Sunday, November 1, 2009

NASCAR Sprint Cup Talladega Washout Places AMP Energy 500 Field by Points

Photo Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR

In a race described by Mark Martin as "the lottery", NASCAR Sprint Cup series Amp Energy 500 at Talladega Superspeedway is guaranteed to be unpredictable. Practice and Qualifying never presents a reliable reference relating to race day. Only when the green flag falls are we presented with even an inkling of knowledge for which race cars are the front runners. Specifically for qualifying, the smaller funded teams often lean out their cars by loosening engine accessory belts to lessen the engine's load for just a few more crucial horsepower. Because of rain and the upcoming Camping World Truck Series race, misleading qualifying performances will be taken out of the equation.

By starting on points, all drivers contending within the Chase for the Cup are gifted with the top 12 spots. With Jimmie Johnson's #48 Lowe's Chevrolet in front, his Hendrick Motorsport teammates Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon will start 2nd-3rd on the grid. With 43 cars showing up to race this weekend, all 'start and park' runners will receive a share of the purse after running their laps on Sunday. While this policy is frowned upon in a competition sense, at least the rain out for qualifying is not unfairly penalizing these smaller teams.

The Amp Energy 500 is set to start at 1PM Eastern time with the ABC telecast comign to air a noon with their pre-race show.

AMP Energy 500 Qualifying Lineup
NASCAR Sprint Cup

1. Jimmie Johnson #48 Chevrolet (C)
2. Mark Martin #5 Chevrolet (C)
3. Jeff Gordon #24 Chevrolet (C)
4. Tony Stewart #14 Chevrolet (C)
5. Juan Pablo Montoya #42 Chevrolet (C)
6. Kurt Busch #2 Dodge (C)
7. Ryan Newman #39 Chevrolet (C)
8. Greg Biffle #16 Ford (C)
9. Denny Hamlin #11 Toyota (C)
10. Carl Edwards #99 Ford (C)
11. Kasey Kahne #9 Dodge (C)
12. Brian Vickers #83 Toyota (C)

Other notables

13. Kyle Busch #18 Toyota
15. Clint Boywer #33 Chevrolet
20. Joey Logano #20 Toyota
21. Kevin Harvick #29 Chevrolet
22. Jamie McMurray #26 Ford
24. Dale Earnhardt Jr #88 Chevrolet
33. Michael Waltrip #55 Toyota
36. Brad Keselowski #09 Chevrolet
37. Bobby Labonte #71 Chevrolet
43. Regan Smith #78 Chevrolet

'(C)' denotes chase contender

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