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NASCAR Panel: Talladega

Better comeback: Carl Edwards winning the NNS race after hitting the wall or Kyle Busch finishing second Saturday at Charlotte after starting last?

Ken Mays: I would have to say that Kyle coming from the back to finish second would be my choice since it is so hard to get in front on this track starting from the back. Not many can do it and he seems to be one of the best at doing it.

Jason Cannon: Pressure was on Busch big time and he responded. He needed a good finish and got one against some of the best drivers in the world.

Mark Trest: Considering that Carl outclasses the field so badly in the NNS, it wasn’t THAT big of a stretch to win, even in beat up equipment. However, Busch coming all the way from the back to the front in a star studded Sprint Cup field, especially with the Chase on the line, is quite a feat.

We’re halfway through the Chase. Who is your championship favorite?

Ken Mays: I am going with Smoke. I think after the up coming race he will receive a good many points. He seems to run well the second race at

Talladega.

Jason Cannon: It’s hard to ignore that Carl Edwards is making a pretty consistent charge. There are several guys who are right in the thick of it but they’re all chasing Edwards right now.

Mark Trest: Edwards and Harvick appear to be taking things door to door the rest of the Chase. They have been the most consistent all season, other than Johnson, who now appears to be done. Personally, I want Harvick to win it all.

After his DNF, Jimmie Johnson is in eighth place, 35 points back. Is the title streak over?

Ken Mays: I would think so. But you can’t rule him out. He is the best at making points during the Chase.

Jason Cannon: He’s only got a prayer left but he’s still in the hunt. He stormed back from seventh place last year. You can’t count the champ out until the bell rings. He’s got his work cut out for him but there’s still time to fight.

Mark Trest: Johnson’s quest for Championship No. 6 is apparently over, unless of course, all of the competition crashes out in the final races, and he finishes first. That scenario is highly unlikely, but very possible at Talladega coming up this weekend. His best bet at “Dega is get out front, stay out front, finish out front, and hope everyone else is in the “Big One.”

Compare this year’s Chase to years past. Are you as interested this year? More interested or less?

Ken Mays: I don’t know if I am getting bored with the races this year or what. But I haven’t seem to want to just take time out of my week to just sit down and watch the chase. I think they need to come up with some type of another point system to get fans eager to want to watch it. I noticed that football has had my attention more than NASCAR this year. Very unusual for me to not want to watch racing.

Jason Cannon: This year is a snoozer and I’m not sure why. It looks really likely that we’ll finally get a new champ, which is what a lot of people wanted but it just hasn’t sucked me in this year for whatever reason.

Mark Trest: This season’s Chase has had much more drama than The Chase in season’s past. It was always seemingly down to two drivers almost from the get go. This year, there is still a chance for several drivers, all running within mere points of each other, though Edwards and Harvick are beginning to seperate themselves from the rest.

Who is your pick to win this week?

Ken Mays: I am picking Tony Stewart this week. Like I said previously, he seems to do well on this track in the second race of the season.

Jason Cannon: Talladega is about pinning the gas pedal to the floor and ramming your way through traffic. Few do that better than Kevin Harvick.

Mark Trest: Look for Jimmie Johnson to get up front, stay there to avoid trouble, and go for the win. He needs most laps led, the winning points bonus, the first place points, and a whole lot of competition to have trouble Sunday for him to get back into the mix.