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NASCAR Talladega Preview: How Bubba Wallace and Ross Chastain Deal with Sport’s Deadliest Track

Gowtham Ramalingam

NASCAR Talladega Preview: How Bubba Wallace and Ross Chastain Deal with Sport’s Deadliest Track

The upcoming Cup Series race in Talladega will be the third superspeedway race of the ongoing season. In a stark contrast from the short and intermediate tracks, Dega will make it a challenge for drivers to even complete their races. Highly treacherous because of the speed that it demands, the track isn’t a particularly fond destination for many. But Bubba Wallace and Ross Chastain sure have learnt to love it.

Talking to the press midweek, Chastain answered questions about his mindset going to race in the fastest track on the land. He took note of his crash last October and said that he just wanted to be running till the end so that he can fight for the win in the final laps. However, a mention of Wallace’s words about enjoying superspeedway racing had him presenting a different take.

The reporter’s question went, “Bubba Wallace said that once he had the mindset of enjoying superspeedway racing that his performance improved. How do you fall into that group? Do you enjoy racing in close quarters?” Chastain responded by walking down the memory lane and glancing at his own journey through superspeedway racing.

He said that his mindset was largely determined by the teams that he raced for and explained how. “I drove for teams [In the Truck Series] that didn’t want me to crash because that was their opportunity to make money if you could just finish the race – so when I got to the Xfinity Series and the 10 car, they told me to go win and it doesn’t matter if you crash it or not,” he said.

While this leniency did end in him crashing quite a lot, it also helped him capture two victories. He concluded, “Yes, I had a mindset change and I agree with Darrell (Bubba) that it makes the week a lot more enjoyable versus dreading going into it.” Chastain and Wallace are both amongst the top favorites to win on Sunday at Talladega.

What will work against Ross Chastain and Bubba Wallace at Talladega?

Chastain has a win and a fourth-place finish in Talladega. On the other end of the scale, he has finished outside the top ten on the track in eight races. The inconsistency could potentially make his result go either way on Sunday. Practicing cautiousness will no doubt be on his mind being the aggressive racer that he is.

Meanwhile, Wallace heads to the track with a positive momentum. He has finished inside the top ten in each of the last two races and will hope to do so again. But worryingly for him, the last time a Toyota won on a superspeedway was when he took the flag in 2021. For 14 races since, a Toyota car hasn’t reached the victory lane in a drafting-style track.

Post Edited By:Srijan Mandal

About the author

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham Ramalingam

Gowtham is a NASCAR journalist at The SportsRush. Though his affinity for racing stems from Formula 1, he found himself drawn to NASCAR's unparalleled excitement over the years. As a result he has shared his insights and observations by authoring over 350 articles on the sport. An avid fiction writer, you can find him lost in imaginary worlds when he is not immersed in racing. He hopes to continue savoring the thrill of every lap and race together with his readers for as long as he can.

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