NASCAR National Series News & Notes - Talladega Superspeedway

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: GEICO 500

The Place: Talladega Superspeedway

The Date: Sunday, June 21

The Time: 3 p.m. ET

TV: FOX, 2 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 500 miles (188 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 60),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 120), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 188)

2019 Race Winner: Chase Elliott

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Unhinged 300

The Place: Talladega Superspeedway

The Date: Saturday, June 20

The Time: 5:30 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 5 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 300.58 miles (113 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 25),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 50), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 113)

2019 Winner: Tyler Reddick

 

NASCAR Cup Series

 

Next up for Cup: Talladega Superspeedway with fans

NASCAR announced a plan to introduce the return of fans to its race events last week, which includes the GEICO 500 NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, June 21 (on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

NASCAR’s modified event procedures, protocols and number of attendees have been finalized with guidance from public health officials, medical experts and local, state and federal officials. In order to adhere to local social distancing guidelines, a limited number of guests (5,000) will be allowed in the frontstretch grandstands/towers for the GEICO 500 NASCAR Cup Series race. In addition, there will be limited motorhome/5th-wheel camping spots available outside the track high atop the Alabama Gang Superstretch.

 

“Our frontstretch grandstands and towers are massive, measuring an incredible eight tenths of a mile long,” said Talladega Superspeedway President Brian Crichton. “That provides us ample room to be able to welcome race fans back with plenty of safe distancing between guests. NASCAR and the track staff will continue to work with health and government officials and be ready to provide a safe experience for the NASCAR fans in attendance.”

The offer is open exclusively on a first-come, first-served basis to fans who purchased tickets or reserved camping for the originally scheduled GEICO 500 on April 26 and live within 0-150 miles of the track. The geographical limitations are being implemented to limit travel and reduce risk. Eligible fans may use their April event credit to select new seats or may purchase seats, if preferred, through the following options:

  • Visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/return for complete details or click here
  • Respond to an email offer sent to Alabama TSS spring ticket customers within the 150-mile radius
  • Call 1-877-Go2-DEGA

 

This weekend will be the 103rd NASCAR Cup Series race hosted at Talladega Superspeedway, dating back to the very first series event at the track on September 14, 1969 – a race won by Richard Brickhouse. Since then, the 102 Cup races at Talladega have produced 44 different pole winners, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott with eight poles. The Cup Series has also seen 49 different race winners at Talladega, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt with 10 victories. Hendrick Motorsports leads the series in wins at Talladega with 13 victories, with Chase Elliott’s victory in this race last season breaking the tie they had held with Richard Childress Racing (12 wins). Twelve of the 49 different winners are active this weekend, led by Brad Keselowski with five wins.

 

Notable series facts about Talladega:

  • Since the advent of electronic scoring, the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway is the April 17, 2011, race won by Jimmie Johnson over second-place Clint Bowyer with a margin of victory of 0.002 second – the margin of victory is tied with the 2003 Darlington race as the closest finishes in the series using electronic scoring. 
  • Talladega Superspeedway leads the series all-time in the number of lead changes in a race with 88 (happened twice, most recently in 2011) and the number of leaders in a race with 29 (April 2010).
  • There have been 14 NASCAR Cup Series races resulting in NASCAR Overtime at Talladega – most recent was the Oct. 2018 event.
  • Prior to this weekend, only one NASCAR Cup Series race held at Talladega Superspeedway was not run on its scheduled date. The April 27, 1997, race was postponed due to inclement weather to May 10, 1997 – Mark Martin won the event.
  • A total of 11 different drivers have won their first NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (5/7/2017), Brad Keselowski (04/26/2009), Brian Vickers (10/08/2006), Ken Schrader (07/31/1988), Phil Parsons (05/01/1988), Davey Allison (04/30/1987), Bobby Hillin Jr. (07/27/1986), Ron Bouchard (08021981), Lennie Pond (08/06/1978), Dick Brooks (08/12/1973) and Richard Brickhouse (09/14/1969). Twenty drivers entered this weekend at Talladega are still looking for their first career NASCAR Cup Series victory.   

 

New Rules Package for ‘Dega: What you need to know

The NASCAR Cup Series cars will have a new rules package this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway aimed at improving the overall safety of the vehicles. These rules changes were implemented in a May 1 technical bulletin and include lessons learned from the investigation into the No. 6 car incident at Daytona.

 

The changes are as follows:

  • Addition of a lower main roll bar support bar #20 / intrusion plate and upper main roll bar support bar #21 (mandatory superspeedways, optional elsewhere).
  • Elimination of aero ducts at superspeedway tracks.
  • Reduction in size of throttle body from 59/64” to 57/64” (superspeedways only).
  • Updated roll bar padding specifications (mandatory at all tracks beginning June 1).
  • Oil reservoir tank or overflow expansion tank must contain a check valve (mandatory at all tracks beginning with Talladega).
  • Slip tape must be applied along the entire length of the lower rearward facing surfaces of the rear bumper cover and extension (superspeedways only).

 

Joe Gibbs Racing regains form

Joe Gibbs Racing has put everyone on notice that they have regained their winning form when Martin Truex Jr. collected his second Martinsville Grandfather clock of his career on Wednesday, and then on Sunday in a weather delayed event at Homestead-Miami, Denny Hamlin captured his third victory of the season (Daytona, Darlington). And as a result, Joe Gibbs Racing has tied Team Penske for the series-most wins in 2020 at four each.

 

Heading into Talladega this weekend, Joe Gibbs Racing is hoping to build off of the early success. Not only does Hamlin lead the series in wins this season, he also leads the JGR stable in wins at Daytona and Talladega (all-time) with four (three Daytona 500 wins and 2014 May Talladega); followed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart with three (2008 Oct. Talladega and 2005, 2006 July Daytona), two-time series champ Kyle Busch with two (2008 July Daytona, 2008 April Talladega), NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett (1993 Daytona 500) and Erik Jones (July Daytona) each have one. The only current JGR driver still looking for his first win on a superspeedway is Martin Truex Jr., but he does have two runner-up finishes at Daytona.

 

Though two Joe Gibbs Racing drivers are locked into the Playoffs on wins (Hamlin and Truex), all four JGR teammates will be looking to advance their position in the driver standings – Truex (sixth, -53 back from the points lead), Hamlin (seventh, -68), Kyle Busch (ninth, -104) and Erik Jones (18th, -190). Both Busch and Jones are still looking for their first wins of the season.

 

While the momentum might be at their backs following Homestead-Miami, the organization will still look to snap a Talladega winless streak that dates back to Hamlin’s win in 2014 - the last time a Toyota visited Victory Lane at the 2.66-mile superspeedway. Last season in this race, Kyle Busch was the highest-finishing JGR driver in 10th; followed by Erik Jones (19th), Martin Truex Jr. (20th) and Denny Hamlin finished 36th after being involved in an incident.

 

Unpredictability is one of the assets of Talladega that has fans so intrigued by the races, and that might be even more ramped-up without practice leading into the race this Sunday, but the series season wins leader (Hamlin) seems unphased.

 

“. … We've run a different package at superspeedways almost every other year,” said Denny Hamlin following his win in Miami. “We'll adapt pretty quickly. So, for me there is not really any concerns. … These drivers are so good; they're going to figure it out pretty quick.”

 

Hamlin also leads his teammates in average finishing position at Talladega heading into the weekend with a 19.0; followed Busch (20.2), Truex (21.4) and Jones (28.1)

 

Team Penske is tops at Talladega

You do not have to be a statistician to know who the best at Talladega has been as of late – Team Penske. Over the last 11 races at Talladega Superspeedway, Team Penske has celebrated in Victory Lane in seven of them (63.6%); including the most recent - last October’s race, when Ryan Blaney beat Ryan Newman in a thrilling photo finish.

 

In total, Team Penske has eight wins at the Alabama track among three drivers - Brad Keselowski (four wins: 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017), Joey Logano (three: 2015, 2016, 2018) and Ryan Blaney (2019). 

 

Despite the crew chief shake up to start the season, all three Team Penske drivers are in the top five in points with a third of the season in the books. Leading the way are veterans Keselowski and Logano, who have both secured their spots in the Playoffs with wins this season (two wins each) and both have racked up Playoff points through stage wins. Logano is currently third in the driver standings, 29 points back from Kevin Harvick in the standings lead, and Keselowski is fourth in the standings; 51 points back from Harvick.

 

But this weekend, could be the one Blaney takes the spotlight and gets his first win of 2020. Just one point behind his teammate Keselowski, in fifth in the driver standings, Blaney is the highest ranked driver without a win this season. But he has been incredibly consistent posting six top fives (tied for series-most) on the year.

 

“I enjoy speedway racing. It's just kind of a different deal,” said Blaney. “I'm excited to see the new rules package. We are going to get a firsthand look at it right in the race, no practice. I'm excited to see what that does.”

 

Blaney has made 11 starts at Talladega posting one win, two top fives, three top 10s and an average finish of 19.0.

 

He continued, “As far as the momentum side, yeah, you feel good for sure, stringing together some decent runs. But it is hard to kind of carry that over to Talladega. You just never know what can happen.”

 

Team Penske finished fifth (Logano), 13th (Keselowski), and 15th (Blaney) in the Spring Talladega race last season, then in the Fall they finished first (Blaney), 11th (Logano), and 25th (Keselowski).

 

Ford power has been on display at ‘Dega

Over the last 15 NASCAR Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway one manufacturer has stood above the rest, and it is not even close. Ford and Roush Yates Engines has won 11 of the last 15 Talladega Superspeedway NASCAR Cup Series races – a winning percentage of 73.3%.

 

In one word, Ford has been - dominant.

 

Led by the seven wins of Team Penske and followed by the two victories of Roush Fenway Racing and the single wins of Stewart-Haas Racing and Front Row Motorsports Ford has nearly been unstoppable. (see chart below for breakdown of wins of last 15 Talladega races)

 

 

OEM

Winner

Organization

Date

1

Ford

Matt Kenseth

Roush Fenway Racing

Sunday, October 7, 2012

2

Ford

David Ragan

Front Row Motorsports

Sunday, May 5, 2013

3

Chevrolet

Jamie McMurray

Chip Ganassi Racing

Sunday, October 20, 2013

4

Toyota

Denny Hamlin

Joe Gibbs Racing

Sunday, May 4, 2014

5

Ford

Brad Keselowski

Team Penske

Sunday, October 19, 2014

6

Chevrolet

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

Hendrick Motorsports

Sunday, May 3, 2015

7

Ford

Joey Logano

Team Penske

Sunday, October 25, 2015

8

Ford

Brad Keselowski

Team Penske

Sunday, May 1, 2016

9

Ford

Joey Logano

Team Penske

Sunday, October 23, 2016

10

Ford

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

Roush Fenway Racing

Sunday, May 7, 2017

11

Ford

Brad Keselowski

Team Penske

Sunday, October 15, 2017

12

Ford

Joey Logano

Team Penske

Sunday, April 29, 2018

13

Ford

Aric Almirola

Stewart-Haas Racing

Sunday, October 14, 2018

14

Chevrolet

Chase Elliott

Hendrick Motorsports

Sunday, April 28, 2019

15

Ford

Ryan Blaney

Team Penske

Monday, October 14, 2019

 

In total, nine different manufacturers have won in the NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway; led by Chevrolet with 41 victories; followed by Ford with 29, Mercury (seven), Buick (six), Oldsmobile (six), Dodge (four), Plymouth (three), Toyota (three) and Pontiac (two).

 

Playoff Outlook: Big names on the outside looking in

With seven drivers already locked into the NASCAR Cup Series postseason on wins, Talladega Superspeedway could be the golden ticket for one lucky driver to add his name to the Playoff list as 10 former Daytona and Talladega winners are entered this weekend who are still looking for their first victory of 2020.

 

PLAYOFF BUBBLE FOLLOWING HOMESTEAD-MIAMI

Rank

Driver

Points

Leader

Next

Pts From Cutoff

8

Ryan Blaney

411

-52

1

132

9

Kyle Busch

359

-104

21

80

10

Kurt Busch

338

-125

21

59

11

Jimmie Johnson

322

-141

16

43

12

Clint Bowyer

316

-147

6

37

13

Aric Almirola

303

-160

13

24

14

Matt DiBenedetto

301

-162

2

22

15

William Byron

291

-172

10

12

16

Austin Dillon

281

-182

10

2

17

Tyler Reddick #

279

-184

2

-2

18

Erik Jones

273

-190

6

-8

19

Chris Buescher

233

-230

40

-48

20

Bubba Wallace

231

-232

2

-50

21

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

218

-245

13

-63

22

John Hunter Nemechek #

209

-254

9

-72

23

Michael McDowell

206

-257

3

-75

24

Christopher Bell #

196

-267

10

-85

25

Ryan Newman

191

-272

5

-90

*Former Daytona & Talladega series race winners are bolded.

 

Of the 10 drivers looking for their first win this season, seven of them are ranked inside the top 16 in the driver standings and could currently get into the postseason on points. Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney leads the way as he is the highest ranked driver in the standings, plus he won at Talladega last season. Blaney currently has a comfortable lead (132 points) above the postseason cutoff. 

 

Next are the Busch brothers, Kyle has two wins at Daytona and a win at Talladega back in 2008 and Kurt won the 2017 Daytona 500. Kyle Busch is 80 points up on the postseason cutoff heading into this weekend, and Kurt is up 59 from the cutoff.

 

Seven-time series champ, Jimmie Johnson is also looking to get his first win of the season and snap a winless streak that dates back to 2017. Fortunately, Johnson has found success at both Daytona (two Daytona 500s) and Talladega (two wins: 2006, 2011). Johnson is only 43 points up on Reddick in 17th, the first spot outside the Playoffs. 

 

Next on the list are Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Clint Bowyer and Aric Almirola. Bowyer has two wins at Talladega (2010, 2011) and Aric Almirola has won at Daytona (July 2014) and Talladega (Oct. 2018). Bowyer is a mere 34 points up on the postseason cutoff and Almirola is up 24 points.

 

And last of the 2020 winless drivers inside the top 16 in points that has formerly won at Daytona or Talladega is Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon. He is currently in the 16th spot, just two points ahead of his RCR teammate and Sunoco rookie Tyler Reddick in 17th. Dillon won the 2018 Daytona 500. He has made 13 starts at Talladega posting one top five and three top 10s.

 

Erik Jones (July Daytona), Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2017 Talladega and July Daytona) and Ryan Newman (2016 Daytona 500 winner) are the three former superspeedway winners just outside the top 16 looking for their first win of 2020.

 

Kings of Talladega

NASCAR Cup Series

Talladega Active Race Winners

Active Race Winners (12)

Wins

Brad Keselowski

5

Joey Logano

3

Clint Bowyer

2

Jimmie Johnson

2

Aric Almirola

1

Chase Elliott

1

Denny Hamlin

1

Kevin Harvick

1

Kyle Busch

1

Matt Kenseth

1

Ricky Stenhouse Jr

1

Ryan Blaney

1

When anyone is speaking about someone being the best of the best at something, they’re often deemed the ‘King’ of the particular subject. For example, NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins with 200 and his next closest competitor is 95 behind him (David Pearson at 105). Rightfully so, he was nicknamed ‘The King’. But who are the kings of Talladega Superspeedway?

 

The three drivers that have won the most at Talladega Superspeedway all-time are NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt (10 wins: 1983, 1984, 1990 sweep, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1999 sweep, 2000), Jeff Gordon (six win: 1996, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2007 sweep) and the soon-to-be-inducted Dale Earnhardt Jr. (six wins: 2001, 2002 sweep, 2003, 2004, 2015). Earnhardt Jr. holds the record for most consecutive wins at the 2.66-mile track, winning four straight from the fall of 2001 to the spring of 2003.

 

This weekend, Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski has the opportunity to etch his name alongside the names of some of Talladega’s royalty. With five wins under his belt, Keselowski can tie Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon for second-most wins all-time in the NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway with six victories.

 

Keselowski has made 22 series starts at Talladega posting five wins (2009, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017), seven top fives and 11 top 10s. He finished 13th in this race last season.

 

Harvick continues to hang on to the top

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick took over the points lead following the fourth race (Phoenix) of the 2020 season and in spite of a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a busy condensed schedule following, he hasn’t relinquished the top spot in the NASCAR Cup Series driver standings as the series heads to its 13th race of the season at Talladega Superspeedway.

 

With his first win of the year at Darlington Raceway, the first race back from the break, Harvick locked himself into the Playoffs and over the next few races built his points lead up over second in the standings to 48 points following his second win of the season at Atlanta.

 

But these last two races have been disastrous for Harvick’s points lead, finishing 15th at Martinsville and 26th at Homestead-Miami. Harvick heads to Talladega this weekend with just an eight-point lead over second-place Chase Elliott and that could be in jeopardy as well. Harvick has made 38 series starts at Talladega posting one win (2010), seven top fives and 15 top 10s. But, in his last three starts at the 2.66-mile raceway he has finished 17th or worst, including a 38th-place finish in this race last season. On a bright note though, he finished fifth in the season opening Daytona 500, the last time the series ran on a superspeedway.

 

Tyler Reddick has the Sunoco rookies on the rise

Sunoco Rookie of the Year Standings

 

Rookies

Points

Awards

Tyler Reddick

279

7

John H. Nemechek

209

2

Christopher Bell

196

2

Cole Custer

181

1

Brennan Poole

91

0

Quin Houff

52

0

The 2020 Sunoco Rookie of the Year class has started to prove not only do they belong in the NASCAR Cup Series, but they intend to contend.

 

Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick has been the most impressive rookie this season, but really showcased his skills on one of his favorite tracks last weekend – Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Californian, Reddick, posted his first top-five (fourth) of the season and ran amongst the leaders for the majority of the race; even leading his first three laps of his series career. Reddick leads the rookie standings by 70 points over second place John Hunter Nemechek.  In 12 starts this year, he has put up one top five, three top 10s and an average finish of 17.0. 

 

Riding in Reddick’s wake is driver of the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford, John Hunter Nemechek, currently second in the rookie standings 13 points up on third place Christopher Bell. In 12 starts this season, Nemechek has collected one top 10 and an average finish of 19.8.

 

"Front Row Motorsports has always had a strong program at Talladega,” said John Hunter Nemechek. “We started the season strong with a good run at Daytona, so hopefully we can have a repeat performance for an even better finish this weekend.”

 

All six rookies in the 2020 class will be making their series track debuts this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. At Daytona earlier this season John Hunter Nemechek had the highest finish of the rookies (11th); followed by Brennan Poole (16th), Christopher Bell (21st), Tyler Reddick (28th), Cole Custer (37th) and Quin Houff (39th).

 

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

Gaughan fights COVID-19 while not racing – Beard Motorsport’s driver Brendan Gaughan has officially retired from fulltime racing and instead has started a part-time driving campaign where he races just the four superspeedway races at Daytona and Talladega. In between racing, Gaughan works for his family’s company at the South Beach Casino in Las Vegas and runs his sanitation company he recently started. With the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent shutdown of Las Vegas casinos, Gaughan and his team have been working around the clock to provide services to the Las Vegas area to combat the virus and get the area back up and running.

 

“My little cleaning company that I don’t talk much about – New Wave Cleaning Solutions that I started about three years ago – it’s just exploded,” said Gaughan. “It’s been a great little, no frills company, but with all of the disinfecting and sanitizing that needs to be done (due to COVID-19), New Wave Cleaning Solutions became a big part of what it took to get Vegas back open. Trying to get PPE for casinos, trying to get disinfectants and the machines for disinfecting in the casinos, sourcing out sanitizers other than alcohol-based ones because everybody is getting tired of alcohol-based sanitizers – we did all of that. I don’t think I’ve ever slept less in my life, talking to people across the world at all hours of the night, trying to source and find supplies, and getting those products and protocols into the casinos. The Station Casinos use a lot of my products. They’re massive in town. My family’s casinos, everybody who’s a friend of ours and is a casino operator, we called and said, ‘Hey, we want to take care of the people we know and get this town open.’ It was really exciting, if you want to know the truth. But to do it while being the homeschool dad and just staying current with things in NASCAR, I’ve been busier than I’ve ever been.”

 

Gaughan will be back in the No. 62 Beard Motorsports Chevrolet this weekend at Talladega. Gaughan has made nine starts at Talladega posting one top five and two top 10s.

 

Upcoming Milestones – Ryan Blaney will be making his 175th NASCAR Cup Series career start this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. … B.J. McLeod will be making his 50th NASCAR Cup Series career start at Talladega this weekend. … Brad Keselowski can tie Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon for second-most series wins all-time at Talladega with a victory this weekend.

 

Manufacturer Standings Update – Through the first 12 races of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season Ford has won half of the events (six); followed by Toyota with four and Chevrolet with two. Ford (444 points) leads the series manufacturer standings by 25 points over second place Toyota (419) and 36 points up on third place Chevrolet (408).

 

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

Xfinity goes Superspeedway racing in Alabama

The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to the Talladega Superspeedway for the Unhinged 300 on Saturday, June 21, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. ET (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

 

Coming off a double-header weekend in South Florida’s Homestead-Miami Speedway, the series will hit the pavement for 300 miles of excitement and hard racing at the 2.66-mile track.

 

The first of the two race’s last weekend was won by Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Harrison Burton in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. The win marked the second of the season for the rookie, the first one coming at Auto Club Speedway.

 

Then Sunday’s Xfinity race was won by Chase Briscoe. The victory was Briscoe’s third of the season and a nice comeback after suffering a major penalty the day before as well as the ejection of his crew chief, car chief and engineer after dropping a ballast during the race’s pace laps. Greg Zipadelli stepped in as the interim crew chief and got his first Xfinity Series win atop the pit box.

 

Briscoe’s three wins (Las Vegas, Darlington and Homestead-Miami) are the most in the series.

 

However, because it was Dash 4 Cash race, Briscoe wasn’t the only winner in Miami. AJ Allmendinger, who runs a part-time schedule for Kaulig Racing, took home the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus for being the highest-finishing driver (fourth) among all four Dash 4 Cash competitors. Briscoe was not in the running for the money.

 

Noah Gragson dominated both races at Homestead-Miami Speedway but ended up losing the front spot during late race restarts. He was also competing for the Dash 4 Cash on Sunday for the second week in a row.

 

Briscoe’s win at Homestead puts him in the running for this weekend’s Dash 4 Cash installment at Talladega Superspeedway along with Brandon Jones, Ross Chastain and Allmendinger.

 

Talladega Superspeedway is always home to some of NASCAR’s most exciting racing. The series was originally supposed to race at the superspeedway on April 25, 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Talladega has hosted 28 NASCAR Xfinity Series races dating back to the inaugural event in 1992 won by Ernie Irvan. The 28 races have produced 23 different race winners and 21 different pole winners. Martin Truex Jr. has the most wins at the track with three and Joe Nemechek has the most poles with five. Nemechek is tied with Joey Logano for the most top fives (seven) and leads the way in most top 10s (nine).

 

Chevrolet has the most wins by a manufacturer at the track with 16 and Joe Gibbs Racing has the most wins by a car owner with five victories.

 

Talladega has a 4,300-foot frontstretch and 4,000-foot backstretch with 33 degrees of banking in corners. There are 16.5 degrees of banking on the front and two degrees of banking on the back.

 

Saturday’s race will be 300.58 miles and 113 laps. The first stage will end on 25, second stage on 50 and the final stage will conclude on Lap 113.

 

Dash 4 Cash update
The Dash 4 Cash program is back for the NASCAR Xfinity Series and this time the schedule is a little different compared to past years due to a revised 2020 schedule as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Dash 4 Cash kicked off at Atlanta Motor Speedway two weekends ago where Noah Gragson won the season’s first installment.

 

Last weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, AJ Allmendinger grabbed the second $100,000 bonus.

 

As the Xfinity Series heads to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend for the Unhinged 300 (5:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), Allmendinger, Chase Briscoe, Brandon Jones and Ross Chastain will be the drivers competing for the prize money.

 

Xfinity is making donation in each Dash 4 Cash race market to reaffirm their companywide commitment of connecting families, veterans and seniors to the digital tools necessary for navigating these challenging times.

 

At Talladega Superspeedway the donation will go to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Alabama, which gives young people in need the developmental tools to achieve great futures as productive, responsible citizens in the community. The donation will help with academic and character-building programs to continue through the crisis.

 

Here’s a brief summary on the Dash 4 Cash initiative so far:

  • NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers will compete for four positions in Dash 4 Cash events
    • Atlanta Motor Speedway: Noah Gragson, Chase Briscoe, Brandon Jones and Harrison Burton
    • Homestead-Miami Speedway (2): AJ Allmendinger, Noah Gragson, Justin Haley and Daniel Hemric
    • Talladega Superspeedway: AJ Allmendinger, Chase Briscoe, Brandon Jones and Ross Chastain
    • Pocono Raceway: Four highest-finishing drivers from Talladega
  • Of the four competing for Dash 4 Cash, the highest finisher wins the $100,000 prize, and automatically moves on to defend the title at the next event.
  • The next three highest-finishing NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers, for four total competitors, will join the previous Dash 4 Cash winner to compete for the next week’s event.

 

Dash 4 Cash Qualifiers for Talladega: 

  • AJ Allmendinger (No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet) – Allmendinger had never made a start at Talladega in the Xfinity Series so this weekend will mark his debut. However, he’s made 18 starts at the track in the Cup Series and has one top-five and three top 10 finishes.

 

  • Chase Briscoe (No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) – Briscoe will be making his third start at Talladega in the Xfinity Series this weekend. He finished fourth last season at the track and has an average finish of 10.0. Briscoe also made one start at the track in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series in 2017 and started fifth but finished 22nd.

 

  • Brandon Jones (No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) – Jones has four starts at Talladega and a best finish of runner-up in 2018. Jones also made one start at the track in the in Gander Trucks and finished runner-up in 2015.

 

  • Ross Chastain (No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet) – Chastain will make his sixth Xfinity Series start at Talladega on Saturday. In his previous five starts at Talladega he has put up two top-20 finishes. Chastain also has four starts at Talladega in the Gander Trucks with a best finish of third in 2013.

 

Burton continues breakthrough season

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Harrison Burton broke another record last weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He became the first Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender to finish inside the top-10 in the first 10 races of the Xfinity Series season. His finish at Homestead broke the previous rookie record of nine consecutive races to start the season with top-10 finishes by Carl Edwards in 2005.

 

Overall, the driver of the No. 20 Toyota, has dominated the rookie standings.

  

This weekend will be Burton’s series track debut at Talladega Superspeedway. Burton made one start at Talladega in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2019 and finished 11th after starting from third.

 

Burton is currently sitting in third in the series points standings, behind leader Noah Gragson and second-place Chase Briscoe.

 

Burton also joins them on the list of multi-race winners this season in the Xfinity Series. Combined, Burton, Gragson and Briscoe make up seven wins in the 10 races run so far.

 

Plus, don’t forget Burton kicked the season off with a runner-up finish at Daytona; right behind Gragson.

 

Cindric closing in

Austin Cindric is still on the hunt for his first win in the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series season and Talladega Superspeedway could be where he gets it done.

 

The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford has five top fives and seven top 10s so far this season. He has an average start of 7.7 and an average finish of 10.9.

 

Most recently, he finished second at the first of two races last weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Cindric has finished in the top-10 in all but three races so far this season.

 

He’s led 230 laps and is currently in fourth in the championship points standings for the series - the highest-ranked driver without a win. But he has been upfront, Cindric has led the third-most percentage of laps this season (12.57%) sitting behind a pair of JR Motorsports teammates Noah Gragson and Justin Allgaier.

 

This weekend’s Unhinged 300 on Saturday, June 20 (5:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) will be Cindric’s third Xfinity Series start at the track. Last season, he finished fifth for Team Penske in this event.

 

Pit selection, starting lineup for Homestead
Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series pit selection order will be based on finishing position from the June 14 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, followed by new entries in order of points.

 

The started lineup is determined by:

  • Positions 1 - 12:  The first 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up Eligibility will be assigned starting positions 1st – 12th using a random draw.
  • Positions 12 – 24:  The next 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 12th- 24th using a random draw. 
  • Starting positions 25 – 36: The next 12 NXS Teams based on the Adverse Conditions Line Up eligibility will be assigned starting positions 25th -36th using a random draw. 
  • Any vehicles that are eligible for the Event in position 37th – 40th will be assigned starting positions based on their order of eligibility.

 

 

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series

 

Kyle Busch keeps adding up wins
Kyle Busch Motorsport’s team owner/driver Kyle Busch was victorious, once again, in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday night.

 

The veteran driver of the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota had to start last and take a drive-through penalty due to failing inspection all en route to his series leading 58th Gander Trucks victory. The win brings his NASCAR national series wins total to an astounding 211 victories (most all-time).

 

Tyler Ankrum finished runner-up to Busch, Ross Chastain was third, Chase Elliott finished fourth and Johnny Sauter came in fifth. It was Ankrum’s first top five of the season.

 

Hill, the leader of the series driver standings, was able to extend his lead to 44 points over second place Christian Eckes and by 48 points over third place Grant Enfinger.

 

The Gander Trucks are off this weekend before heading to Pocono Raceway on June 27 for the Pocono Organics 150 to benefit Farm Aid (12:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). That race will mark the sixth of the season.

 

Gander Trucks at Pocono

When the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series hits the track in two week at Pocono Raceway, it will be the series’ 11th race at the Pennsylvania track.

 

Kyle Busch is the only driver to have won twice at Pocono (2015, 2018) and Ross Chastain is the most recent winner (2019).

 

The inaugural Gander Trucks race at Pocono was on July 31, 2010 and Elliott Sadler took home the victory.

 

Four of the races were won from the pole but none of the 10 races run were won from a starting position outside of the top six.

 

Chevrolet has five wins at Pocono while Ford has one and Toyota has four.

 

There are no current fulltime active drivers in the series with a prior win. Busch and Chastain are the only two drivers that are still running in the Gander Trucks on a part-time schedule and they are both not entered to run Pocono at this time. As a result, the series is guaranteed to crown a new Pocono winner.

 

Eyeing the Playoff Outlook Following Homestead-Miami

Rank

Driver

Points

Wins

Pts From Cutoff

1

Grant Enfinger

161

2

In On Wins

2

Austin Hill

209

0

77

3

Christian Eckes #

165

0

33

4

Ben Rhodes

161

0

29

5

Todd Gilliland

148

0

16

6

Zane Smith #

147

0

15

7

Johnny Sauter

140

0

8

8

Brett Moffitt

137

0

5

9

Sheldon Creed

135

0

3

10

Tyler Ankrum

133

0

1

11

Derek Kraus #

132

0

-1

12

Matt Crafton

132

0

-1

13

Raphael Lessard #

114

0

-19

14

Stewart Friesen

112

0

-21

15

Tanner Gray #

111

0

-22

With five NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races in the books it’s time to take a look at the Playoff picture. Grant Enfinger’s two wins so far this season, has him atop the Playoff standings outlook as he is the only driver locked in on wins. That leaves nine spots still up for grabs.

 

Among the nine vying for a Playoff spot on points, series driver standings leader and Hattori Racing Enterprises driver, Austin Hill, has the most comfortable points cushion heading into the weekend break with 77 points up on the postseason cutoff. 

 

Right behind Hill is Kyle Busch Motorsport’s rookie Christian Eckes, who is 33 points ahead of the Playoff cutoff following Miami. Eckes gained four spots in the standings in South Beach and also took the series Sunoco rookie standings lead in the process.  Zane Smith is the second rookie challenger inside the top 10 in points; currently 15 markers above the Playoff cutline.

Then down in the Playoff bubble hotseat sits Tyler Ankrum, 10th in the driver standings just one point ahead of 11th place Derek Kraus and 12th place Matt Crafton (both have 132 points) the first two spot outside the postseason cutoff. Ankrum scored his first top five (runner-up) of the season last weekend at Homestead-Miami to bounce him up two spots ahead of Kraus and Crafton and into the Playoff discussion.

 

NASCAR PR

Speedway Digest Staff

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