Bargain drivers (salary below $7,500)
Paul Menard ($7,200) – Managed three top-10 finishes the last four years in a car that probably wasn’t as good as his 2018 ride. Talladega is a place where Menard’s tendency not to be noticed much over the course of a race is actually a good thing.
Bubba Wallace ($6,500) – Risky, as we saw last week, but had a darn good run at Daytona, and Talladega is a place where the 43’s lack of solo speed doesn’t matter nearly as much.
David Ragan ($6,300) – Fastest of the bargain bunch in qualifying and has a win in this race. That works for us.
Brendan Gaughan ($4,900) – Here’s your Hail Mary play if you need to save salary. Gaughan now only races at the restrictor plate tracks and knows how to work the draft, though he does also get caught up in wrecks a lot.