Everything you need to know for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, the 10th regular season event of the 2022 campaign.
Race day info 📝
Or: Talladega, Alabama
Approximate start time: 3 p.m. ET | Weekend schedule
TV/Radio: FOX Radio, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR | Full TV lineup
Provide: Mostly sunny, with highs near 85, according to NOAA.gov | Weather tracking
Race distance: 188 rounds | 500.08 miles
Steps: 60 | 120 | 188
Pit road speed: 55 mph
Warning car speed: 70mph
Talladega 101: Get the full detail
Starting lineup: Christopher Bell in pole position
Key things to watch out for 🔑
Great story line
The Next Gen car makes its maiden trip to the high shores of Talladega, NASCAR’s biggest and arguably wildest track at a whopping 2.66 miles, just one week after the Cup Series cars took spent Easter Sunday night lifting dirt in East Tennessee for a half mile inside a coliseum. These are quite the ends of the spectrum that racing fans will be able to enjoy in consecutive weeks, as the sport stages another worthwhile event from an entirely different beast. History was written the last time NASCAR raced at Talladega, seeing Bubba Wallace take his first Cup win – and first win for 23XI Racing’s freshman year – and how this season has already gone. unfolded, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see more coming on Sunday. Tyler Reddick was, once again, on course for his first win at Bristol Motor Speedway, and Talladega could score an equally good spot for driver Richard Childress Racing. Also expect a lot of eyes to be on Brad Keselowski, as this weekend probably offers his best chance of qualifying for the playoffs, as a six-time track winner. | Keselowski confident in RFK Racing’s superspeedway program
Who fired? Who is not ?
Team Penske’s Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney look like the two drivers who fit the hot two bill in 2022 and have the strong track record that comes with it at ‘Dega. They, along with 2020 champion Chase Elliott – another strong contender for victory on Sunday – are the only drivers to achieve a top 300 points so far this season. They also had a say in Penske’s victory in eight of the last 13 races at the Alabama track (the other five were won by five different organizations). The Trackhouse Racing duo of Ross Chastain and Daniel Suárez also seem to continue to turn up every weekend in search of wins, so you’d expect that will be the case at Talladega as well. Martin Truex Jr. looked close to being a top contender at first, but starts to slip a bit and is now heading to a type of track he’s never won on in 68 starts. Former ‘Big Three’ member Kevin Harvick also needs a boost and, luckily for him, he’s had some decent runs at Talladega recently (three top 10 finishes in the last four).
Driving under the radar
You could argue that Alex Bowman and Christopher Bell could be overshadowed at times by their respective teammates, who collectively have five championships, but they’ve also each put on quality races over the past month. Bell made a lot of noise at Bristol before finishing seventh, his third result or better in the last four races after a terrible hole to start the season. He has also led laps in three of the last seven and will start on the post on Sunday. Bowman actually already has a win, coming in a five-top-10 streak over the last seven races. Neither driver has a stellar history at Talladega, but this is Talladega. Everything can happen.
Race day essentials ✅
Our biggest bits of the week – get covered for race day from every angle.
• Paint scheme preview: See Talladega Races Looks | See plans
• Power ratings: Chase Elliott has a career year despite no wins | Ranking of updated drivers
• Fantastic Fast Lane: Brad Keselowski needs a big weekend | Top games, sleepers
• NASCAR Bet: Find out who is the favorite to win on Sunday | BetMGM Odds
Catch the pack 💨
Read headlines from the week leading up to Sunday’s race.
• Front and off-center: How Talladega’s start-finish line placement came to be | Read more
• Triumph in Talladega: Reflecting on Bubba Wallace’s Decisive Victory | Full story
• Let’s go vote!: 2022 Cup Series All-Star Fan Voting Now Open | Make your choice
• Next generation analysis: Bristol Dirt Race was all about car control and driver skill | Read more
• Dynamic Duo: Australian mother-daughter racing duo trying to make NASCAR, ARCA history | Read more
• The survey says…: Drivers explain ‘The Big One’ in a GIF | View GIFs
• Form an ocean to another : Daniel Suárez visits U.S. Coast Guard station to support Mission 600 | Read more
• Stall analysis: Holding the draft will be key to having a full run at ‘Dega | Read more
• Retrospective no. 9: See Chase Elliott’s route to Darlington | First look
• Major bag alert: Wendy’s sponsors Gragson in Talladega | Read more
• Junior in cabin: NBC Sports’ Dale Earnhardt Jr. jumps into the FOX booth on Sunday | Read more
• Wink at the wheel: Clint Bowyer to ride Davey Allison’s iconic black #28 with ceremonial lap at Talladega | Read more
Get in on the action 💰
Think you know NASCAR? Test your mettle with play, fantasy.
• PariMGM: Should Brad Keselowski be the favourite? | Betting analysis
• Play live: Complete NASCAR Fantasy Live 2022 Game Guide | Get the FAQ
• Backseat Bets: Will Briscoe beat Reddick? | Listen to the debate
• The Action Network: Two props to bet now for Sunday | Find out who the experts chose
• Weekly accessories: Will the superspeedway titans reign? | Make your choices
• Go until the end : NASCAR betting: 2022 Cup Series championship odds | See them here
A trip down Memory Blvd. 🛣
It’s time to turn to Talladega, the track full of high speeds and high tension. But first, take a look at the history of the important track.
• The only one that matters: Drivers lead a lap in victory | See the list
• Take action: Every Spring Winner in Talladega History | See the list
• Surprise Surprise: Through the Years: Talladega’s Shocking Winners | See the list
• This race last year: Brad Keselowski seals Talladega win with last-round overtime assist | Read more
• And of course, last fall: Bubba Wallace makes history with first Cup win at Talladega | Read more
Fast facts ⏩
Hard-hitting, race-relevant stats from the experts at Racing Insights.
• Twelve drivers claimed their first Cup victory at Talladega – for seven of them it was their only career victory.
• For seven of Talladega’s last eight winners, this was their first victory of the season.
• Twenty-nine Talladega races have been won with a last-lap pass, including three of the last four.
• The driver who led the most laps hasn’t won Talladega’s last three races.
• The last seven superspeedway races have been won by seven different drivers.
Say what? 🎙
Notable quotes from sports stars ahead of Sunday’s race.
• “Anything can happen at Talladega Superspeedway. It’s a bit of a flip corner, but my #3 team will do whatever they can to try and win. To be successful at Talladega, you have to have a little luck and use the momentum at the very end to take advantage of positions. It’s a race of speed. It’s drafting. And it’s chaos, but we’re up for the challenge. — Austin Dillon, Chevrolet driver #3 Richard Childress Racing
• “The biggest takeaway from Daytona is that these cars drove really well, they handled really well, I had no complaints. Daytona is generally the smoother of the two race tracks and going to Talladega I would expect handling to be a non factor again Anytime handling is not a factor we are usually able to be much more aggressive and that is where we’re seeing some really good racing.—Christopher Bell, #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driver
• “Sometimes when the pressure is high people make more mistakes, but at the same time they expect big blocks, expect people to take runs when they have them. That kind of stuff is probably what you can do at least to prepare yourself in advance as a driver, to maybe anticipate other people’s movements, but otherwise I’m not promising more wrecks, but those are generally the late blocks, I mean, similar to what you saw at the end of the second Duel (at Daytona). These cars are very, very hard to block and they are very hard to push, but I think there will be a lot of pushing. I think it’s a lot of normal things you see, especially you’re kind of a year-end race at Daytona, but like I said before, a lot of people notice there’s a lot of wins and you need to win to make it into the playoffs with the way things are going right now. – Austin Cindric, #2 Penske Ford Team Driver