The Talladega Lottery

Photo- Getty Images
Photo- Getty Images

Every time a driver enters a Talladega race, it’s like entering the lottery. You have a long-shot at winning, but you believe you can since it’s the lottery and anything could happen. When the drivers take to the track this weekend at Talladega, it’ll be wild and unpredictable. Any driver could come out on top and in the past, drivers who weren’t expected to win, won the race. Talladega is a wide-open event where anything and everything will happen. What are the chances your favorite driver scores victory this weekend? They’re as good as winning the lottery.

The credit goes to ESPN for this idea. A few years back on a NASCASR Now show prior to a Talladega race, I saw them randomly pick a drivers number out of a lottery machine and that was there pick to win the race. For any restrictor-plate race, that’s the most accurate way of predicting the winner since anything could happen in the race. My way of doing that exact same thing involved some bingo.

I found an old bingo-ball selector and I filled the wheel, which randomizes the bingo balls, with drivers’ car numbers. Every driver who will take the green-flag on Sunday has a number in the wheel and they have an equal chance of being selected.

Below, you can see my results of picking the finishing order for Sunday’s race. The bingo ball wheel rolled around and it spit one ball with a driver’s number out at a time. Each driver had an equal chance of getting each position and the results below show just how random this draw was.

My Talladega Finishing Order Predictions

  1. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  2. Kurt Busch
  3. Casey Mears
  4. Trevor Bayne
  5. Clint Bowyer
  6. Martin Truex Jr.
  7. Aric Almirola
  8. Brian Vickers (#11, taking over for Denny Hamlin during the race)
  9. Jeff Burton
  10. Kevin Harvick
  11. Jimmie Johnson
  12. Carl Edwards
  13. David Stremme
  14. Scott Speed
  15. Michael Waltrip
  16. Tony Stewart
  17. Joe Nemechek
  18. Danica Patrick
  19. David Gilliland
  20. David Reutimann
  21. Jamie McMurray
  22. Ryan Newman
  23. Regan Smith
  24. Jeff Gordon
  25. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  26. Greg Biffle
  27. Dave Blaney
  28. Brad Keselowski
  29. Paul Menard
  30. Terry Labonte
  31. Josh Wise
  32. Kyle Busch
  33. Kasey Kahne
  34. Marcos Ambrose
  35. David Ragan
  36. Bobby Labonte
  37. Matt Kenseth
  38. Landon Cassill
  39. J.J Yeley
  40. Travis Kvapil
  41. Juan Pablo Montoya
  42. Joey Logano
  43. Michael McDowell

As you can see in my results, this finishing order would have to follow a wild race and Talladega always has the option of producing that kind of race. Will Ricky Stenhouse Jr. win the race? The probability shows that he has the same shot at winning as everyone else does so it could definitely happen.

Sunday’s race promises to be as wild as Talladega races usually are. A few wrecks, lots of different leaders, and a wild finish are likely three factors that will determine the outcome of Sunday’s race. My prediction could be totally wrong or somewhat right, but one thing you can bet on is a crazy and unpredictable race on Sunday.

By Jason Schultz

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