Let the chaos begin. This is the round many drivers feared in the Cup playoffs. After the second round opened at Las Vegas, the series heads to Talladega Superspeedway for Sunday’s race (2 p.m. ET on NBC). The round ends next week at the Charlotte Roval.
Talladega and the Roval are the two wildcard races of the playoffs and the point swings could be big as drivers look to advance to the next round. Kurt Busch, who won last weekend at Las Vegas, is the only driver assured a spot in the next round at this moment.
Talladega could send another driver to the next round or provide a non-playoff driver – maybe Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones or Bubba Wallace, among others – with a memorable moment.
Whatever happens, chaos likely will play a key factor.
Here is all the info for the Sunday Cup race at Talladega:
(All times are Eastern)
START: David J. Mollahan, retired United States Marine Corps Colonel, will give the command to start engines at 2:08 p.m. The green flag waves at 2:20 p.m.
PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 7 a.m. Drivers report to their cars at 1:30 p.m. The invocation will be given at 1:49 p.m. by Barbara Embry, chaplain of Citizens Baptist Medical Center. The national anthem will be performed by the 313th United States Army Band at 1:50 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 188 laps (500 miles) around the 2.66-mile track.
COMPETITION CAUTION: Lap 25
STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 60. Stage 2 ends on Lap 120
TV/RADIO: NBC will televise the race. Coverage begins at 1 p.m on NBC with NASCAR America, followed by Countdown to Green at 1:30 p.m. Race coverage begins at 2 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio coverage will begin at 1 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the broadcast.
STREAMING: Watch the race on the NBC Sports App
FORECAST: The wunderground.com forecast calls for sunny skies with a high of 73 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race.
LAST RACE: Kurt Busch scored his first win of the season, claiming the victory last week at Las Vegas. Matt DiBenedetto was second. Denny Hamlin was third.
LAST POINTS RACE AT Talladega: Ryan Blaney beat Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by 0.007 seconds in June. Aric Almirola placed third.
TO THE REAR: Brennan Poole (multiple inspection failures), Timmy Hill (multiple inspection failures) and JJ Yeley (driver change from original entry list).
STARTING LINEUP: Click here for starting lineup
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