Earlier This Year: Few drivers have the kind of track success like Dale Earnhardt Jr does at Talladega. With six wins at the track, Junior is always one to watch when NASCAR rolls into Alabama. After a remarkable streak at the Lincoln track early in his career (a streak of seven races where he collected five wins and two second-place showings), Junior found himself back in 'Dega's winner's circle earlier this season. With his history at the track and the need for a big-time performance, he's certainly one to keep an eye on this week.
Who To Watch: This season's been one of hot streaks. Joe Gibbs Racing rattled off six wins in a row back in August and September, while the Hendrick crew took three of four races in May . With Joey Logano racking up The Chase wins, maybe Brad Keselowski decides to join the party. Without a win since March, look for the defending GEICO 500 champ to make some noise and advance to the Eliminator Round with his Penske teammate.
Also... if I told you a driver led 225 laps over the past two races, you'd think he'd be a lock to advance in the Chase, right? Unfortunately for Matt Kenseth, that's not the case. Banged up cars forced Kenseth out at Charlotte and into a 14th-place showing at Kansas, meaning he now sits on the outside looking in. But with how he's driven this season and in the Chase (plus a win and six Top-10's at 'Dega), he's not one to count out just yet.