After a muddy Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway, this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series playoffs will move to another potentially muddy spot, Talladega Superspeedway.
Talladega, home to the biggest is almost certainly a multi-car crash, also occasionally spawns surprise winners, including Richard Brickhouse, James Hilton, Lenny Pond, Ron Bouchard and others. Brad Keselowski.
The combination of a tight draft, Next Gen car, and general playoff tension should make Sunday’s 500-mile run a real adventure.
On Sunday in Texas, Tyler Reddick became the second rider (after Chase Elliott) to get three wins this season.
Joey Logano enters Talladega with playoff points lead.
Playoff rookies take the field
Four drivers entering the Cup play-offs for the first time remain factors pushing the second race closer in the second round.
Ross Chastain ranks second in the standings, 18 points above the cut line included in Talladega.
MORE: NBC NASCAR Rankings Puts Denny Hamlin No. 1
Daniel Suarez, Chastain’s teammate at Trackhouse Racing, is in seventh place. It is four points above the cut line.
In search of victories
Only six of the remaining 12 playoff drivers have won races at the two remaining second round courses (Talladega and Charlotte Roval).
Of the six, Joey Logano has the best record at Talladega, finishing first in 2015, 2016 and 2018.
Of course, Charlotte Roval is relatively new, but Chase Elliott has already won two victories there. Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson also won in Roval.
Opening for Brad?
Few who watched it will forget Brad Keselowski’s first Cup Series win.
It happened at this week’s tour stop – Talladega Superspeedway – in April 2009. Keselowski and Carl Edwards made contact as they neared the finish line and recorded the win even as Edwards’ car crashed into the front lot fence, spraying car parts into the stands.
Thirteen years later, Keselowski returns to NASCAR’s biggest track with six Talladega victories. No other active disk has more than three.
Keselowski’s revamped team, Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing, has a new fire, with Chris Buescher winning at Bristol and Keselowski taking pole and finishing eighth at Texas.
RFK Racing has led 309 laps in the last two races, more than the team has led in the previous 105 races combined.
Although he hasn’t won a cup race since taking a Team Penske Ford win in April 2021 at Talladega, Keselowski should be considered a threat on Sunday.
List of Talladega Cup participants
List of Talladega Xfinity members
Talladega Truck claim list
Schedule and forecast for this week
(All time Eastern)
Friday, September 30
Forecast: Partly cloudy. High out of 77. (Weather note: There is a possibility that Hurricane Yang could affect the race weekend, depending on its trajectory).
- 15:30 – 17:00 – Truck Series qualification
- 17:30 – 19:00 – Xfinity Series Qualifier (US Network)
Saturday, October 1
Forecast: Partly cloudy with clearings. Heavy rains are possible. Maximum 73. Chance of rain 60%.
- 10:30 AM – Noon – Cup Series Qualifier (NBC Sports App, Motor Racing Network, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio)
- 12:30 – Truck Series Race (94 laps, 250 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
- 4:00 pm Xfinity Series Race (113 laps, 300 miles; USA Network, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
Sunday, October 2
Forecast: Sunny in the morning, cloudy in the afternoon. Small chance of rain. High 74.
- 2:00 pm – Cup Series Race (188 laps, 500 miles; NBC, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
The final six races in the NASCAR Cup Series race will be broadcast on NBC television.
Races remaining on the schedule include Talladega Superspeedway (October 2), Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (October 9), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (October 16), Homestead-Miami Speedway (October 23), Martinsville Speedway (October 30) and Phoenix Raceway (6 November).
The NBC broadcast team will arrive on Sunday for what is normally a seasonal event, the 500 mile race at Talladega Superspeedway. The playoffs will move to Charlotte next week for a cut-off race. The four riders with the fewest playoff points are eliminated from the championship.
Round 8 is scheduled in Las Vegas, Homestead and Martinsville, with the tiny Martinsville circuit being the final race. The four riders from Martinsville will compete for the title in Phoenix on November 6th.
The high drama of the race in Phoenix, in which the championship will go to the best finisher of the four competing riders, will be provided by both NBC and Peacock.
Post-race commentary and analysis for all six remaining cup races will be posted on Peacock.
Kyle Larson is the current champion of the series. Joey Logano leads the Sunday race in Talladega.
Crew members from other teams were nearby when Gibbs hit Dillon’s car, causing it to swerve. None of the crew members and officials were injured.
NASCAR has made it a priority that drivers should not make contact that could result in injury to crew members or pit road officials. NASCAR also penalized the Gibbs 25 Cup drivers and deducted 25 car owners’ points from 23XI Racing for car No. 23 Cup run by Gibbs.
— Ty Gibbs (@TyGibbs) September 27, 2022
Byron drops from third in the playoff standings to the cutoff line ahead of Sunday’s Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway (2pm ET on NBC).