Recent races at Talladega Superspeedway usually deliver in the last 10 laps, if not the last one.
Only twice in the last 26 races has the final green-flag run lasted longer than 10 laps.
In the 94-race history of the 2.66-mile track, there have been 23 last-lap passes for the win. In the 12 Chase for the Sprint Cup races it’s held, there have been seven.
However, four of the last six races, including the last two visits, have ended under caution.
But this is Talladega. None of these numbers mean anything. Bring on the chaos.
Here’s who is hot and cold entering the Alabama 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
- Lost 32 points to the bubble at Kansas after an accident left him with his season-worst finish of 38th and his first DNF since the 2015 Daytona 500.
- Finished top 10 in seven of the last eight races.
- Won the fall 2014 Talladega race in a must-win situation. Has won at Talladega three times in 11 races and is the only repeat winner in that time.
- Won May Talladega race and the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona.
- Top-10 finishes in the last six races, best streak of 2016.
- One of two drivers with top-10 finishes in all five Chase races in 2016 (Matt Kenseth).
- Finished 25th or worse in 11 of 22 Talladega starts.
- Finished in the top three in all three restrictor-plate races this season.
- Kansas was first Chase race this year he didn’t lead a lap in.
- Top-10 finishes in the last five races, including two runner-up results.
- Since 2013 Daytona, has finished 14th or worse in 12 of 15 restrictor-plate races.
- Only one finish of 20th or better in last six Talladega starts.
- Finished top 10 in the last four races, best streak of 2016 after having only four top 10s in the
prior 18 races.
- 363 laps led in the Chase, 266 in the regular season.
- One top 10 in last six Talladega starts.
- Already advanced to Round of Eight with Charlotte win.
Who is cold
- Finished fifth in this race last year, his only top-20 finish in the last five races at Talladega.
- Two top 10s in last seven races.
- Seven DNFs in 24 Talladega starts.
- Top five at Kansas was first since Kentucky in July.
- Won pole at Talladega in May and finished fifth.
- Results of 31st and 33rd (DNF) at Kansas and Charlotte.
- Top 10s in four of the last eight races.
- Last on the Chase grid, 25 points back from eighth.
Martin Truex Jr.
- After winning two races in the first round, finished outside top 10 at Charlotte and Kansas.
- Had an issue in 23 of the 31 races this season, including a fueling problem at Kansas.
- Four top 10s in the last seven races at Talladega (finished 13th in May).
- Five top 10s in the last 14 plate races (nearly won the 2016 Daytona 500).
Other notes of interest ahead of the Alabama 500.
- The No. 24 car has won the last three poles at Talladega. Two with Jeff Gordon in 2015 and one with Chase Elliott in May.
- Team Penske has won three of the last four Talladega races. All four of its Talladega wins have come in the last nine races.
- Hendrick Motorsports has led the most laps in four of the last six Talladega races, but won only once (Dale Earnhardt Jr., May 2015).
- The driver leading the most laps won only two of the last 13 races at Talladega (Keselowski, May 2016; Earnhardt, May 2015).
NBCSN will air live a press conference held by NASCAR industry stakeholders to discuss the upcoming 2017 season at 6 p.m. ET Monday.
The announcement will be attended by NASCAR executives, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers, NASCAR team representatives and NASCAR track representatives.
The press conference is being held at the Charlotte Convention Center.
Kurt and Kyle Busch are in Miami this weekend to take part in the international auto racing competition, Race of Champions. The exhibition event is two days and pits drivers from every major auto racing league against each other.
The Busch brothers are the only NASCAR representatives in the competition. They are joined multiple Formula One drivers, Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Helio Castroneves, Juan Pablo Montoya, Alexander Rossi, Ryan-Hunter Reay, James Hinchciffe and Tony Kanaan and action sports star Travis Pastrana. Prior to the start of the races, all of the drivers got psyched up together.
And right before the event began, Kurt Busch showed off his new No. 41 Monster Energy Ford by doing donuts in the middle of the race course.
But when it came time to race Kurt Busch’s had a tough day. He and former Formula One driver David Coulthard competed in the vehicles used in the NASCAR Euro Series and Coulthard crossed the finish line with a healthy lead over the Stewart-Haas Racing driver.
Kyle Busch was marginally better in his first race against F1 driver Jenson Button, who won but with the Joe Gibbs Racing driver right at Button’s rear wheel.
But Kyle Busch bounced back in his second race and defeated Hinchcliffe, which advanced him out of the first round. But he was eliminated from the competition when he was swept by Coulthard in the next round.
In Kurt Busch’s second race, he faced Hunter-Reay, who was one of his teammates when he competed in the 2014 Indianapolis 500. Busch won, but he wasn’t able to advance to the next round.
The competition was eventually won by Montoya, who is taking part in the Race of Champions for the first time.
Both Busch brothers will be back on Sunday to compete for the Nations Cup.
Kyle Busch is entered into the third annual SRL Winter Showdown, a Super Late Model race at Kern County Raceway Park in Bakersfield, California.
Busch, who is competing in the Race of Champions this weekend in Miami, will drive the No. 51 Toyota Camry sponsored by JBL in the Feb. 11 race.
Busch and his competitors will be trying to claim the $30,000 prize for winning the race. Kyle Busch Motorsports had a presence in last year’s Showdown when Todd Gilliland competed for the team.
“They have a pretty strong field lined up again this year with Bubba Pollard coming back and trying to make it three-in-a-row. And then you add in some of the West Coast guys like Derek Thorn, David Mayhew and Noah Gragson, who will be running one of my trucks full-time this season, and it has a lot of great drivers,” Busch told Speed51.com. “One of the things that is going to be really cool is that this will be the first time that Erik Jones and I get to race against each other in the supers since he beat me in the Snowball Derby back in 2013.”
Busch is quite successful in his Super Late Model career, having won the Snowball Derby, CRA SpeedFest, the Oxford 250, the Winchester 400 and the Battle at Berlin in recent years.
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Last night, the NASCAR Hall of Fame inducted its eighth class, including Rick Hendrick, Richard Childress, Mark Martin, Benny Parsons and Raymond Parks.
The night was filled with current and future Hall of Famers celebrating the history of the sport and the lives of the five inductees.
MORE: Benny Parsons’ Hall of Fame induction an emotional celebration
MORE: Mark Martin went from a “broken man” to a Hall of Famer
Here’s a look at how the night played out on social media with observations on the inductees from current NASCAR drivers and one message from future NFL Hall of Famer Peyton Manning.
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