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NASCAR Barometer: Restrictor-Plate Chess Match

C.J. Radune

C.J. Radune

Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the 2012 Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

Denny Hamlin claimed victory at Talladega on Sunday by edging ahead of the pack after a late-race restart and a race-ending caution to reclaim the strength he showed at Daytona International Speedway earlier this season. While he led just 12 laps Sunday, they were the most important, putting Hamlin confidently into the running for a spot in this season's Chase for the Championship.

There is something special about racing at Talladega Superspeedway. Whether it is the unexpected crashes that take out top competitors, or the 20 or so cars within striking ...

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