- Qualifying Order for the GEICO 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is posted. 41 cars/drivers are listed.
The order is based on the fastest single lap speed posted in the combined practice sessions Friday.
Qualifying at Talladega will consist of two rounds of single car qualifying.
#7-Smith will go out first. The final driver out will be #1-McMurray.
See the full qualifying order on Jayski.com’s Talladega Qualifying Order Page (pdf).(4-29-2016)
- Final practice for the GEICO 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is over after 55 scheduled minutes. The top five, slowest and notes:
slowest: #15-Bowyer 187.978 & #30-Wise 186.209. 35 drivers have been on track.
most laps run: #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 30, #41-Busch 24
notes: Qualifying is scheduled for 12:30pm/et tomorrow and will be televised on FS1 and covered via radio by MRN/SiriusXM.
There is rain in tomorrow’s forecast. If qualifying is rained out, today’s practices determine who makes the race. There are 41 cars entered so 1 team will not qualify. The open (non-charter) teams that make the race are determined by fastest single lap speeds posted from the combined practicestoday by the open teams – #21-Blaney, #30-Wise, #35-Gilliland, #55-Waltrip, #98-Whitt. Because Josh Wise had the slowest speed in both practice sessions, he will not make the race if qualifying is canceled.
Charter teams would start the race based on owner points standings, not by practice speeds.
See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average on the Talladega Final Practice Speeds page (pdf).(4-29-2016)
- First practice for the GEICO 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway is over after 55 scheduled minutes, the top five, slowest and notes:
slowest: #47-Allmendinger 191.708 & #7-Smith 187.820
most laps run: #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 37, #17-Stenhouse, Jr. 36
notes: Final (happy hour) practice is this afternoon at 4:30pm/et.
Qualifying is scheduled for 12:30pm/et tomorrow and will be televised on FS1 and covered via radio by MRN/SiriusXM.
There is rain in tomorrow’s forecast. If qualifying is rained out, today’s practices will determine who makes the race. There are 41 cars entered so 1 team will not qualify. The open (non-charter) teams that make the race will be determined by fastest single lap speeds posted from the combined practices today by the open teams – #21-Blaney, #30-Wise, #35-Gilliland, #55-Waltrip, #98-Whitt. Charter teams would start the race based on owner points standings, not by practice speeds.
See fastest speeds, laps run, best 10 consecutive lap average on the Talladega Practice 1 Speeds page (pdf).(4-29-2016)
- Stewart talks about his fine: Tony Stewart met with the media Friday at Talladega Superspeedway:
WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION TO THE WHOLE LUGNUT CONTROVERSY, WHICH HAS BEEN RESOLVED WITH THE RULES CHANGE? WHAT WENT INTO YOUR DECISION TO MAKE THE DONATION TO THE AUTISM SOCIETY?
Stewart: "I’ve been trying to figure out how many more $35,000 rules changes I want to make (laughter). I’m glad that something has been done. Scott Miller is a huge asset to NASCAR right now. And from what I understand, he’s the one who spearheaded getting something done. You hate to have to pay $35,000 to get somebody’s attention to do something, but apparently that’s what it took. I’ve got questions that I’d like to have answers to. I’m still wondering why I’m paying a $35,000 fine for something that got changed three days later. But, it is what it is. I was gone that evening when the announcement came out that I was getting the fine and the Driver Council, we all have a chat that we get in and when I was able to get back on my phone for 90 messages of discussions of what went on with those guys and I realized what they had done at about three in the morning. I didn’t want to take their money. I appreciated their support and I think they made a huge statement about what the Driver Council is about and the fact that they didn’t believe what I did deserved the fine. And with that, that’s why they decided to support us and help split the fine with me. I didn’t feel comfortable taking the money. And so what we decided as a group was to put the money together and give it to a great charity. Artie Kemper (founder of Autism Delaware) is a great friend to everybody in NASCAR and is somebody that we all as a group know personally and we thought that would really make a big difference. So that’s why we chose that charity. But we did it collectively, as a group; and that’s something I’m really proud of with this Driver Council is how the drivers are united about everything that we’re doing. This was the first time something had happened where somebody on the Council got a penalty for speaking an opinion and for them to show that kind of support and show that we’re all one unit; and that’s something that you don’t normally see and we haven’t seen in this sport. Guys talk amongst each other, but somebody gets in trouble for something where the rest of the drivers, privately, will support it but can’t publicly support it. So this was the first time that we’ve seen public support like that and I think it went a long way."(Chevy Racing PR)(4-29-2016)
- Accudoc Solutions sponsoring Bowyer at Talladega: Clint Bowyer’s #15 will carry Accudoc Solutions as the primary sponsor in the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. AccuDoc Solutions is based in Morrisville, N.C. and provides billing-statement printing and processing to hospitals and hospital-based physicians. In addition to paper-based billing statements, AccuDoc Solutions enables patients to choose electronic statement delivery and make payments through secure online payment portals. Accudoc Solutions was the sponsor on Justin Allgaier’s #51 twice last season. See an image of the car on the #15 team paint schemes page.(4-29-2016)
- Pit crew changes at Stewart-Haas: In an effort to improve pit stops, Stewart-Haas Racing has moved around several crew members between its teams. This past weekend’s Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway saw different faces on different teams. So let’s start with the easy stuff: The #4 (Kevin Harvick) and #41 (Kurt Busch) looked to be the same as at Daytona. Both teams have been performing at a top level for years, and we didn’t see any changes as of Richmond. Now the fun stuff. The #10 car of Danica Patrick had a different front carrier, rear changer, and rear carrier. The team moved rear carrier Matt Holzbaur to the front and added rear changer Jonathan Sherman and rear carrier Jeremy Howard. Both Sherman and Howard came from the #38 team (Landon Cassill), which is pit supported by SHR. The #14 of Tony Stewart got a new front changer in Ryan Mulder. Mulder was moved from the rear of the #10 to the front of the #14. The #38 team got a new front changer, front carrier, rear changer and rear carrier. Bryan Jacobsen moved from the #14 is now on the front with Jeff Shoaf. Anchoring the rear is now Chris Jackson and Tyler Bullard. From what we can tell, no new pit crew members were hired or fired, just a restructuring of crewmen.(PitTalks)(4-29-2016)
- Talladega Driver Notes & Facts:
– 441 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega; 306 in more than one.
– Dave Marcis and Terry Labonte lead the series in starts at Talladega with 61 each. Tony Stewart leads all active drivers with 33 starts; followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 32.
– Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Talladega with a 9.750.
– A total of 68 drivers have made their first series start at Talladega; Jamie McMurray (10/06/2002) is the only active driver to make his series debut at Talladega Superspeedway.
– 45 different drivers have won at Talladega Superspeedway, led by Dale Earnhardt with 10. Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with six.
– 2012 series champion Brad Keselowski (04/26/2009) and Brian Vickers (10/08/2006) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins at Talladega.
– Nine drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Talladega; Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the series in consecutive wins at Talladega after posting four-straight from the fall of 2001 – 2003.
– Brad Keselowski is the only active series driver to win at Talladega in his first appearance.
– Matt Kenseth competed at Talladega Superspeedway 25 times before winning the fall of 2012; the longest span of any the 11 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
– Matt Kenseth (25), Tony Stewart (19), Kevin Harvick (18), and David Ragan (12) all made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Talladega.
– Kurt Busch leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Talladega without visiting Victory Lane at 30; followed by Ryan Newman with 28.
– Buddy Baker and Tony Stewart are tied for the series’ most runner-up finishes at Talladega with six each.
– NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the series in top-five finishes at Talladega with 23. Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with 12.
– Dale Earnhardt leads the series in top-10 finishes at Talladega with 27. Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers with 16.
– Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Talladega with a 12.200.
– Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Talladega with 960 laps led in 32 starts.
– Three female drivers have competed at Talladega in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie, Patty Moise and Danica Patrick.
- Jive Communications to sponsor Townley: Jive Communications announced that the international communications company has entered into a multi-faceted motorsports marketing program for the 2016 Racing Season. The announcement took place at Talladega Superspeedway during the ARCA and NASCAR weekend activities at the 2.66 mile speedway. Jive will serve as primary sponsors of the Athenian Motorsports #05 Chevrolets for the NASCAR Xfinity Series events in Talladega on Saturday April 30th and on Friday night July 1st in Daytona. The twelve-race ARCA program will debut during today’s General Tire 200 at Talladega. Jive will also serve as an associate sponsor on the #05 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.(Athenian Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #05 team paint schemes page.(4-29-2016)
- Matt Tifft fastest in XFINITY happy hour: #18-Matt Tifft was quickest during happy hour for the Sparks Energy 300 with a speed of 181.918mph. He was followed by: #3-Ty Dillon, #33-Brandon Jones, #19-Daniel Suarez, #51-Jeremy Clements, #07-Ray Black, Jr., #2-Austin Dillon, #20-Erik Jones, #42-Jeb Burton, and #1-Elliott Sadler. Just 33 drivers participated in the session.
See complete results on the Talladega final practice speeds page (pdf).(4-29-2016)
- Darrell Wallace, Jr. fastest in first XFINITY practice: #6-Darrell Wallace, Jr. was fastest during opening practice at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed of 192.413mph. #16-Ryan Reed was second, followed by: #3-Ty Dillon, #18-Matt Tifft, #2-Austin Dillon, #33-Brandon Jones, #11-Blake Koch, #88-Chase Elliott, #20-Erik Jones, and #19-Daniel Suarez. All 43 drivers practiced during the session.
See complete results on the Talladega practice 1 speeds page (pdf).(4-29-2016)
- Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet & BRT Extrusions Return To #51: Jeremy Clements returns to Talladega Superspeedway with Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet and BRT Extrusions back on board the #51 JCR Chevy Camaro SS for the Sparks Energy 300. Joining Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet and BRT Extrusions on the JCR Chevy is new sponsor SDD, Signs & Displays Direct. Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet, conveniently located off Interstate 85 at exit 48B, has served the upstate of South Carolina and nearby Georgia and North Carolina Communities for over 30 years. Customer service is Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet’s top priority. Founded in 1992, BRT Extrusions Inc. delivers high quality aluminum extrusions from standard or custom dies. Based in Niles, OH, the company offers a wide range of standard extruded shapes, as well as custom designs in several grades of aluminum alloys and tempers.(Jeremy Clments Racing)(4-29-2016)
- New partner for Cobb in Kansas: Trinity Performance Wear, founded by 12-year old weightlifting phenom Abby Flickner, has teamed up with NASCAR driver/team owner Jennifer Jo Cobb for the Toyota Tundra 250 when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to Kansas Speedway on May 6, 2016. Cobb’s #10 Mark One Electric Chevrolet Silverado will display the Trinity Performance Wear logo while racing around the 1.5 mile track at speeds over 170 mph. Flickner is a two-time national champion in Olympic-style weightlifting. She has set 14 Youth American Records, and twice has attended training camps at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. She is currently in training for her fifth trip to nationals in late June. Cobb began her career at local tracks in the Kansas City area, and has climbed up through the ranks of auto racing to become a fixture in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. She holds the series record for most starts, highest finish in a race, and highest finish in the championship standings by a female driver. Although Flickner is not old enough to view Cobb’s race from the team’s pit stall, she will be on hand on race day prior to the green flag to visit the NASCAR garage to take photos with the race truck to promote her brand.(Jennifer Jo Cobb Racing)(4-29-2016)
- Dover adding SAFER barrier: ESPN’s Bob Pockrass reports, "Dover International Speedway will replace the guard rails it had on the inside of Turn 3 with approximately 500 feet of SAFER Barrier by the time NASCAR visits for its May 13-15 race weekend. The steel-and-foam barrier is designed to absorb energy in a crash."(ESPN.com)(4-28-2016)