TALLADEGA, Ala. — Austin Dillon will start on the pole at Talladega Superspeedway. What happens from there is anybody’s guess.
Dillon celebrated his 29th birthday by posting the highest speed in qualifying Saturday at 192.544 mph for his second pole of the year. Aric Almirola, who won at Talladega in October, was second, followed by Clint Bowyer, five-time Talladega winner Brad Keselowski and Daniel Hemric.
Even by Talladega standards, there’s an element of mystery and potential for chaos heading into Sunday’s Cup series race, which is often marked by big wrecks and late dramatics.
Now, NASCAR has replaced the horsepower-sapping restrictor plates that have been fixtures at Talladega and Daytona for two decades. The cars have tapered spacers and the height of the rear spoiler has been raised in hopes of cutting speeds.
NASCAR tweaked the cars in between Friday practice sessions trying to slow the cars down.