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Aaron’s 499 Preview

Posted by Matt on April 29, 2007

The NASCAR Nextel Cup Series rolls in to speedy Talladega Speedway for the Aaron’s 499 at 2:20PM EST. This will be the last Aaron’s 499 WITHOUT the car of tomorrow so it is the last race at the place Dale Earnhardt, J. has ran so well at in the style of car he’s done it with, but since he is starting from the 36 position, I just do not like his chances today. Not only will “Little E.” have to work his way up from the back of the back, he will also have to avoid the inevitable “Big One” to get there. The Budweiser Cheverolet has had an up-and-down season and the ongoing contract negotiations cannot have been much help. Until the off-track issues are settled, I look for the Budweiser Team to have a rocky go at it and do not see him in victory lane today. The top of the field is not quite as strong as it has been with the likes of Dale, Jr. and Tony Stewart starting near the back; here is the Top-10 of the Starting Grid:

  1. Jeff Gordon — #24 — Chevrolet

  2. David Gilliland — #38 — Ford

  3. Denny Hamlin — #11 — Chevrolet

  4. Sterling Marlin — #14 — Chevrolet

  5. Ricky Rudd — #88 — Ford

  6. Kenny Wallace — #78 — Chevrolet

  7. Casey Mears — #25 — Chevrolet

  8. Jimmie Johnson — #48 — Chevrolet

  9. Scott Riggs — #10 — Dodge

  10. David Ragan — #6 — Ford

I usually do a winner prediction and a most laps lead prediction and I am not going to waste any time in saying that I am going with Jeff Gordon for the sweep today. Despite not winning the Daytona 500, Gordon might be off to his best start to date with 7-Top 10s, 6-Top 5s, 5-Poles, and 1-Win THROUGH 8-Races! The man has been at or near the top for nearly every race this season, and he finally got the monkey off of his back last weekend at Phoenix International Speedway by getting to victory lane from the pole, a task that had eluded him up to that point this season.

Here is a few statistics to chew on while you ponder my predictions:

  • Jeff Gordon has finished in the Top 10 in all but one of the 8-races this season, with 6-Top 5s and a win. Starting at or near the top in Restrictor Plate races are key to avoid the wrecks and the proverbial “Big One.” Oh yea, he is starting from the pole too (did I mention that yet?) and it is his 5th of the season. Unreal.

  • Cheverolets have won 7 of 8-races this season and start 6 in the Top 10 for today’s race.

  • Hendrick Motor Sports has 5-Wins, 5-Poles, 13-Top 5s, and 18-Top 10s with 4-drivers (Ky. Busch, J. Gordon, J. Johnson, C. Mears) through 8-races.

  • Jeff Gordon has won 2 of the last 3 Aaron’s 499s at Talladega Motor Speedway and Hendrick Motor Sports has won the last three Aaron’s 499s.

I know I am beginning to sound like a broken record with my NASCAR coverage, constantly spouting off about Hendrick Motor Sports, Jeff Gordon, and Chevrolets, but until someone can dethrone the Power Trio of Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Kyle Busch, the battery will continue to be favorites going in to races.


Winner: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevrolet – Hendrick Motor Sports

Most Laps Lead: Jeff Gordon, #24 DuPont Chevrolet – Hendrick Motor Sports

Crosses The Start/Finish Line Upside Down: Elliott Sadler, #19 Dodge Dealers Dodge – Valvoline Evernham Racing


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