NASCAR Insider Reveals the Wildcard Track for Playoffs Dominated by Dale Earnhardt Jr and His Father

26 intense races later NASCAR stands at a pivotal point in the 2023 season. 9 more showdowns to go until the season finale at the Phoenix Raceway, a range of challenges await the best of this year’s drivers. Beginning at the ‘unconquerable’ track at Darlington, the playoff races will move forward to Bristol, Charlotte, and other cities before culminating at Avondale, Arizona.

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Every course in the fixture poses its own tricks and challenges; no one track is the same as the other. However, amongst these puzzles that are coming up, one particular ‘wildcard’ track might prove more challenging than the others. Speaking on PRN’s JC’s Garage podcast, the hosts JC Fickenscher revealed his thoughts on the track might prove to be the most elusive for the drivers.

The impossible-to-predict Talladega Superspeedway


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One of the ten upcoming races will be held at the renowned Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Opened in 1969, the track boasts a long history and is hailed by many as the longest and fastest track in NASCAR. Because of the way in which this course was constructed, drivers have often been able to exceed speeds of 200 miles per hour.

While this multiplies the entertainment value of races, it also comes with a ton of safety risks. And these are exactly the reasons why it is almost impossible to pick a favorite for this track. The pure speed, the even playing field, and the scare factor all join hands to make this one difficult oval to win over.

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Expressing similar thoughts on his podcast, the co-host JC Fickenscher said, “I think this first round getting through, it is gonna be really challenging. But it’s that second round for me that has that wild card aspect. Mainly, Talladega and the Roval. Two tracks that are pretty much impossible to predict. Talladega being anybody can really win that race and then the Roval just being a survive fest.”

Four more weeks will have to go by before we see drivers pushing down their throttles in Talladega. As said by JC, it is difficult to predict the outcome of the race with the current contenders. But upon pushing the rewind button, we see two drivers making wins at the Alabama oval a child’s play.

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The Earnhardt name proves supreme at the fastest track on the land

The Alabama International Motor Speedway is where NASCAR Cup Series made its debut race in 1969. In the last 54 years, this track has seen its name changed to Talladega Superspeedway and witnessed over 100 Cup Series races. The list of names that have won at this track is filled with the greatest in the sport. Prime among them is Dale Earnhardt Sr. The 7-time NASCAR champion amassed an incredible 10 victories at Talladega. A feat surpassed by none to date.


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Winning his first pole in 1983, he became too fond of the track and finished his run with a win in 2000. The late legend also holds the record for the most laps led on this high-speed track. Following the example set by his old man, Dale Jr mastered the art of winning at Talladega too. Over his illustrious career, he found the checkered flag first on 6 occasions.

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The first round of races at Darlington and Bristol will be tough for every driver to come out of. Leaving zero margins for error, Darlington is perhaps the most difficult track on the fixture. But once the drivers pass that, a different kind of challenge will emerge in round two.


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The Talladega Superspeedway and the Charlotte Road Course will together pose a tougher hurdle. In JC Fickenscher’s words, “It’s that second round with the Roval and Talladega that’s gonna get some guys. Possibly Hamlin or Truex or William Byron, who are sitting really good right now. If they don’t finish those two, races they can be out of it.” 

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