NASCAR Pre Race Media: Top favorites/preview for Sunday’s GEICO 500 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN)

TRACK: Talladega Speedway (2.66-mile oval) DISTANCE: 188 Laps – STAGE 1: 60 Laps, Stage 2: 60 Laps, FINAL STAGE 68 LAPS, 500.08 Miles)

Starting Lineup

Favorites – 

Denny Hamlin

You have to take a look here. He won the Fall race, was fourth in the spring race, third in the fall race in 2019 and has won two of the last three Daytona 500’s to go along with three in the last six years. His superspeedway finishes last year were – 1st, 4th, 3rd and 1st respectively.

Brad Keselowski

You always go with Brad on a superspeedway race even though he’s struggled as of late. He’s won five times at Talladega, so don’t sleep on him still.

Joey Logano

He has four top five finishes in his last seven Talladega starts and is a three-time Talladega winner in his last 12 tries too.

Chase Elliott

Elliott, finished runner-up in two of the last three points paying races on superspeedway’s. He also has three top fives in five spring starts at Talladega including a win in 2019.

Race Preview

We’re heading to Talladega to close out the month of April in what will likely be another wild show. We’re going from two of the smallest race tracks on the schedule in Martinsville to Richmond and heading to the largest.

With nine races in the books and already seeing eight different winners, will we get another in Sunday’s GEICO 500 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN)?

Odds are very high of this which would be nearly historic.

This is the time for those that wouldn’t normally make the playoffs to steal a win and secure a postseason berth as a result. There’s plenty of drivers in this weekend’s field who can do so, which is why so many of the big named drivers who aren’t performing to standard this year and have yet to win may be sweating it out a little more than normal in past years.

Toyota has won just twice on this track since 2009. Both were by Denny Hamlin. Kyle Busch finished 10th at Talladega back in April (2019) but that and two top five finishes in the 2016 and 2017 spring races are the only top 10 finishes he’s had on the 2.66-mile oval since 2014. Martin Truex Jr. has one top five on this track since 2007. He’s been 20th or worse in his last seven Talladega starts.

Then you get some Ford guys like Kevin Harvick (1 top 5 in his last 18 Talladega starts) and Brad Keselowski (18th or worse in 5 of his last 6 on this track) who may struggle as well.

Of Note

8 of the last 14 superspeedway race winners in Cup competition have earned either their first or second career victories in them. But, 4 of the last 8 at Talladega and 7 of the last 9 at Daytona, saw drivers won their first or second superspeedway race on them too.

Key Stat

Ford has won 9 of the last 11 races at Talladega and took the win back in February at Daytona.

They Said It

“I just pray for clarity,” said Logano following his third place run at Richmond last week in regards to working with teammates on superspeedway’s. “Tell me what to do and what I can’t do and how to work together the best way possible.”

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