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Ford Performance NASCAR: Brad Keselowski Going for Talladega Spring Repeat

Tuesday, Apr 19 313

FORD PERFORMANCE NASCAR: TALLADEGA NOTES

The NASCAR Xfinity and NASCAR Cup Series will be in action this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, where Ford has one at least once in each of the last 10 years.  Brad Keselowski comes into Sunday’s Cup race as the defending winner while Austin Cindric will be going for his second straight superspeedway victory after taking the season-opening Daytona 500.

This Week’s Schedule:

Saturday, April 23 – NASCAR XFINITY Series, 4 p.m. ET (FOX)

Sunday, April 24 – NASCAR Cup Series, 3 p.m. ET (FOX)

FORD IN THE NASCAR CUP SERIES AT TALLADEGA

  • Ford has 31 all-time series wins at Talladega, including 10 of the last 13, and 11 of the last 15.
  • Ford has won at least one Talladega Cup race each of the last 10 years.
  • Brad Keselowski is the defending winner of this weekend’s race.

FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT TALLADEGA

  • Ford has 6 series wins at Talladega.
  • The first Ford victory in the series was by Chad Little in 1995.
  • Six different Ford drivers have series wins at Talladega.

TEAM PENSKE ROLLING AT TALLADEGA

Team Penske has won 9 of the last 15 NCS races at Talladega Superspeedway.  Brad Keselowski started this run by winning in 2014 and registered four victories at the track before joining Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing this season.  Joey Logano won in back-to-back seasons (2015-16) while Ryan Blaney has followed suit, winning twice in the last three years at Talladega.

TEAM PENSKE WINS AT TALLADEGA SINCE 2014

2014 – Brad Keselowski (Talladega 2)

2015 – Joey Logano (Talladega 2)

2016 – Brad Keselowski (Talladega 1)

2016 – Joey Logano (Talladega 2)

2017 – Brad Keselowski (Talladega 2)

2018 – Joey Logano (Talladega 1)

2019 – Ryan Blaney (Talladega 2)

2020 – Ryan Blaney (Talladega 1)

2021 – Brad Keselowski (Talladega 1)

KESELOWSKI CLIMBING ALL-TIME TALLADEGA WIN LIST

Brad Keselowski is the winningest active driver at Talladega with six NASCAR Cup Series victories and is tied for second on the all-time list with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon.  The track’s all-time winner is Dale Earnhardt Sr., who won 10 times during his NASCAR Hall of Fame career.

ALMIROLA ALRIGHT AT TALLADEGA

Stewart-Haas driver Aric Almirola has had his share of success recently at Talladega Superspeedway, having posted eight top 10 finishes in the last 11 races at NASCAR’s biggest track.  Almirola, who won the playoff race at Talladega in 2018, had his streak of eight straight top 10 finishes come to an end in 2020 when an accident on lap 58 ended his day with a 37th-place result.

Ford Talladega Highlights:

BAKER PROVIDES MOORE SUCCESS

The first time Ford went to victory lane at Talladega Superspeedway was May 4, 1975 when Buddy Baker, driving for Hall of Fame car owner Bud Moore, held off David Pearson on the final lap.  The win was Baker’s ninth career victory and came after he took the lead with 18 laps to go.  One of the key decisions in getting Baker to the checkered flag first came when his team opted for two tires on its final pit stop of the day while Pearson and the Wood Brothers decided on gas only.  Even though Pearson steadily gained ground on the final lap, Baker was able to hold on by half a car length to win.  That started a streak which saw Baker and Moore win three straight Talladega races.

DAVEY ALLISON’S FIRST WIN

Ford has had many milestone moments at Talladega Superspeedway, including the first NASCAR Cup Series win for the late Davey Allison, who won the Winston 500 on May 3, 1987.  The race came down to a restart with 10 laps to go in which Allison found himself behind Dale Earnhardt in the outside lane.  Earnhardt bolted to the lead when the green flew and Allison tucked in right behind him through turns one and two.  As they came off the second corner, Allison went to the inside and easily passed Earnhardt for what proved to be the winning pass.  Terry Labonte ended up finishing second with Earnhardt third.  Allison went on to win 19 NCS races, including three at Talladega.

ROBERT YATES RACING’S FINAL WIN

When Dale Jarrett won the UAW-Ford 500 on Oct. 2, 2005 it ended up being the final trip to victory lane for Robert Yates Racing.  This race came down to a green-white-checker restart, where Jarrett was positioned fourth.  He was still in that spot when they came around to start the final lap, but quickly moved to the outside as Tony Stewart grabbed the lead on the inside lane.  The two drivers battled side-by-side down the backstretch before Jarrett powered his way in front.  Seconds after getting the lead, Kyle Petty was involved in a single-car accident that brought out the caution as the cars entered turn three.  Jarrett was declared the winner after NASCAR verified that he was in front at the time the yellow flag was thrown.  The win was RYR’s 57th triumph in the NASCAR Cup Series, and came six years after the team won its only championship with Jarrett in 1999.

DAVID RAGAN’S SURPRISE VICTORY

And then there was David Ragan, who became the 11th driver to win a NASCAR XFINITY and NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway when he took the checkered flag in the 2013 Aaron’s 499.  The win was his second series victory and first for Front Row Motorsports, and it ended in typical Talladega fashion.  As the cars came to the white flag it was Carl Edwards in the lead while Ragan was fifth and tucked in the middle lane behind Aric Almirola.  When Almirola moved to the high side, it enabled Ragan and teammate David Gilliland to work together and push their way forward.  The duo was behind Edwards off turn two, but they made their move to the inside on the backstretch and made what proved to be the decisive pass.

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