Sunday, May 28

Ford Performance - Talladega Superspeedway 1 Advance

Cup and Xfinity Series. The track has been good to Ford through the years with the manufacturer producing 31 victories in Cup, which includes at least one victory in 10 of the last 11 seasons.

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Joey Logano: “It’s quite a bit different for a few reasons, one being how wide the track is. Obviously, handling comes in a little bit less, but the way the pack works it’s really hard because there are more lanes to block. Daytona is three lanes, four lanes pretty tight, so you don’t really have to worry about four-wide there. Four-wide is a pretty common thing at Talladega. It can happen pretty comfortably, so it definitely changes that.”

Brad Keselowski: “You’ve got to learn to live with the fear.  That’s Talladega.  You have to accept the fact that you’re probably gonna get wrecked and the races where you get through it cleanly you just want to make the most of it. I go to Talladega with a big level of excitement.”

Michael McDowell: “When I first got into the sport I didn’t enjoy superspeedway racing because it was such a unique style and format of how you raced.  And the reason I didn’t enjoy it was because I was frustrated and didn’t understand it that well, so I really just became a student.  People would say, ‘Oh, it’s a luck race.’  But when I actually went and looked at results it’s not luck, it’s the same guys, so I started studying a handful of them and that really made a big difference for me.”


Team Penske has won 9 of the last 17 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 last season.  Joey Logano won in back-to-back seasons (2015-16) while Ryan Blaney followed suit, winning twice in the last four years at Talladega.



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)



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.



Mark Martin is the only Ford driver to have won in all three of the major series offered by NASCAR at Talladega. Martin won the Cup series race in 1995 and 1997, Xfinity in 1996 and lastly in the Truck series’ debut 2006 event. Current blue-oval branded drivers Joey Logano (2015 Xfinity) and Aric Almirola (2017 Xfinity) have won in both the Cup and Xfinity series, most recently sharing a sweep of the 2018 Cup double-header. David Ragan is also a part of the list, having won a Cup race in 2013 and an Xfinity race in 2009.



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.



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.




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.



Chad Little produced his most successful series campaign in 1995, winning six races and finishing runner-up in the championship. Of his six victories that season, one came at Talladega Superspeedway as Little took the lead with 10 laps to go to help Ford to its first-ever series win at NASCAR’s biggest speedway.  That win also coincided with the 20th anniversary year of Buddy Baker’s Cup sweep and the manufacturers’ first Cup wins at the legendary track.


Riley Herbst and Cole Custer are the two Ford Mustang drivers represented in the top-10 of this season’s standings heading into Talladega. Herbst, who is tied for second in most top-10 finishes this season (6), ranks fourth (281). Custer, who is coming off a pole run last week at Martinsville, is eighth (246). Both drivers earned a top-10 earlier this season at Daytona, finishing sixth and ninth, respectively. The April-edition of Talladega has been a strong-point for Herbst, as he’s recorded a seventh and fourth place finish the last two seasons.

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