After a chaotic Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series qualifiers move to another potentially chaotic spot – Talladega Superspeedway.
Home of the Big One – an almost certain multi-car accident, Talladega also sometimes produces unexpected winners, including Richard Brickhouse, James Hylton, Lennie Pond, Ron Bouchard and Brad Kiselowski.
The combination of tight drafting, next-generation car and general tension should make Sunday’s 500-mile playoff a great adventure.
Joey Logano Talladega enters by a tiebreaker.
The rookies in the playoffs are rolling
The four drivers participating in the Cup qualifiers for the first time remain among the factors approaching the second race in the second round.
Ross Chastain He is second in the standings, 18 points above the cut-off line entering Talladega.
Daniel SuarezChastain’s Trackhouse Racing teammate is seventh. It is four points above the cut-off line.
Two other junior players in the play-off – Chase Brisco And the Austin Cendrick Talladega will start below the cut line. Briscoe is below the cut-off line at four points. Cindric is 11 points below the cutoff line.
Looking for victories?
Only six of the remaining 12 drivers won races on the two remaining tracks in Round Two (Talladega and Charlotte Roval).
Of the six, Joey Logano has the best win record in Talladega, having finished first there in 2015, 2016 and 2018.
Charlotte Roval is relatively new, of course, but Chase Elliott already has two wins there. Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson He also won the Roval.
A chance for Brad?
Few people who have seen the movie will forget the first Cup Series win that was scored by Brad Keselowski.
It happened at this week’s Tour stop – the Talladega Superspeedway – in April 2009. Keselowski and Carl Edwards called close to the finish line and took the win, even as Edwards’ car flew into the front fence, spraying auto parts in the stands.
Thirteen years later, Keselowski is back on NASCAR’s biggest track after scoring six wins at Talladega. No other active drive has more than three.
RFK Racing has driven 309 laps in the past two races, more than the team has driven in the previous 105 races combined.
Although he hasn’t won a cup race since scoring a Penske Ford team win in April 2021 at Talladega, Keselowski should be considered a threat on Sunday.
Schedule and forecast for this week
(all times east)
Friday 30 September
Climate forecast: partly cloudy. High 77. (Weather note: There is a possibility that Hurricane Ian could affect racing this weekend, depending on its track).
- 3:30 – 5 pm – Truck Series Qualifiers
- 5:30-7pm – Xfinity Series Qualifiers (USA Network)
Saturday 1 October
Climate forecast: Occasional showers. The possibility of heavy rain. High 73. 60% chance of precipitation.
- 10:30 a.m. – noon – Cup Series Qualifiers (NBC Sports app, Motor Racing Network, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio)
- 12:30 PM – Truck Series Race (94 laps, 250 miles; FS1, Network Motorsports, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
- 4pm – Xfinity Series Race (113 laps, 300 miles; USA Network, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
Sunday 2 October
Climate forecast: Sun in the morning, clouds increase in the afternoon. Little chance of a shower. high of 74.
- 2 p.m. – Cup Series Race (188 laps, 500 miles; NBC, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)