During the first practice session ahead of the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, Austin Dillon gets out of the groove and goes into the wall, coming away with an infamous “Darlington Stripe.”
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Jordan Anderson was airlifted to an area hospital after being involved in a fiery crash during Saturday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Anderson’s car caught fire in the middle of a pack of drafting trucks. Flames burst from three areas around the truck as Anderson tried to slow the vehicle and move onto the track apron. The truck hit the inside wall. Anderson climbed from the vehicle in a cloud of smoke as it came to a stop.
Anderson, 31 and a resident of Forest Acres, S.C., was transported to the infield medical center before being airlifted. NASCAR confirmed Anderson’s trip to the hospital.
Fox Sports reported that a team member said Anderson had burns.
Anderson is a part-time driver in the Truck Series. He has a top finish of 14th this season.
An update on Jordan Anderson after his crash at Talladega Superspeedway. He is being airlifted to the hospital in Birmingham. pic.twitter.com/ECzr3XejgE
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) October 1, 2022
Sending prayers to my buddy jordan Anderson.
— Kris Wright (@KrisOnNASCAR) October 1, 2022
Six playoff drivers will start in the top 10 for Sunday’s 500-mile NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Ryan Blaney, starting 19th, is the lowest playoff driver on the starting grid.
Playoff driver Christopher Bell won the pole position Saturday for Sunday’s 500-mile NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.
Bell, 11th in the playoff standings and below the cutline entering Sunday’s race, ran 180.591 mph to edge second-place Kyle Larson at 180.516.
Playoff drivers took six of the top-10 starting spots.
The race is the second in the second round of the playoffs. Any playoff driver who wins the race will automatically advance to the next round.
Joey Logano leads the playoff standings.
Noah Gragson, replacing Alex Bowman, who is sitting out the race with concussion-like symptoms, qualified seventh.
The race (2 p.m., ET) will be broadcast by NBC.
Sunday will mark a difficult crossroads for NASCAR. As several of its top drivers express serious concerns about safety, the Cup Series is at Talladega Superspeedway, the circuit’s biggest track and site of many massive wrecks over its 53 years of existence.
Adding to the tension is the fact that Sunday’s 188-lap, 500-mile race is the middle event in the second round of the playoffs. With a win automatically advancing any of the 12 playoff drivers to the next round, the final laps are likely to be frantic.
Sunday’s race (2 p.m. ET, NBC) will begin with Joey Logano atop the playoff point standings. Following him in the top eight are Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez, Chase Elliott and Chase Briscoe.
Below the cutline are Austin Cindric, William Byron, Christopher Bell and Alex Bowman. Byron fell below the line this week when NASCAR penalized him for bumping Hamlin under caution during last Sunday’s race at Texas Motor Speedway. Hendrick Motorsports has appealed the penalty.
Bowman will miss Sunday’s race because of concussion-like symptoms he has experienced after a crash at Texas. Noah Gragson will replace him.
Bell won the pole Saturday with a speed of 180.591 mph.
Details for Sunday’s race:
START: The command to start engines will be given by Jimmy Rane, president of Great Southern Wood Preserving, at 1:52 p.m. (ET). … Green flag is scheduled to wave at 2:04 p.m.
PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 11 a.m. … Driver introductions are at 1:15 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Barbara Embry, chaplin of Citizens Baptist Medical Center, at 1:43 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by the 313th U.S. Army Band at 1:45 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 188 laps (500 miles) on the 2.66-mile speedway.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 60. Stage 2 ends at Lap 120.
STARTING LINEUP: Talladega Cup starting lineup
TV/RADIO: NBC will broadcast the race at 2 p.m. Countdown to Green begins at 1 p.m. … Motor Racing Network coverage begins at 1 p.m. … SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.
FORECAST: Weather Underground — Mainly sunny. High of 78. 5% chance of rain.
CATCH UP ON NBC SPORTS COVERAGE