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Aaron’s 499 Gambling Picks/Preview

2009 Aaron’s 499 Betting Preview + Picks + Odds

Race: Aaron’s 499 – Talladega Superspeedway
Date: Sunday, April 26, 2009
Time: 2:16 PM EST (scheduled Green Flag)
TV: 1:00 PM EST on FOX

Preview:  From the flat one-mile oval course at Phoenix International Raceway to the high-banked 2.66-mile tri-oval of Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR fans are getting a big contrast in racing speeds and styles from last weekend to this one.Although ‘Dega is always exciting, it may be hard to find a way to trump last week’s feel-good win by Mark Martin in Phoenix.


Safe Bets:

1. Jeff Gordon (+800):  Gordon has six wins at Talladega – more than any other active driver – and swept the track here in 2007.  Currently atop the Sprint Cup point standings, the biggest unknown this weekend is Gordon’s health.  After asserting that back pain was a major factor in his mediocre ’08 season, Gordon said that an off-season workout regimen seemed to be paying off, but the back pain was back last week in Phoenix and could be a factor on the high-velocity track this weekend if it persists.

2. Kurt Busch (+1200):  Busch had a strong run in Phoenix, finishing third, and is quietly third in the point standings, just 13 behind Jimmie Johnson in second.  He has the best average finish among active drivers at ‘Dega – a 12.5 in 16 races, including six top-5 and 11 top-10 finishes.  Though he did not finish well here last year, he had a string of seven straight top-10s prior to that.

Dark Horse:

1. David Ragan (+3000):  He’s never won a Cup race, but David Ragan has run remarkably well at Talladega, finishing fourth here last spring and third in the fall.  Ragan’s teammate Matt Kenseth won at Daytona this year, demonstrating that the Roush Fords are capable of competing on the plate tracks, and Ragan actually accumulated more points at Talladega last year than any other driver.

Summary:  Although Tony Stewart runs better at Talladega in the fall than he does in the spring, don’t rule out a strong run by Stewart, who finished second in Phoenix and is hungry for that first Stewart-Haas race win.  As always, the winner at Talladega will be the driver who does the best job at staying out of other people’s messes.

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Becca Gladden is a freelance writer and race handicapper specializing in NASCAR.


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About Becca Gladden

Our resident Nascar Capper is back for another season making free racing predictions! Becca Gladden is a freelance writer and race handicapper specializing in NASCAR.