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NASCAR weekend schedule for Talladega Superspeedway Alex Bowman to miss Talladega due to concussion-like symptoms Dr. Diandra: How much does Talladega shake up the playoffs? Short-track ace Sam Ard shares Xfinity record with Noah Gragson Drivers to watch in Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway

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The NASCAR Cup Series playoffs are moving to Talladega Super Speedway, the center of uncertainty, for the second race of the Round of 16 this weekend.

Sunday’s race (2:00 pm ET, NBC) may result in the first driver entering Round 8. Any playoff driver who wins the race automatically advances to the next round.

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To date, in the playoffs, playoff drivers have scored zero points in the race win category. Non-Playoff Drivers – Tyler Reddick Chris Buescher, Bubba Wallace as well as Eric Jones – won the first four playoff races.

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Joey Logano leads the playoff points by entering the race. Ross Chastainwho won at Talladega earlier this year is in second place.

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Four drivers below the cut line Austin Sindrik, William Byron, Christopher Bell as well as Alex Bowman. Earlier this week, Byron was above the line but was penalized 25 points for a spin. Denny Hamlin under caution last Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway. This movement is filmed Chase Briscoe above the cut line.

Playoff races are also scheduled for the Xfinity Series (Saturday, 4:00 PM ET, US Network) and Camping World Truck Series (Saturday, 12:30 PM, FS1) in Talladega.

Here is the Talladega weekend schedule:

Talladega Superspeedway (Cup, Xfinity and Truck)

Weekend weather

Friday: Sunny. High 78.

Saturday: Partly cloudy. High 74.

Sunday: Intervals of clouds and sun. High 75.

Friday, September 30

(All time Eastern)

Garage open

  • 9:00 – 18:00 – Truck Series
  • 10:30 – 19:30 – Xfinity Series
  • 14:00 – 19:00 – Series Cup

Activity Tracking

  • 15:30 – 17:00 – Truck Series qualification
  • 17:30 – 19:00 – Xfinity Series Qualifier (US Network)

Saturday, October 1

Garage open

  • 8:30 – 12:30 – Cup Series
  • 9:30 – Truck series
  • 13:00 — Xfinity Series

Activity Tracking

  • 10:30 AM – Noon – Cup Series Qualifier (NBC Sports App, Motor Racing Network, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio)
  • 12:30 – Truck Series Race (94 laps, 250 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
  • 4:00 pm Xfinity Series Race (113 laps, 300 miles; USA Network, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sunday, October 2

Garage open

  • 11:00 – Cup Series

Activity Tracking

  • 2:00 pm – Cup Series Race (188 laps, 500 miles; NBC, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Alex Bowmanwho is last in the playoff standings will miss Sunday’s Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway after experiencing concussion symptoms after a crash at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend, Hendrick Motorsports said Thursday afternoon.

Noah Gragson replace Bowman.

Talladega Superspeedway is known for shaking up the playoffs. But how well deserved is this reputation?

Playoff drivers usually view the first race in the second round of the playoffs as their best chance to score points, earn stage points, and possibly even win, given that Talladega is the second race. Now that Texas is in the rearview, let’s point our data analysis tools at Talladega.

Shake index

Determining how much a single race contributes to playoff standings requires a simple metric that applies to all the years NASCAR has hosted stages and playoffs. In a rare occasion, Talladega’s consistency remains the 31st race of the season since stage racing began in 2017.

After trying a couple of different approaches, I finally settled on playoff rankings. These ratings are a zero-sum game. For every driver that climbs a position, another driver must move down.

The first graph shows the playoff ranking by race for the second segment of the 2021 playoffs. It’s a bit of a mess, but stay with me.

Scatter plot of rank changes to help determine how much Talladega is actually shaking.

The playoff ranking is located on the left side of the graph. The highest rated driver is at the top and 12th ranked at the bottom.

The far left set of points shows Bristol’s ranking after eliminating the four worst-performing riders and re-seeding the rest. The second column of points shows the ranking after Las Vegas, which was the first race in the second round in 2021.

Each rider is represented by a different color and lines connect their ratings. For example, dark purple lines show Denny Hamlin moving up from third to first in those three races. The light blue lines at the bottom show Alex Bowman fell from seventh place to twelfthth.

The more erratic the lines were between the two races, the more shocking the playoffs were. Because it’s hard to measure “clutter”, I counted each time one driver’s line crossed another driver’s line.

Each intersection indicates that the two riders have switched positions in the rankings. The number of crossovers between Bristol and Las Vegas, for example, tells you how much Las Vegas rocked the standings.

Three intersecting lines count as three shakes because three pairs of drivers intersect.

In 2021, there were nine intersections in Las Vegas, 13 in Talladega, and only five in Roval. This seems to be consistent with our hypothesis that Talladega is the biggest shaker in the second round.

Timeline of Talladega

In addition to being just one point, the 2021 Talladega contest poses another challenge. Bubba Wallace won a rain-shortened race that ran 311 miles instead of the planned 500 miles.

This raises the possibility that 2021 may not be the most representative year for Talladega racing. So I repeated the analysis starting from 2017. Since before 2017 we had no stage races and therefore no stage points, it makes no sense to compare previous years.

The table below shows the shakeout index for 2017-2021. Please note that the first and third races have changed from year to year.

Table summarizing the shake-in index for Talladega and other races in the second round of the playoffs from 2017 to 2021.

Five years of data shows that Talladega hasn’t always been the race that rocked this playoff round the most. From 2017 to 2019, this honor was given to Dover and Charlotte. It’s amazing, especially in 2017. This year, 26 out of 40 cars failed to finish in Talladega and NASCAR races. parked Jimmie Johnson as well as Matt DiBenedetto.

In 2020, the three races had roughly the same shake-out figures.

Roval was the third playoff race in just two years. Things have been just as chaotic with Talladega in terms of impact on the standings in 2020, but less so in 2021. Kansas beat Roval for moving up the playoff standings twice.

Caution for the first race

If you’re surprised to see a big shake-up for the first race in the second round of the playoffs, you’re not alone.

The 2021 Las Vegas Fall race was surprisingly uneventful. There were only two DNFs, both not from the playoffs. And one car accident that, again, did not involve a playoff car. However, he had a shakeout index of nine.

Turns out it’s a side effect of the refill protocol.

The graph below shows the same time period as the ranking graph, but shows the total points for the top 12 drivers.

Scatter chart showing how the points of the top 12 playoff drivers in 2021 have changed in the second round of the playoffs.

Immediately after reseeding, the riders are separated by 57 points from first to If you drop Kyle Larson30 points lead, the bottom 11 riders are only 27 points apart.

Since the driver can earn maximum out of 60 points in one race, the first race in the round has a much greater impact on the standings. Essentially, the first race decompresses the refill compression.

After Las Vegas, the 12 playoff drivers shared 78 points. After Talladega, the lead rose to 98 points.

More first races in any round has more to do with point compression caused by re-seeding than with the nature of the track.

Applies to 2022

Drivers don’t have to win in Talladega. They just need to finish ahead of other playoff drivers. In fact, if a given driver can’t win, the next best thing for him is if none of the other playoff drivers also win.

The biggest drop in positions a rider has seen at Talladega is five – and that’s because of the rain-shortened 2021 race. On the other hand, the riders also achieved eight positions in the standings behind Talladega. This increase came after the 2017 race, when more than half of the participants failed to finish, but at least one rider in the fall Talladega race moved up at least three positions each of the last four years.

In terms of this year’s second round playoff stats, last week’s Texas race had a shakeout index of 14. That’s higher than all but the first year of the multi-day playoff era.

And William Byron the penalty (disputed by Hendrick Motorsports) has a shake-out index of seven.


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