Races at Talladega are always unpredictable. Just look to recent history. Brad Keslowski won driving for Phoenix Racing, David Ragan won last spring driving for Front Row Motorsports.

Now thanks to changes in the qualifying process, pole qualifying is equally as unpredictable. Sunday the field will be lead to the green by Circle Motorsports driver Brian Scottt, with RCR’s Paul Menard second, JGT- Daugherty’s AJ Allmendinger third, and Germain Racing’s Casey Mears fourth.

“It’s pretty surreal,” said Scott. “Normally as a rookie you don’t come into this Sprint Cup Series and expect to get on the pole. But it just happened. Like I said it’s really just situational luck when it comes to this group qualifying at the superspeedways" 

Maybe it was luck, maybe it was strategy.  Whatever it was, it worked against some big name drivers who will start Sunday’s race toward the back of the field. That group includes Kansas native Clint Bowyer, who qualified 27th.

“It was fine just didn’t get the right situation,” said Bowyer. “It is what it is.  I didn’t want to put a lot of emphasis on it because you really shouldn’t.  The only thing I didn’t want to do was go out there and wreck you know what I mean -- tear your car up.  Aside from that I’m fine and looking forward to the race.”

Fortunately for Bowyer, qualifying at Talladega doesn’t mean much, especially when you have fast friends at the back with you, which he will have. Dale Eanhardt, Jr. will start 30th,  Denny Hamlin 34th and Greg Biffle 35th.