Statesville, N.C. - The great Dick Trickle once said, "In order to finish first, first you must finish." Following those instructions, though, is going to be a tall order in this weekend's Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Although no plan is bulletproof, Landon Cassill, driver of the No. 83 Burger King/Dr Pepper Toyota, plans to spend the first phase of the race sizing up his car and the competition, and then pushing it to the limits for the final laps.
He knows that his game plan has risks, but hopes it will allow him to survive all 188 laps. In his three Sprint Cup Series starts at the 2.66-mile race track, he has a best finish of 16th place, which he scored in October 2011.
Comments from BK Racing Driver Landon Cassill heading to Talladega Superspeedway:"Talladega is pretty wild. It's a long race and it kicks off a few 500-mile races that we have at end of the season.
Lately it seems like Talladega has been about survival. Unfortunately we haven't survived it. Our goal is to make it through this time. If we do that, we're almost guaranteed a good finish.
"You can try to make a strategy to survive. Some guys wait in the back. Some guys think they'll stay out of trouble if they are closer to the front. For the most part, I think you should spend the first 400 miles learning your car and knowing what it's capable of.
Figure out what you can and can't do. In the last 100 miles, put yourself in a position that you're comfortable with. Hopefully you'll miss the big wreck and be in position to attack the last couple of laps and get a big run for a good finish.
"The cars don't lock bumpers like they used to. Tandem racing isn't quite as prominent as it was. It's still important if you want to compete for a win at the end of the race.
To win, you're going to need to be able to lock bumpers with someone and push your way up front. The key is keeping your water temp down and staying with the draft."
Source: BK Racing