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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
NASCAR - Sprint Cup - GEICO 500 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Sunday, May 3
SITE: Talladega Superspeedway -- Talladega, Alabama
TRACK: 2.66-mile oval
CAPACITY: 80,000 plus (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 46th
TELEVISION: FOX
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 1 p.m. ET
QUALIFYING TIME: Saturday, May 2/1 p.m. ET (TV: FOX)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Denny Hamlin
RUNNER-UP: Greg Biffle
POLE WINNER: Brian Scott (finished 42)
LAPS: 188
MILES: 500
QUALIFYING RECORD: Bill Elliott, 1987 (212.809 mph)
RACE RECORD: Mark Martin, 1997 (188.354 mph)
 
2014 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Denny Hamlin346Paul Menard2
2Greg Biffle357Kevin Harvick8
3Clint Bowyer278Kasey Kahne42
4Brian Vickers189Kyle Larson29
5AJ Allmendinger310Ricky Stenhouse Jr25
2014 GEICO 500 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 152.103 mph
TIME OF RACE: 3 hrs., 17 mins., 16 secs.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: Under Caution
CAUTION FLAGS: 8 for 31 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 48 among 23 drivers
POLE WINNER: Brian Scott (198.290 mph)
Past GEICO 500 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2014 -- Denny Hamlin (34) -- Toyota -- 152.103 mph
2013 -- David Ragan (19) -- Ford -- 148.729 mph
2012 -- Brad Keselowski (13) -- Dodge -- 160.192 mph
2011 -- Jimmie Johnson (2) -- Chevrolet -- 156.261 mph
2010 -- Kevin Harvick (4) -- Chevrolet -- 150.590 mph
2009 -- Brad Keselowski (9) -- Chevrolet -- 147.565 mph
2008 -- Kyle Busch (5) -- Toyota -- 157.409 mph
2007 -- Jeff Gordon (1) -- Chevrolet -- 154.167 mph
2006 -- Jimmie Johnson (16) -- Chevrolet -- 142.880 mph
2005 -- Jeff Gordon (2) -- Chevrolet -- 146.904 mph
2004 -- Jeff Gordon (11) -- Chevrolet -- 129.396 mph
2003 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (13) -- Chevrolet -- 144.625 mph
2002 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (4) -- Chevrolet -- 159.022 mph
2001 -- Bobby Hamilton (14) -- Chevrolet -- 184.003 mph
2000 -- Jeff Gordon (36) -- Chevrolet -- 161.157 mph
1999 -- Dale Earnhardt (17) -- Chevrolet -- 163.395 mph
1998 -- Bobby Labonte (1) -- Pontiac -- 142.428 mph
1997 -- Mark Martin (18) -- Ford -- 188.354 mph
1996 -- Sterling Marlin (4) -- Chevrolet -- 149.999 mph
1995 -- Mark Martin (3) -- Ford -- 178.902 mph
1994 -- Dale Earnhardt (4) -- Chevrolet -- 157.478 mph
1993 -- Ernie Irvan (16) -- Chevrolet -- 155.412 mph
1992 -- Davey Allison (2) -- Ford -- 167.609 mph
1991 -- Harry Gant (2) -- Oldsmobile -- 165.620 mph
1990 -- Dale Earnhardt (5) -- Chevrolet -- 159.571 mph
1989 -- Davey Allison (2) -- Ford -- 155.869 mph
1988 -- Phil Parsons (3) -- Oldsmobile -- 156.547 mph
1987 -- Davey Allison (3) -- Ford -- 154.228 mph
1986 -- Bobby Allison (2) -- Buick -- 157.698 mph
1985 -- Bill Elliott (1) -- Ford -- 186.228 mph
1984 -- Cale Yarborough (1) -- Chevrolet -- 172.998 mph
1983 -- Richard Petty (15) -- Pontiac -- 153.936 mph
1982 -- Darrell Waltrip (2) -- Buick -- 156.697 mph
1981 -- Bobby Allison (1) -- Buick -- 149.376 mph
1980 -- Buddy Baker (2) -- Oldsmobile -- 170.481 mph
1979 -- Bobby Allison (12) -- Ford -- 154.770 mph
1978 -- Cale Yarborough (1) -- Oldsmobile -- 159.699 mph
1977 -- Darrell Waltrip (11) -- Chevrolet -- 164.877 mph
1976 -- Buddy Baker (12) -- Ford -- 169.887 mph
1975 -- Buddy Baker (1) -- Ford -- 144.948 mph
1974 -- David Pearson (1) -- Mercury -- 130.220 mph
1973 -- David Pearson (2) -- Mercury -- 131.956 mph
1972 -- David Pearson (2) -- Mercury -- 134.400 mph
1971 -- Donnie Allison (1) -- Mercury -- 147.419 mph
1970 -- Pete Hamilton (6) -- Plymouth -- 152.321 mph
 
NOTE: Formerly called Alabama 500 (1970), Winston 500 (1971-93), Winston
Select 500 (1994-96), Winston 500 (1997), Diehard 500 (1998-00),
Talladega 500 (2001), Aaron's 499 (2002-14).
 
Past GEICO 500 Pole Winners (Finish)
2014 -- Brian Scott -- 42
2013 -- None -- Weather
2012 -- Jeff Gordon -- 33
2011 -- Jeff Gordon -- 3
2010 -- None -- Weather
2009 -- Juan Pablo Montoya -- 20
2008 -- Joe Nemechek -- 25
2007 -- Jeff Gordon -- 1
2006 -- Elliott Sadler -- 16
2005 -- Kevin Harvick -- 12
2004 -- Ricky Rudd -- 17
2003 -- Jeremy Mayfield -- 18
2002 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 7
2001 -- Stacy Compton -- 43
2000 -- Jeremy Mayfield -- 14
1999 -- Ken Schrader -- 6
1998 -- Bobby Labonte -- 1
1997 -- John Andretti -- 4
1996 -- Ernie Irvan -- 31
1995 -- Terry Labonte -- 26
1994 -- Ernie Irvan -- 2
1993 -- Dale Earnhardt -- 4
1992 -- Ernie Irvan -- 5
1991 -- Ernie Irvan -- 32
1990 -- Bill Elliott -- 22
1989 -- Mark Martin -- 3
1988 -- Davey Allison -- 34
1987 -- Bill Elliott -- 22
1986 -- Bill Elliott -- 24
1985 -- Bill Elliott -- 1
1984 -- Cale Yarborough -- 1
1983 -- Cale Yarborough -- 29
1982 -- Benny Parsons -- 3
1981 -- Bobby Allison -- 1
1980 -- David Pearson -- 3
1979 -- Darrell Waltrip -- 2
1978 -- Cale Yarborough -- 1
1977 -- A.J. Foyt -- 38
1976 -- Dave Marcis -- 9
1975 -- Buddy Baker -- 1
1974 -- David Pearson -- 1
1973 -- Buddy Baker -- 40
1972 -- Bobby Isaac -- 2
1971 -- Donnie Allison -- 1
1970 -- Bobby Isaac -- 2
Last Race Results
RACE: Toyota Owners 400 (April 26 - delayed one day due to rain)
SITE: Richmond International Raceway -- Richmond, Virginia
MILES: 300
LAPS: 400
WINNER: Kurt Busch
RUNNER-UP: Kevin Harvick
THIRD: Jimmie Johnson
FOURTH: Jamie McMurray
FIFTH: Joey Logano
POLE WINNER: Joey Logano (finished 5)
TIME OF RACE: 3 hrs., 5 mins., 16 secs.
AVERAGE SPEED: 97.157 mph
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.754 secs.
CAUTION FLAGS: 8 for 53 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 12 among 5 drivers
LAP LEADERS: J. Logano 1-94; K. Busch 95-129; K. Harvick 130-130; K. Busch
131-164; K. Harvick 165-165; K. Busch 166-258; J. McMurray
259-259; K. Busch 260-261; J. McMurray 262-264; B. Keselowski
265-272; K. Busch 273-352; B. Keselowski 353-353; K. Busch
354-400.
GEICO 500 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/McDonald's
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Ford/Miller Lite
3Austin Dillon (Welcome, NC)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
4Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Outback Steakhouse
5Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Farmers Insurance
6Trevor Bayne (Knoxville, TN)Ford/AdvoCare
7Alex Bowman (Tucson, AZ)Chevrolet/Golden Corral
9Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Ford/Medallion Bank
10Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/GoDaddy
11 *Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Express
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Ford/GEICO
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
15Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Toyota/Peak
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/Ortho
17Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Olive Branch, MS)Ford/Fifth Third Bank
18David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Toyota/Pedigree
19Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Toyota/Arris
20Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Toyota/Dollar General
21Ryan Blaney (High Point, NC)Ford/Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire
22Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Ford/Shell Pennzoil
23J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Toyota/Dr. Pepper
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/Drive to End Hunger
26Jeb Burton (Halifax, VA)Toyota/Maxim Fantasy Sports
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Quaker State
31Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Ford/C&J Energy Services
33Brian Scott (Boise, ID)Chevrolet/Shore Lodge
34Chris Buescher (Prosper, TX)Ford/CSX/Play It Safe
35Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Ford/Speed Stick
38David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Farm Rich
40Landon Cassill (Fairfax, IA)Chevrolet/TBA
41Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/Haas Automation
42Kyle Larson (Elk Grove, CA)Chevrolet/Target
43Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL)Ford/Fresh From Florida
46Michael Annett (Des Moines, IA)Chevrolet/Bene-fit
47A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA)Chevrolet/Kroger/Hungry Jack
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's
51Justin Allgaier (Riverton, IL)Chevrolet/Brandt
55Michael Waltrip (Owensboro, KY)Toyota/Aaron's Dream Machine
62Brendan Gaughan (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/Dia Thrive
78Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Chevrolet/Furniture Row
83Matt DiBenedetto (Grass Valley, CA)Toyota/Dustless Blasting
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Nationwide
95Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Ford/Thrivent Financial
98Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Ford/Phoenix Construction
 
* - Defending champion
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200620072008200920102011201220132014
Denny Hamlin22213224232334Won
Greg Biffle38291871775362
Clint Bowyer4035939726183
A.J. Allmendinger------3035191115---5
Paul Menard---431413251217266
Kevin Harvick2362438Won525407
Kasey Kahne3912233621374428
Kyle Larson------------------------9
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.---------------------1310
Aric Almirola------33---------121013
Austin Dillon------------------------15
Martin Truex Jr.36103733121328717
Ryan Newman339833525363218
Danica Patrick---------------------3322
Jimmie JohnsonWon2133031Won35523
Michael Waltrip25---2721392819425
Dale Earnhardt Jr.31710213491726
Jamie McMurray551742221112329
Carl Edwards842402411631330
Joey Logano---------93610263531
Kurt Busch73396818203032
David Ragan---174126397Won35
Matt Kenseth614411728363837
Brad Keselowski---------Won3433Won1538
Jeff Gordon15Won1937223331139
David Gilliland---41540---913240
Trevor Bayne---------------4084341
Tony Stewart22838231617242743
Sam Hornish Jr.------353424------------
 
Mover of the Week
Jimmie Johnson - started 36 and finished 3
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Last Week's Pick to Win (Ryan Newman) - finished 11
 
NOTES:
The GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway is the 10th race on the 2015 Sprint Cup Series schedule.

Originally known as the Alabama International Motor Speedway, construction of this 2.66-mile racetrack began on May 23, 1968. The name changed to Talladega Superspeedway in 1989. The fourth and most recent repaving there was done between the spring and fall races in 2006.

Talladega has 33 degrees of banking in all of its turns as well as 16.5 degrees of banking on the frontstretch and 2 on the backstretch. The length of the frontstretch is 4,300 feet, and the backstretch measures 4,000 feet.

There have been 91 Sprint Cup races held at Talladega, including one event in 1969 and two races each year since 1970. Richard Brickhouse won the inaugural event at Talladega on Sept. 14, 1969. The series will return to this track the fourth weekend in October for the sixth race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

Dave Marcis and Terry Labonte share the record for most starts at this track with 61 each. Michael Waltrip's 57 starts there is tops among those drivers on the entry list for this race.

Dale Earnhardt holds the record for most victories at Talladega with 10. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with six wins there. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has five victories, including four in a row from October 2001 to April 2003.

Richard Childress has the most car owner wins at this track with 12, followed by Rick Hendrick with 11.

Bill Elliott holds the record for most pole wins at Talladega with eight. Gordon's three poles there is tops among those drivers entered.

The race winner at this track has started from the pole 13 times. Gordon was the last driver to accomplish the feat in April 2007.

Since NASCAR began using electronic timing and scoring in 1993, the closest margin of victory in a Cup race at Talladega occurred on April 17, 2011 when Jimmie Johnson beat Clint Bowyer by only 0.002 seconds. The margin for that race is tied with the March 2003 event at Darlington, won by Ricky Craven, as the closest finishes since the start of electronic timing and scoring.

The furthest back a driver has started and won a Sprint Cup race at Talladega is 36th. Gordon did it in the spring of 2000.

Brad Keselowski is the only driver on the entry list that scored his first career Sprint Cup victory at this track (April 26, 2009).

Two drivers entered claimed their maiden pole wins at Talladega: David Gilliland (October 2006) and Brian Scott (May 2014).

Jamie McMurray is the only driver on the entry list that made his first career Sprint Cup start at this track. McMurray started fifth and finished 26th there on Oct. 6, 2002. He substituted for the injured Sterling Marlin in the No. 40 car for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Marlin suffered a neck injury during an accident in the Kansas race the week prior to Talladega.

Bobby Hillin Jr. holds the record as the youngest driver to win a race at Talladega. Hillin took the checkered flag there on July 27, 1986 when he was 22 years, 1 month and 22 days old. When Harry Gant was 51 years, 3 months and 26 days old, he became the oldest driver to win at this track on May 6, 1991.

The next race is the May 9 SpongeBob SquarePants 400 at Kansas Speedway. Gordon won last year's event there.

04/28 22:50:35 ET

As of April 28, 2015, at 10:51 PM ET

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