BUSCH: Talladega: News of note

* In The Loop: Truex A Talladega Terror * Montoya Makes NASCAR Busch Series Debut at Talladega Chevrolet Continues Atop The Standings Chevrolet won last week's race at Phoenix International Raceway and gained momentum in the Bill France ...

* In The Loop: Truex A Talladega Terror
* Montoya Makes NASCAR Busch Series Debut at Talladega

Chevrolet Continues Atop The Standings

Chevrolet won last week's race at Phoenix International Raceway and gained momentum in the Bill France Performance Cup standings.

Clint Bowyer captured his first win this season in the NASCAR Busch Series, moving Chevrolet further ahead of second-place Ford by four points. Chevrolet leads all manufacturers in victories at Talladega with 11.

Toyota tightened the race for third place in the manufacturer's standings this week with Dave Blaney finishing 10th at Phoenix, putting Toyota two points behind Dodge.

In The Loop: Truex A Talladega Terror

It can't be this easy. Can it?

In those three consecutive Talladega victories, Truex Jr. has earned some impressive Loop Data stats at the restrictor-plate track and has positioned himself as the series king of the famed 2.66-mile superspeedway.

Of any driver competing in Saturday's Aaron's 312, Truex has the top pre-race Driver Rating (113.4), the top Average Running Position (7.336) and Laps in the Top 15 (191).

If Truex is not atop the leader board in any one category, he's close to the top. For instance, Truex has eight Fastest Laps Run which is tied for third most over the last two years at Talladega. His 311 Green Flag Passes are eighth most.

As inconceivable as it may seem, Truex Jr. isn't the only force at Talladega. With last year's runner-up finish, Kevin Harvick has also proven stellar at the track. Harvick has the second-best Driver Rating of anyone in Saturday's race at 102.8 and a second-best Average Running Position of 9.965. Harvick also is the top "Closer" at Talladega in the NASCAR Busch Series -- he has improved 14 positions in the last 10% of the races at Talladega.

This weekend, Jason Leffler could open eyes. Leffler has an Average Running Position of 14.094 (13th-best) and a Driver Rating of 89.8 (13th-best). Jon Wood, who finished second in 2005, could also be one of the NASCAR Busch Series regulars to post a solid finish. He has eight Fastest Laps Run at the track, tied for third most.

NBS ETC.

ESPN on ABC will have live coverage of Saturday's 312-mile race beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET with NASCAR Countdown, the fourth of six series events on ABC this year. Jerry Punch will anchor the telecast from Talladega, joined in the booth by current NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver Dale Jarrett, and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree for analysis.

Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Texaco Havoline Dodge) will be starting this weekend in the Aaron's 312 at Talladega in his second NASCAR Busch Series restrictor-plate race. Montoya struggled in his first restrictor-plate event at Daytona, he finished 40th due to engine failure. He raced at Talladega in 2006 in the ARCA Series where he finished third.

Series Standings Leader Carl Edwards (No. 60 Scotts Ford) will be racing in the Aaron's 312 this weekend. Edwards in his last three series starts at Talladega has posted three top 10s. Edwards leads the NASCAR Busch Series standings by 424 points over second-place Dave Blaney (No. 32 ABF U-PACK Toyota).

Top Rookie Marcos Ambrose (No. 59 Kingsford Ford) is listed as a rookie this season but has proven he has more experience than most. He leads the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings by two points over second-place Juan Pablo Montoya. This will be Ambrose's second restrictor-plate start; he finished 16th at Daytona earlier this season.

Double Duty Restrictor-plate races attract a lot of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers who pull double duty and Talladega is no exception. Out of the 41 drivers entered to race on Saturday, 20 of them are participating in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series this season.

-credit: nascar

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya