The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season continues today with the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Read on below to see my prediction for who will win the race, as well as my top 10, dark horse, and driver to fade predictions.
Winner: Brad Keselowski- Keselowski is a Talladega legend, with 6 wins, 9 top 5’s, and 13 top 10’s in 26 career starts. After finishing 1-2 here while driving for Team Penske last year, Keselowski has struggled since switching over to RFK Racing, as he has had just 1 top 10 finish so far in 2022. After being penalized 100 standings points and 10 playoff points earlier in the season, Keselowski has found himself in a monster points hole that he will need to climb out of to make the playoffs. Pointing his way into the playoffs would take a Herculean effort, so Keselowski’s mindset has to be checkers or wreckers. And no other track plays into his aggressiveness better than Talladega. I predict that Brad will be a man on a mission and lock himself into the playoffs with a victory today!
Top 10: Bubba Wallace- Wallace returns to Talladega this spring a winner after winning the fall race here. Wallace has been fire on superspeedways of late, with a runner-up finish at each of the last two Daytona races and being in the hunt late at Atlanta this year before wrecking on the final lap. Besides his runner-up finish at Daytona to start the year, Wallace has just 1 top 15 since then. He isn’t in a must win situation currently, but a top 10 finish today will keep Wallace in the mix among drivers looking to point their way into the playoffs.
Dark Horse: Ty Dillon- Dillon has quietly put together a solid 2022 campaign so far, with 6 top 20 finishes in 9 races. Talladega has been a great track for Dillon in his career, with 2 top 10’s and 8 top 20’s in 8 career starts, including a 3rd place finish in his most recent trip here in October 2020. Anyone can win at Talladega at any given moment and Dillon will certainly be in the mix if he can avoid the big one. A top 15 is certainly within reach for Dillon today.
Driver to Fade: Kyle Larson- Larson has struggled at Talladega in his career, with just 2 top 10’s in 14 career starts and has finished 35th or worse in his last 3 starts here. Larson also finished 30th or worse at both Daytona and Atlanta this year, which leads me to predict that he will get caught up in the big one and finish outside the top 25 today.