Anticipation is high for the first thrills, chills and spills of the 2021 season at Talladega Superspeedway. Two action-packed races are slated for Saturday afternoon, with the ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series setting the stage for Sunday’s GEICO 500, one of the marquee events of the NASCAR Cup Series season.
Saturday’s opener (noon CDT) is the General Tire 250, featuring the triumphant Talladega return of Munford, Alabama’s Bret Holmes. The 2020 ARCA Menards Series champion seeks his first win on the menacing Talladega high banks, but faces stiff competition from a field loaded with talented upstarts like Ty Gibbs, Drew Dollar and Corey Heim – the winner of the 2021 ARCA Menards Series opener at DAYTONA. Gibbs will start from the pole based on 2021 ARCA Menards Series owner’s points, with Holmes starting on the outside of the front row.
At 3 p.m. CDT, 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric will start from the pole in the Ag-Pro 300 and seek his second superspeedway win of the 2021 season. He will try to thwart Justin Haley’s attempt to win three straight NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Talladega, while keeping a group of four drivers at bay who are racing for the $100,000 NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash prize – Josh Berry, Noah Gragson, Daniel Hemric and Brandon Jones. The first of those four drivers to cross the finish line will win the cold, hard cash and automatically qualify for the next Xfinity Dash 4 Cash bonus at Darlington Raceway.
Denny Hamlin, who won the last time out on the 2.66-mile mammoth venue in last fall’s YellaWood 500, will start from the point in Sunday’s GEICO 500 (1 p.m. CDT). He will be flanked by three-time Talladega winner Joey Logano, who drives for Team Penske, which has seven of the last 11 race victories at the 33-degree banked venue. Martin Truex, Jr. will roll off third, followed by William Byron and last week’s winner at Richmond, Alex Bowman.
Tickets are available for Saturday’s doubleheader, with kids 12 and younger admitted free (with a paying adult) to grandstands/towers. Limited admission options remain for the GEICO 500 and fans are encouraged to log onto www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA for details.
To learn more about the spring NASCAR event weekend at Talladega Superspeedway and its safety protocols, visit https://www.talladegasuperspeedway.com/fan-guide/. Fans are encouraged to keep up with all the happenings at the biggest, baddest race track on the planet by following Talladega Superspeedway on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
— Talladega Superspeedway —