Talladega Superspeedway gears up for the NASCAR Cup Series

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Known as the most competitive track on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule, the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway is the perfect stage for the wild side-by-side action NASCAR fans love and this weekend’s GEICO 500 (Sunday, April 25 at 2 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) should produce just that.

Construction began on what was then known as the Alabama International Motor Speedway on May 23, 1968. The first NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway was held on Sept. 14, 1969. The first Cup race was won by Richard Brickhouse driving a Dodge for car owner Ray Nichels. The average speed of the first race was 153.778 mph.

The name of the facility changed to Talladega Superspeedway in 1989. And the surface underwent its fourth repaving on Sept. 19, 2006.

In total, there have been 103 NASCAR Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway, one series event in 1969, and two races per year since 1970.

A total of 44 different drivers have won at least one pole at Talladega Superspeedway in the NASCAR Cup Series; 23 of the pole winners have won more than one. Six of the 44 Talladega NASCAR Cup Series pole winners are active this weekend. 

Active NASCAR Cup Series Pole Winners at Talladega Superspeedway

Active Pole Winners (6)PolesSeasons
Chase Elliott22019, 2016
Kevin Harvick22018, 2005
Austin Dillon12019
Kurt Busch12018
Martin Truex Jr12016
Ricky Stenhouse Jr12017

Due to the pandemic, this weekend’s starting lineups were determined by Metric Qualifying and as a result Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin will start from the pole and Team Penske’s Joey Logano will join Hamlin on the front row. Hamlin is the most recent winner at Talladega taking the checkered flag from the first starting position last October. In total, 15 of the 103 (14.56%) NASCAR Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway have been won from the pole or first starting position. But the outside front row (second-place) starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (20) than any other starting position at Talladega (19.42%).  

The 103 NASCAR Cup Series races have produced a total of 49 different race winners at Talladega Superspeedway; 25 of the 49 have won multiple times at the 2.66-mile track. Nine of the 49 NASCAR Cup Series Talladega race winners are active this weekend.

Active NASCAR Cup Series Race Winners at Talladega Superspeedway

Active Race Winners (9)WinsSeasons
Brad Keselowski52017, 2016. 2014, 2012, 2009
Joey Logano32018, 2016, 2015
Denny Hamlin22020, 2014
Ryan Blaney22020, 2019
Aric Almirola12018
Chase Elliott12019
Kevin Harvick12010
Kyle Busch12008
Ricky Stenhouse Jr12017

NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Talladega Superspeedway with 10 victories (1983, 1984, 1990 sweep, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1999 sweep, 2000). Brad Keselowski leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in wins at Talladega Superspeedway with five victories (2009, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017).

This Sunday’s GEICO 500 will be 188 laps (500 miles) in length and broken up into three stages. The first two stages will be 60 laps each and the final stage will be 68 laps.

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