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Instead of Talladega, what?

QueStionS & attitude

Compelling questions … and maybe a few actual answers

Instead of Talladega, what?

I’m thinking the most sensible alternative would be poker. Much like restrictor-plate racing, there’s a certain level of skill involved — mostly as it pertains to playing the smart odds and knowing a few things about your opponents’ tendencies. But the overriding factors are the hand you’re dealt (the car) and, of course, the absence of horrible luck (“THE BIG ONE, IN TURN 3!”).

So you’d just skip this week?

Yeah, but then again, I don’t have tickets to sell, or a network contract that’s reliant on the type of ratings that come from a tightrope walk like Talladega.

It’s an odd dynamic for most sane fans.

You watch restrictor-plate racing closely because you just can’t help it. Then you get the Big One and, for two seconds, you’re flooded with adrenaline. Shortly thereafter, you don’t feel so good about yourself.

But Junior needs it, right?

If Junior Earnhardt desperately needs a win, and he does, Talladega is his best bet. He should borrow his dad’s old playbook: Get to the front and keep the mayhem behind you.

Ken Willis has been covering NASCAR for The Daytona Beach News-Journal for 27 years. Reach him at ken. [email protected]

When you think Talladega … . AP FILE

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