, what influence can or should they have in identifying potential penalties in the future?

Scott Miller, NASCAR’s senior vice president of competitions, admitted after last weekend’s race in Texas that series officials didn’t see Byron hit Hamlin.

MORE: Alex Bowman to miss race at Talladega

While video from the U.S. broadcast showed Byron spinning Hamlin, the spokesperson may have wondered if Hamlin checked Byron’s brake and initiated contact, rather than Byron colliding with him.

The matter was cleared up three minutes after green flag racing resumed when Byron’s in-car camera video was posted to NASCAR’s Twitter account showing him crashing into the back of Hamlin’s car.

After the race, Byron admitted he ran into Hamlin, although Byron said he did not want to spin Hamlin. Byron was upset by how Hamlin overtook him a few laps earlier, causing Byron to crash into the wall.

“I didn’t want to piss him off,” Byron said after the race. “This is definitely not what I was going to do. I wanted to hit him a little and show my displeasure, and, unfortunately, that’s what happened.”

The car camera video from Byron’s car was what fans could see as part of a program that began with the start of the playoffs. Fans can view in-car camera images from every car in the race through the NASCAR mobile app and on NASCAR Drive on

The TV broadcast did not have access to these views in the car. Miller noted that officials also had no access. This is likely to change.

In this case, it was the NASCAR social media account that kept people informed about what Byron had done. Looking ahead, what if a fan notices something that officials don’t notice and TV doesn’t show? What if this fan posts a video clip of an accident from a specific car camera? Should this result in a penalty either during the tournament or a few days later?

Golf has faced a similar problem over the last decade. before stating that as of January 1, 2018, the game’s main pro tours will no longer accept calls or emails from fans who think they’ve noticed a rule violation. Instead, the PGA Tour, LPGA, PGA of America and others have said they will appoint at least one official to monitor all televised coverage of the tournament and resolve any rule issues.

“It’s a tough deal” Ryan Blaney said. “Especially with the rise of social media and all the accessibility that the Internet can give with all these live streams from every single machine, which I think is a good idea, but there can be some controversy in certain situations.”

Those who watched the Cup race last weekend posted a video of the violation. NASCAR not fined Ty Gibbs after slamming the door Ty Dillon on pit road during the race. Video footage of the incident quickly surfaced on social media shortly after the incident.

Series officials usually review races on Tuesday, and this gives them a chance to evaluate penalties for incidents they have gathered more information about.

NASCAR deducted 25 points from Gibbs and fined him $75,000 for Tuesday’s incident. It was his second pit road contact penalty this year. Gibbs was fined $15,000 for the hit-and-run Sam Mayercar on pit road after the Xfinity race in Martinsville.

Another key issue with refereeing in any sport: is it better to be right even if it happens a couple of days after the event, or if something is missed during the event, then so be it?

Section 4.4.C of the Cup Rulebook states that riders can be forfeited 25-50 points (driver and team owner points), fined $50,000-$100,000, and/or suspended indefinitely or terminated for a series of events including ” Intentional crash of another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle has been withdrawn from competition.”

So even if NASCAR penalized Byron during the competition, officials could have penalized him even more on Tuesday. This is not a situation where there is a penalty during the race or after. It could be both.

Ryan Blaney says he would prefer the decision made at the moment, and if not, let him go.

“I don’t want to wonder if something will happen in a few days,” he said. “I think you need to take a little more time and try to get things right at the moment because a lot of these things can change the course of the game.”

Byron’s penalty is an example. He left Texas third in the playoff standings, 17 points above the cutoff line. With a penalty, he is eight points below the cut line.

2. Race for milestone points

One of the questions before Sunday’s Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway (2:00 pm ET on NBC) is what playoff drivers should be doing. Should they ride in the back to increase their chances of reaching the finish line and scoring big? Or should they run ahead and score stage points, while at the same time being at greater risk of getting into an accident?

Kyle Larsonwho is 23 points above the cut line in third, said he didn’t see playoff drivers riding in the back.

“There are so many stage points at stake, and if you can get those stage points, then even if you crash, you’ll have a decent day of points,” he said. “I foresee everyone racing pretty hard.”

If any rider is riding in the back at the start of a stage, they will likely need to finish in the top 10 with 10 laps per stage to have a good chance of earning stage points.

In the spring Talladega race, 75% of the top 10 riders with 10 laps to go in any of the first two stages finished in the top 10 and scored points.

Larson scored 17 points at Talladega. Add that to his fourth place and he left with 50 points. Only three other riders scored over 40 points in that race: Martin Truex Jr. (45) Chase Elliott (44) and winner Ross Chastain (42).

All four of these riders were also in the top ten with 10 laps to…


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