Sports

Plan all you want, but luck might be the biggest factor when it comes to winning at Talladega

  • Rain drops sit on stacks of tires as NASCAR officials work at drying the track prior to qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013.(AP Photo/Jay Sailors)

    Rain drops sit on stacks of tires as NASCAR officials work at drying the track prior to qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013.(AP Photo/Jay Sailors)  (The Associated Press)

  • Driver Juan Pablo Montoya, of Colombia, talks with fans as he and others wait out the rain in an effort to qualify for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013.(AP Photo/Jay Sailors)

    Driver Juan Pablo Montoya, of Colombia, talks with fans as he and others wait out the rain in an effort to qualify for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013.(AP Photo/Jay Sailors)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pit crew members sit in the Grand National Garage as they wait for the rain to stop prior to qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013.(AP Photo/Jay Sailors)

    Pit crew members sit in the Grand National Garage as they wait for the rain to stop prior to qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013.(AP Photo/Jay Sailors)  (The Associated Press)

They plan and tinker, double-check this and triple-check that.

Then, they cross their fingers, stick a rabbit's foot in their race suits, and hope the luck goes their way.

That is Talladega Superspeedway.

By the end of the weekend, the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship could be a whole lot clearer — or just a big ol' mess.

Talladega is the biggest wild card among the five playoff races left on the schedule, meaning it's still a little too early to declare points leader Matt Kenseth or the guy in his rearview mirror, Jimmie Johnson, as the only drivers with a legitimate chance to win the Cup.

For those farther back, including Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon, this might be the best chance to make a big move.