Open Race Thread: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 | Talladega Superspeedway

Will Jeff Gordon get Rick Hendrick his 200th Cup win as an owner? Odds are he just might. May 4, 2012; Talladega, AL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Gordon (24) in the garage during practice for the Aarons 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Talladega is one of those races that the predicted winner isn't always the one that wins. Why? Because of the restrictor plates, they limit the horsepower output making about 42 of the 43 car field equal, and also because of "The Big One" referring to the huge wreck that usually happens at each Talladega race, it is in reference the large amount of cars that are involved in the crash. Using the restrictor plate not only makes the cars equal it also creates large pack racing, because the cars are so equal they can't get away from each other. This type of racing at Talladega can be compared to a swarm of killer 'Tracker Jackers' bees from the Hunger Games - a swarm of 43 angry cars in pursuit of the elusive checkered flag and the closer they get to their goal the more reckless or impatient they become.

My only hope is these drivers today keep it together and we don't end up with a situation like Eric McClure's. McClure had to be cut from his vehicle and was air lifted to hospital where he is currently being monitored, no further updates other than the one released last night were available at time of posting.

Look for Hendrick and Roush powered cars to be really good today. If I were to pick a winner it would be from one of these two teams, but with the 'Tracker Jacker' swarm out there, like the Hunger Games, it is anyone's race to win, and everyone's to lose.

NASCAR RnR's very own Matt Weaver is at Talladega this weekend so look for great insights, photos, and other tidbits of info from him during the race. You can catch him here or on Twitter (@MattWeaverSBN).

Live television coverage will start on Fox at noon EST. For those who are away from the television or prefer the radio broadcasts, goprn.com will stream the race live on any supported computer or mobile device.

Starting line-up is after the jump, see you on the other side.

POS CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR SPEED TIME BEHIND
1 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 20 Years 191.624 49.973 Leader
2 22 AJ Allmendinger Dodge Shell / Pennzoil-AAA 191.111 50.107 -0.134
3 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Stanley 191.039 50.126 -0.153
4 43 Aric Almirola Ford Verifone Sail 190.981 50.141 -0.168
5 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Farmers Insurance 190.772 50.196 -0.223
6 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M / O'Reilly Auto Parts 190.586 50.245 -0.272
7 99 Carl Edwards Ford Fastenal 190.586 50.245 -0.272
8 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Mobil 1 190.476 50.274 -0.301
9 55 Michael Waltrip Toyota Aaron's "Color your way to Talladega" 190.245 50.335 -0.362
10 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Best Buy 190.200 50.347 -0.374
11 21 Trevor Bayne Ford Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center 190.170 50.355 -0.382
12 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target / Kraft 190.140 50.363 -0.390
13 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 190.072 50.381 -0.408
14 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats 190.064 50.383 -0.410
15 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 189.958 50.411 -0.438
16 26 Josh Wise* Ford Morristown Driver's Service 189.958 50.411 -0.438
17 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Turtle Wax / Menards 189.906 50.425 -0.452
18 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet National Guard / Diet Mountain Dew 189.864 50.436 -0.463
19 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 189.797 50.454 -0.481
20 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Rheem 189.785 50.457 -0.484
21 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's 189.691 50.482 -0.509
22 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express 189.680 50.485 -0.512
23 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats 189.601 50.506 -0.533
24 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota Aaron's / Alabama National Champions 189.556 50.518 -0.545
25 13 Casey Mears Ford GEICO 189.477 50.539 -0.566
26 38 David Gilliland Ford Taco Bell 189.354 50.572 -0.599
27 30 David Stremme Toyota Stock Car Steel and Aluminum 189.331 50.578 -0.605
28 32 Terry Labonte Ford C&J Energy 189.182 50.618 -0.645
29 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 189.100 50.640 -0.667
30 20 Joey Logano Toyota Dollar General 189.073 50.647 -0.674
31 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row / Farm American 189.051 50.653 -0.680
32 34 David Ragan Ford Front Row Motorsports 189.021 50.661 -0.688
33 51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Phoenix Construction Services 188.984 50.671 -0.698
34 10 David Reutimann Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing 188.902 50.693 -0.720
35 98 Michael McDowell Ford Curb Records 188.630 50.766 -0.793
36 97 Bill Elliott Toyota NEMCO Motorsports 188.171 50.890 -0.917
37 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves 188.012 50.933 -0.960
38 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Golden Corral 187.625 51.038 -1.065
39 23 Robert Richardson Jr. Toyota North Texas Pipe 186.710 51.288 -1.315
40 83 Landon Cassill Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 186.293 51.403 -1.430
41 93 Travis Kvapil+ Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 186.206 51.427 -1.454
42 47 Bobby Labonte+ Toyota Bush's Baked Beans 185.790 51.542 -1.569
43 33 Tony Raines Chevrolet Little Joe's Autos 186.529 51.338 -1.365
Did Not Qualify
44 249 J.J. Yeley Toyota America Israel Racing / JPO Absorbents 186.296 51.402 -1.429
+ Set by Owner Points
* Denotes Rookie
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