The 2022 NASCAR season is winding down, and the fifth playoff race of the year takes place on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. This will be the second time the drivers will compete at Talladega, and its likely history could be made at the 2022 YellaWood 500. The race will start at 2 p.m. ET on NBC and the NBC Sports App.
There have been 19 different drivers to win a Cup Series race this season. If a different driver wins on Sunday, it would set a modern single-season record for the series. The drivers who have yet to win a race this year are Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., Michael McDowell, Aric Almirola, Brad Keselowski and Justin Haley. Blaney is in a good position to win a title as he's in fourth place in the standings. Despite not winning a race, this year, Blaney has finished in the top 10 14 times, the top five nine times and has earned six stage wins.
"I think the best thing you can do is every week you sit back and say, 'OK what did we do good this weekend? What are the spots we need to improve on, and how do we fix those spots?'" Blaney told PopCulture.com earlier this year about how he can win his first race of the year. "And that's the biggest thing is just trying to prepare yourself and your team to the best of their abilities every single week and continuing to run up front, leading laps, winning stages, finishing top five. If you can continue to do that and your car has that speed, I think it's going to eventually happen for you, right? It just happens. But you have to have speed first, and then all those other things come."
One driver to keep an eye on is Ross Chastain who is in second place in the standings behind Joey Logano. He has been consistent throughout the playoffs and has won two races this season. One of those wins was at Talladega when the drivers competed in the 2022 Geico 500. But he knows winning at Talladega for a second time won't be easy.
No, I don't feel confident just because I won the race there earlier this year, Chastain said while laughing. "That was pure luck, it's still hard for me to believe it happened."