Today’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega: Start time, lineup, TV information and more

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TALLADEGA, Ala. — The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will play host to its second race with restrictor plates (which are used to limit airflow to the engine and choke horsepower, which keeps speeds in check) this season Sunday with the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Here are the particulars (all times are ET):

START: Senior Airman James A. Sottile, a biomedical equipment technician from Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala., will give the command for drivers to start their engines at 1:07 p.m. ET. The green flag is scheduled for 1:19 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 188 laps (500 miles) around the 2.66-mile oval.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: The Sprint Cup garage opens at 8 a.m., and the drivers meeting is at 10 a.m. Driver introductions begin at 12:25 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: It will be performed by the 313th United States Army Band at 1:01 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race, starting with a prerace show at 12:30 p.m. Motor Racing Network will broadcast the race on radio and at with its prerace show at noon.

FORECAST: The site predicts 77 degrees at race time with a 0% chance of rain.

LAST TIME(S): A year ago, Denny Hamlin scored one of only two victories for Toyota during the 2014 season, leading the final two laps after swapping the lead five times with Kevin Harvick. In the Oct. 19 race, Brad Keselowski advanced to the third round of the Chase for the Sprint Cup with his sixth and final victory of the season, taking the lead from Ryan Newman on a last-lap pass with a drafting push from Matt Kenseth (who had been in an altercation with Keselowski after the previous race at Charlotte Motor Speedway).

WITHER DALE JR.? Once a site of his greatest triumphs, Talladega has been a source of incessant frustration in recent seasons for Dale Earnhardt Jr., who hasn’t won at the Alabama track in more than 10 years. Last year, he led both races and had strong cars, but his No. 88 Chevrolet got mired in traffic and finished 38th in May, and a late pileup eliminated him in October. Earnhardt once won four consecutive at Talladega, and his five victories (most recently in October ’04) rank third to his late father’s record of 10 and Jeff Gordon’s total of six, so it’s a special place with unfinished business for the 12-time most popular driver.


Row 1: Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne

Row 2: Ryan Blaney, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Row 3: Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart

Row 4: Paul MenardMatt Kenseth

Row 5: David RaganClint Bowyer

Row 6: Casey MearsSam Hornish Jr.

Row 7: Kyle LarsonAustin Dillon

Row 8: Brad KeselowskiBrian Scott

Row 9: Denny HamlinRyan Newman

Row 10: Kurt BuschGreg Biffle

Row 11: Joey LoganoCarl Edwards

Row 12: Michael WaltripKevin Harvick

Row 13: Danica PatrickTrevor Bayne

Row 14: Jamie McMurrayAric Almirola

Row 15: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Landon Cassill

Row 16: AJ AllmendingerBobby Labonte

Row 17: Brendan GaughanJosh Wise

Row 18: Justin AllgaierMartin Truex Jr.

Row 19: Alex BowmanChris Buescher

Row 20: David GillilandMichael Annett

Row 21: Cole WhittJJ Yeley

Row 22: Matt DiBenedetto

Did Not Qualify: Michael McDowellJeb Burton