CAR: No. 6 AAA Ford
CHASE POINTS: Third, -70
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 3
WHAT HAPPENED: Martin made the biggest jump in the Chase standings behind his third-place finish in Kansas. He isn’t expecting to follow it up at Talladega, a track he openly hates because of his bad luck there. Martin does, however, have two career wins there.
SPEAKING: “Based on my past experience, my expectation would be to wreck at Talladega. If we come through Talladega, we might have a chance,” Martin said.
DRIVER: Matt Kenseth
TEAM: Roush Racing
CAR: No. 17 DeWalt Tools Ford
CHASE POINTS: Fourth, -84
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 1
WHAT HAPPENED: Kenseth’s car was off the entire day in Kansas, and no amount of work could fix it as he struggled to a 23rd-place finish. Kenseth will make his 250th career start at Talladega, and hopes to continue his recent run of plate-racing success: He’s led in the three previous races this season.
SPEAKING: “I had no idea this was number 250 until someone told me. We race so much and so often that you really don’t have time to think about the races behind you because you’re so focused on the race ahead of you. Of course, 250 really isn’t that much if you consider that Mark Martin has over 650 starts and somebody told me that Terry Labonte is closing in on 850,” Kenseth said.
DRIVER: Kevin Harvick
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
CAR: No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet
CHASE POINTS: Fifth, -96
POSITION CHANGE: None
WHAT HAPPENED: Harvick spun through the infield early and had to race his way from the back of the field after falling a lap down. He came back and finished 15th. Unlike other Chase drivers, he’s not getting too worked up about Talladega.
SPEAKING: “There really is no need to make more out of it than we need to. It is just another race. We are doing everything we can do to be at the top of our game, putting out the equipment on the racetrack that we have. The rest of it is circumstances like luck and making the right calls when they need to be made,” Harvick said.