The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Round of 12 continues with a Sunday afternoon showdown in the 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (2 p.m. ET on NBC/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). (UPDATE: The race will resume in Stage 2 on Monday at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN, NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.)
Talladega Superspeedway hosted its inaugural race on September 14, 1969, as Richard Brickhouse led 33 laps on his way to his first and only career win in the Grand National Series.
Claiming the title of NASCAR’s biggest and fastest track, Talladega is a 2.66-mile tri-oval with 33 degrees of banking in Turns 1 and 2, 33 degrees of banking in Turns 3 and 4, 16 degrees of banking in the tri-oval and 3 degrees of banking at the start-finish line.
Hendrick Motorsports and Team Penske have combined to win eight of the last 10 races at the track.
The race at Talladega will feature the 2019 rules package with aero ducts and a tapered-spacer engine generating a targeted 550 horsepower.
Each team will have two sets of Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials for practice, one set for qualifying and seven sets for the 500-mile race (six race sets plus a set transferred from qualifying or practice).
Unlike its fellow superspeedway, Daytona International Speedway, Talladega features a more abrasive surface that increases wear on tires that affects team strategies throughout the race.
“While we will see some pit strategy at Talladega, it is a track that actually wears tires a bit, especially when compared to Daytona,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “Depending on where teams are running and who they are working with, they can take four tires, or two, or fuel only to gain some track position.”
– Team Penske has won four of the last five Talladega elimination format playoff races, with Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano each winning a pair.
– The longest green flag stretch to ever end a Talladega playoff race was eight laps.
– Kurt Busch has the most laps led at Talladega without a win in Monster Energy Series history (266).
– Among all-time drivers, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. holds the second-best average finish at Talladega at 11.83 (minimum three starts).
– Three of the four playoff drivers currently outside a transfer spot have one or more wins at Talladega: Joey Logano (three), Clint Bowyer (two) and Chase Elliott (one)
Source: Racing Insights
The second race in the Round of 12 will air live Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBC and streamed on the NBC Sports App. Listen in to live radio coverage provided by MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Also, follow along on NASCAR.com for live Lap-by-Lap coverage, the live leaderboard, Drive (featuring in-car cameras) and RaceView (subscription: in-car audio, stats, more). Be sure to set your lineup in Fantasy Live and make your picks in the Props Challenge.
2018 RACE WINNER
With then-teammate Kurt Busch running out of fuel on the final lap of overtime, Aric Almirola powered his No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford to the front of the pack, taking home the checkered flag and securing his spot the Round of 8.
ACTIVE TALLADEGA WINNERS
Brad Keselowski (five); Joey Logano (three); Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson (two wins each); Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, David Ragan, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Aric Almirola, Chase Elliott (one win each).