Today’s Cup race at Talladega: Start time, lineup and more

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For the first time since 1988, the Cup Series will hold a race without restrictor plates at Talladega Superspeedway – tapered spacers will replace the plates – in this afternoon’s GEICO 500. (Future races at Daytona International Speedway will also no longer use plates in favor of spacers.)

Here’s all the info you need for today’s event.

(All times are Eastern)

START: Talladega Superspeedway chairman Grant Lynch will give the command to start engines at 2:05 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 2:19 p.m.

PRERACE: The drivers meeting is at noon. Driver introductions will begin at 1:30 p.m. The invocation will be given by Mike Jackson of Alabama Raceway Ministries. The 313th United States Army Band will perform the National Anthem at 2:02 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 188 laps (500.08 miles) around the 2.66-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 55. Stage 2 ends on Lap 110.

TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race with coverage beginning at 2 p.m. Motor Racing Network will broadcast the race. MRN’s coverage begins at 1 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast, which is also available at mrn.com.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for a high of 76 degrees and a 15 percent chance of rain for the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Joey Logano won this race last year by a winning margin of .127 seconds over Kurt Busch. Chase Elliott finished third. Aric Almirola won last fall’s playoff race by .105 seconds over Clint Bowyer. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup.