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NASCAR Props Challenge Picks for Sunday’s Geico 500 at Talladega

Apr 24, 2019 7:15 PM EDT
Credit:

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: NASCAR Cup Series driver Kurt Busch (41) leads the field

  • NASCAR's Props Challenge game asks fans to answer 10 prop-betting questions each week, with weekly winners eligible for prizes.
  • PJ Walsh offers his Props Challenge picks and analysis for Sunday's Geico 500 (2 p.m. ET, FOX) at Talladega Superspeedway.

After a week off for Easter, the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series returns with a bang at Talladega Superspeedway. Known for its party atmosphere, the action at Talladega takes place both on and off the track … and specifically in the infield.

In terms of the racing itself, NASCAR is ditching restrictor plates for a new race package, so there is plenty of uncertainty regarding what the racing will look like on the track.

Will Talladega continue to feature pack racing? Or will tandem drafting return? Maybe we’ll even see the cars get strung out? There’s only one way to find out — grab a cold one and tune into Sunday’s race.

Here are my NASCAR Props Challenge picks for Sunday’s Geico 500.

1. In his career, Ryan Blaney has scored stage points in every Talladega stage. Will his streak continue?

Not only has Blaney scored points in every Talladega stage, he owns the second-best average running position (11.3) over the last four races here. He has had trouble parlaying speed into good finishes, but luckily that’s not needed to score stage points.

Answer: Yes


2. The last six races at Talladega have seen an average of 26.3 lead changes. O/U 26.5 lead changes for Sunday’s race?

Nobody has any idea what the racing will look like on Sunday, so I could end up way off here. However, the Fall race in 2018 saw just 15 lead changes, which is skewing this average to the low side.

Answer: Over 26.5


3. Which driver will finish higher? David Ragan or Chris Buescher?

Over the last four races at Talladega, Buescher’s average running position is 23.5 compared to Ragan’s 24.5, so this is basically a coin flip. Because of the uncertainty of the rules package and no real edge in the data, I’ll bank on Ragan’s experience to be able to adapt to whatever race conditions the drivers see on Sunday.

Answer: Ragan

4. Team Penske has won four of the last six Talladega races. Will they win on Sunday?