Picking a top five for a restrictor plate race is like winning the lottery. So, take this weekend’s pick with a bit of a grain of salt. These are just five drivers statistically I feel could run well in Saturday’s Sparks Energy 300 (3 p.m. ET/FOX/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). But, there’s no guarantee of that.
He’s got to be the one to beat right? Sadler may not have won in 47 races, but this could be the race that sees that winless streak come to an end. The JR Motorsports driver has two wins in his last four Talladega starts. In fact, he has seven top 11 finishes in his last seven tries there. Among those seven are four straight top seven finishes too. He won in 2014, was seventh in 2015, won again in 2016 and second last year. He also finished second in his No. 1 Chevrolet in the season opener at Daytona. That was the closest NASCAR finish ever. He’s came home in the top 10 in every race in 2018 since.
This could be the race that Reddick gets back on track. While he won the season opener, he hasn’t had a top five finish since. He does have four top 10’s to his credit, but none of them have seen his No. 9 Chevrolet seriously threatening for the win.
At Talladega, he finished in the top five in two of his three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts.
This is his weekend to shine again.
He’s had a great start to the season. Allgaier, has three runner-up finishes and a third place run to his credit too But, he’s yet to win. With JRM’s restrictor plate success lately, there’s no reason to believe that Allgaier won’t be a major player to win Saturday’s race. He has five straight top eight finishes at Talladega, including a runner-up in 2016.
This could be the spot where he earns his first career NASCAR victory. Tifft, has four top eight finishes in his last five starts on the season. He’s eligible for this weekend’s Dash 4 Cash too, so he has some extra motivation going for him. He also has had some good success in his past at Talladega. He was eighth and sixth respectively in his two XFINITY Series starts, including winning the pole in 2016. He finished 23rd and ninth respectively in his two Truck Series starts as well.
See a theme here? All Chevy drivers. They’ve been so dominant in plate races in the XFINITY Series. Gallagher, had two top three finishes in three Truck Series starts on the 2.66-mile Alabama race track. He finished sixth at Daytona in February. He had seven straight top 14 finishes on the season before a 17th place finish last weekend.
His No. 23 Chevrolet will be a factor on Saturday.