"Wild Card" Talladega could break Johnson's drive for five

TALLADEGA, Ala. – Talladega Superspeedway, the wild card in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, becomes more pivotal each day the NASCAR Sprint Cup series moves closer to tangling with the 2.66-mile track.

A poor showing at Talladega could easily erase the slim lead Jimmie Johnson has built thus far in the Chase.  And it's certainly possible, given Johnson's feast-or-famine showing at 'DEGA.

In 17 starts Johnson has amassed seven finishes of 9th or better.  However, those are offset by six finishes of 30th or worse.

"After Talladega, teams and drivers can work on a strategy of protecting or taking chances," said Johnson.  "We have to get deeper into the Chase to be concerned about who the point leader is."

With a 31st-place finish earlier this year, Johnson gave up 115 points to race winner Kevin Harvick.  That large of a point-swing could bring any of the current top-5 drivers to the lead in the standings.

Only three weeks remain until dreams will be made, and broken, at Talladega Superspeedway.

Jamie McMurray, a non-Chase driver, shocked the crowd by winning the 2009 AMP Energy Juice 500.  Can another upset be in the making?  Don't miss the wild card in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.  NASCAR action kicks off with the Mountain Dew 250 fueled by Fred's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, Oct. 30 and continues with Race Number Seven in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the AMP Energy Juice 500, Oct. 31.  To experience it all, call 1-877-Go2-DEGA or visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Talladega Superspeedway Media Relations