With the Southern Point 400 at Las Vegas done and dusted, all eyes have shifted to the Talladega Superspeedway. In light of that, ex NASCAR Crew Chief Cole Pearn previewed the race.
Speaking to NASCAR host Alex Weaver, he gave his prediction on who would win the YellaWood 500. According to him, Ryan Blaney stands a good chance, along with Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski. However, the likes of Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin always seem to pull it off in terms of speed.
He said, “With the way the schedule is, the guys that were good at Daytona stand maybe a better shot. But they’re such different places and handling’s not quite the same there [Talladega], as it is in Daytona. It’ll be interesting to watch, but I’m glad I’m not there, having to deal with it.”
Pearn gave Blaney an advantage because he won the race last time around in late June. Martin Truex Jr. bagged pole in that race owing to the random draw system, which later made way for the qualifying formula. Meanwhile, Blaney was on the outskirts of the Top-10 in 12th place.
Breaking the 2020 GEICO 500 in stages, rookie driver Tyler Reddick clinched the opening stage. Flanking him in 2nd and 3rd were Alex Bowman and Joey Logano. Meanwhile, Ryan Blaney was already up to 6th and the pole man was nowhere to be seen in the Top-10.
When Stage 2 drew to a close, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. emerged victorious. However, Blaney was right on his tail in 2nd place, ahead of the defending champion, Kyle Busch. Finally, Blaney took the win at the end of the race, ahead of Stenhouse Jr. and Aric Almirola.
Meanwhile, pole-sitter Martin Truex Jr. got shuffled all the way to 24th place. Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones rounded out the Top-5, while championship leader, Kevin Harvick wound up in 10th.
It is because of this performance that Pearn predicted that Ryan Blaney could win the NASCAR playoff race at Talladega. However, the race is long and anything can happen. The qualifying positions have not been decided either, so it is all still fair game.