Race Weekend Central

NASCAR Mailbox: Could Talladega Be the Best Superspeedway Race in Years?

Several years ago, NASCAR would hold at least one race over the Easter weekend holiday, typically with the Xfinity Series. For many years, it ran at Nashville Superspeedway where we would see some great races and different winners — because, yes, Cup Series drivers ran in NASCAR’s secondary series back then too.

Should NASCAR bring that back to give some early season attention to the series or is having an off weekend for the holiday best?

Meanwhile, this weekend at Talladega is huge for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It is the debut of the new package at a superspeedway and the first time restrictor plates will not be used since the 1980s. Many drivers expect the unexpected but know it could be a lot of fun.

Should we expect much of what we have been used to or is it going to be something completely different? Can the “two-car tandem” possibly return?

Q: Would you like to see a stand-alone race in NASCAR come back for Easter weekend like we used to have with Nashville in the Xfinity Series? Patrick T., Boynton Beach, FL

A: I am fine with having an off-weekend for the holiday as we have had for the last several years. As much as I loved watching the Xfinity Series on the Cup off weekend back in the day, having an off weekend for all three series is the best thing to do.

We love racing and most of us wish we could watch it year round without any off weekends. However, a brief respite over a holiday weekend is perfectly fine.

When the Xfinity Series went to Nashville over Easter weekend, the drivers always put on a great show. We love when the spotlight is on a lower tier series instead of being overshadowed by the Cup Series. We did previously see some Cup drivers show up, though and yes, most of the time, it seemed like they would win.

There are other racing series that do typically race over the Easter weekend, but this year seemed to be an exception. Off weekends may be boring for a lot of us, but sometimes, getting away from the racing for a week to regroup can be helpful.

For the teams, it’s good to be able to spend some extra time working on their program, potentially returning to the racetrack better than they were before the break.

Hopefully, they took advantage of some time off, as we begin a stretch of races without an off weekend until June.

Q: With Talladega this upcoming weekend, do you think we can see the best superspeedway race for the Gen-6 ever with this package? What can we expect? Wendy A., El Paso, TX

A: I have heard many people speculate as to what we might see this weekend with no restrictor plates on the cars at Talladega for the first time in a very long time. Many drivers have taken to the simulator to see if they can get an idea of what kind of race it will be and what to expect.

My simple answer is this: We are going to see a superspeedway race like we have never seen before. Drivers have said they are still approaching 200 miles per hour in the draft which is similar to speeds we have seen with the restrictor plates on the cars in the past. They did make a minor rule change to slow them down a bit, but speeds in the high 190s or low 200s are still entirely possible.

For somebody like myself who has the iRacing simulator, they have done an amazing job with the new package on superspeedways and sim racing can provide somewhat of a preview to the weekend of racing. We could see huge runs in the draft, and drivers will be able to maneuver in ways they have not been able to for years. Brad Keselowski even said we may see a return of the popular two-car tandem because of how big of a run these drivers can get now.

All we know is that it is going to be fun to watch. The 20-30 car pack is likely still going to be present and it will be anybody’s race to win.

This is going to be a must watch race because this will be the first of three superspeedway races this season with this package. The next time the series heads to Talladega will be in the middle of the playoffs, meaning that what teams learn this weekend could be crucial to their championship hopes.

It is sure to be enjoyable and we very well may see the best race of the season this Sunday.

About the author

Brandon is a 22-year-old from NY and has been a passionate follower of motorsports for 14 years now. He recently graduated from Molloy College on Long Island with a BA in Communications. Working within NASCAR has been a dream for Brandon for a while, and he hopes to be able to live out the dream in the very near future.

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The ‘popular two car tandem’? Popular with who? I for one never thought it was exciting to know that the ‘number two’ car was stuck with pushing another car to victory. Being content with 2nd place is not what racing is about. And, doesn’t a tapered spacer produce the same effect as a restrictor plate?

Bill B

AMEN sb!!!! I hated the tandem racing. It was stupid to watch and went against the whole concept of racing. If it ever comes back I will not watch it.

Lin Hunnicutt

Amen Bill B.


Yes to all of the above.


Until they stop restricting the engines and change the aero/suspension/tires to make the drivers actually drive the cars and control their own destiny, there will be no such thing as a good superspeedway race.

Now, if you’re talking demolition derby (like Daytona was), perhaps. I suppose if only three or four cars actually finish at Talladega it will be seen as a smashing success?

On the plus side, Talladega should provide plenty of dramatic crash footage for the NASCAR / FOX / NBC marketing teams.


when i thought about dega approaching, i got a feeling it will long, uneventful til end of stages, and of course a mess of wrecks.

talked myself out of riding over after church on sunday.

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