This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.
Talladega Superspeedway plays host to the second superspeedway race of the 2019 season. The enormous tri-oval at Talladega, Ala., is the largest track on the Monster Energy Cup circuit, measuring an amazing 2.66 miles and a stunning 33-degree banking in the turns. The track's size and banking make it a wide-open, four-wide, heart-pounding racing experience where speeds are high and margin for error is small.
This weekend's GEICO 500 will be the first race at Talladega without the restrictor plate since 1987. NASCAR will be using a thicker, tapered spacer instead with conical tapered holes. The restriction of air flow will be similar, but there should be better throttle response even with the lesser horsepower. The hope is to created tighter packs, more passing and drafting better than what we saw in the season-opening Daytona 500.
What we witnessed in the Daytona 500 were heavy packs that would eventually spread out into double lines or multiple packs over long green-flag runs. With the ability to race to the back or the front very quickly, moving through traffic presented little problem. However, passing at the front among the leaders was much more difficult. The 15 lead changes during the Great American Race were a seven-season low at Daytona. That was attributable to the current aero package in combination with the restrictor plate. This season's Daytona 500 also saw the return of the multi-car crashes. There were five caution periods due to accidents involving five or more cars. With the return of