Safe Escape from Talladega
In one race, he kept his championship lead. In the other, he kept his truck in one piece. Both were quite the accomplishment considering Scott Speed’s latest double-duty weekend came at Talladega Superspeedway.
The site of his first stock car start in October 2007, Talladega was a defining chapter in Speed’s race to the ARCA RE/MAX Series title. He and his closest championship rival, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., were involved in separate incidents Friday — Speed’s being a blown right-rear tire — that sent both cars behind the wall for repairs.
They returned to the track multiple laps down, with Speed’s No. 2 Red Bull Toyota crossing the stripe five positions ahead of Stenhouse in 23rd. He lengthened his championship lead to 85 points over Stenhouse, as five drivers will have a title shot in the Oct. 12 season finale at Toledo Speedway.
In Saturday’s Craftsman Truck race, Speed beat, banged and bounced around 2.66-mile Talladega to finish 15th in the No. 22 Red Bull Toyota. It was Speed’s seventh top-15 finish in 11 truck starts, and he got a healthy dose of just how dicey Talladega can be.
“That was just ridiculous,” Speed said. “The two races here were crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of fun out there but I was sweating at the same time. It was mayhem out there, but we still managed to get the job done and that’s all that matters.”
Speed will attempt to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut Saturday night at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., then hopes to lock up the ARCA championship the next day in Toledo, Ohio.
Down in Dega: Brian Vickers, in the No. 83, and Mike Skinner's No. 84 start ninth and 21st, respectively, in today's Talladega 500 (2 p.m. ET).