Kasey Kahne went through it during the first 46 races of his Sprint Cup career. Kyle Larson has gone through it in the first 72 races of his Sprint Cup career, as well. Danica Patrick has gone through it in the first 118 races of her Sprint Cup tenure, too.
It’s a period of time marked by anticipation, patience — and sometimes frustration and agonizing.
And NASCAR fans invariably keep asking the same question:
“When’s he/she going to win his/her first Cup race?”
So with that in mind, let’s take a look at drivers in the Sprint Cup Series who have yet to win their first race in NASCAR’s premier league. Will their breakthrough come in 2016?
Pick as many as three drivers in our poll, and keep checking back to see the updated results.
Take Our Poll
Both the Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series will race Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.
Cup cars will start the day’s action by qualifying for Sunday’s playoff race, followed by the Truck playoff race and then the Xfinity playoff race.
Talladega Superspeedway (Cup, Xfinity and Truck) Weekend weather Saturday: Sunny. High of 78. Saturday, Oct. 1 (All times Eastern) Garage open
8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — Cup Series
9:30 a.m. — Truck Series
1 p.m. — Xfinity Series
10:30 a.m. – Noon — Cup Series qualifying (NBC Sports app, Motor Racing Network, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio)
12:30 p.m. — Truck Series race (94 laps, 250 miles; FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
4 p.m. — Xfinity Series race (113 laps, 300 miles; USA Network, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
TALLADEGA, Ala. —
Austin Hill will lead the field to the green flag Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway after scoring his first career Xfinity Series pole.
Hill won the pole Friday with a lap of 182.036 mph. He will be joined on the front row by fellow playoff contender
Ty Gibbs (181.981 mph).
Playoff drivers will start in seven of the top eight spots. The exception is
Sheldon Creed, who will start third after a lap of 181.870 mph. Hill and Creed give Richard Childress Racing the first and third starting spots. Justin Allgaier (181.529) qualified fourth and Brandon Jones (181.305) completed the top five. Noah Gragson, who has won four races in a row, starts sixth after a lap of 181.134 mph and is followed by playoff drivers Josh Berry (181.052) and AJ Allmendinger (180.932).
The Xfinity Series race is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET Saturday on USA Network.
TALLADEGA, Ala. —
John Hunter Nemechek will start on the pole for Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race.
Nemechek earned the pole with a lap of 178.767 mph.
Nemechek is one of four playoff drivers starting in the top six:
Chandler Smith (second, 177.732 mph), Zane Smith (fourth, 177.061) and Ty Majeski (sixth, 176.744). Majeski clinched a spot in next month’s championship race at Phoenix with his Bristol win.
Also qualifying in the top five were
Carson Hocevar (177.068) in third and Matt Crafton (176.960) in fifth.
Failing to qualify are
Tim Viens, Spencer Boyd, Jason White and Natalie Decker.
The second race of the opening round of the Xfinity playoffs takes drivers to Talladega Superspeedway.
Noah Gragson secured his spot in the next round by winning last weekend at Texas. Ryan Sieg holds the final transfer spot. Riley Herbst is the first driver below the cutline, one point behind Sieg. Also below the cutline are reigning series champion Daniel Hemric (-8 points), Brandon Jones (-12) and Jeremy Clements (-28). Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Talladega Superspeedway (All times Eastern) START: The command to start engines will be given at 4:09 p.m. … Green flag is scheduled to wave at 4:21 p.m. PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 1 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 3:30 p.m. … The invocation will be given at 4 p.m. … The Brookwood High School choir will perform the anthem at 4:02 p.m. DISTANCE: The race is 113 laps (300.58 miles) on the 2.66-mile speedway. STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 25. Stage 2 ends at Lap 50. TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 4 p.m. Countdown to Green begins at 3:30 p.m. on USA Network. … Motor Racing Network coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. and also will stream at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast. STREAMING: NBCsports.com FORECAST: Weather Underground — Sunny with a high of 78 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race. LAST TIME: Noah Gragson won and was followed by Jeffrey Earnhardt and AJ Allmendinger.