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Last Updated Tuesday, May 9, 2006 1:53 am, EDT

Race Capsule

Talladega Superspeedway
  • What:

    Race 11 of 38 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, AL

  • When:

    May 1, 2006 12:00 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    188

  • Track Length:

    2.66 miles

  • Race Length:

    500.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $5,901,372

Drivers to Watch

Tony Stewart Defending series champion was runner-up to Harvick at Phoenix, one week after placing third at Texas; is fifth in the standings with 1,141 points; won his first race of the season at Martinsville; had the dominant car at Bristol before fading late for a 12th-place finish; placed fifth at Atlanta to rebound from a disappointing finish at Las Vegas; experienced frequent car trouble over the first four races this season; ran into tire trouble at Daytona, finished 43rd at California when his engine blew up, and fell to 21st at Las Vegas when a late flat tire forced him out of the race; was runner-up to Gordon in this race last season; has seven top-five finishes and nine top-10s in 14 career starts at this track.
Mark Martin Consistent veteran driver has placed in the top 13 in each of the first eight races this season and is fourth in the standings with 1,152 points; ran 11th at Phoenix and placed ninth at Texas to register his fifth top-10 finish this season; was runner-up to Kahne at Atlanta and finished sixth at Bristol; ran sixth at Las Vegas to follow a ninth-place finish at the Auto Club 500; struggled to a 33rd-place finish in this race last season; won this event in 1995 and 1997 and has 21 top-10 finishes in 40 career starts at this track.
Matt Kenseth Finished third at Phoenix to climb into the standings lead with 1,218 points, nine ahead of Johnson; leads the circuit with five top-five finishes; was runner-up to Kahne at Texas; struggled to a 24th-place finish at Martinsville after crashing on a restart in the 493rd lap; appeared primed for a victory at Bristol before being bumped by Kurt Busch in lap 495 and fading to a third-place finish; ran 11th in this event last season and has two to-five finishes and four top-10s in 12 career starts here.
Kyle Busch Hopes to bounce back from disappointing 36th-place finish in last Saturday's Subway Fresh 500 at Phoenix International Raceway; won the pole but crashed in lap 100 and was black-flagged by NASCAR for an incident with Casey Mears; has finished inside the top 12 in five of eight races this season; reigning Raybestos Rookie of the Year fell to ninth in the standings with 1,010 points; finished eighth at Bristol and ran third at Las Vegas; ran 41st in this race last season and has struggled at superspeedways, placing outside of the top 20 in five career starts.
Jeff Gordon Finished 10th at Phoenix to climb into a tie with Earnhardt for sixth place in the standings; has three top-five finishes and four top-10s this season; struggled to 22nd place at Texas; rebounded nicely from disappointing 21st-place finish at Bristol by finishing second at Martinsville; ran fourth at Atlanta one week after placing fifth at Las Vegas; two-time defending winner of this event has fared well here, capturing four victories and recording 14 top-10 finishes in 26 career starts.
Jimmie Johnson Ran seventh at Phoenix and fell to second in the standings with 1,209 points, nine behind Matt Kenseth; finished 11th at Texas and placed third at Martinsville; absolutely dominated the circuit over the first six races, registering two victories and five finishes inside the top six; won the season-opening Daytona 500 and captured the checkered flag two weeks later at Las Vegas; struggled to a 20th-place finish in this race last year, completing 186 laps before withdrawing due to an accident; has just two top-10 finishes in eight career starts here.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Ran just 23rd at Phoenix, just his second finish outside of the top 12 this season; is tied with Jeff Gordon for sixth in the standings with 1,045 points; finished 12th at Texas; ran 11th at Bristol after placing third at the Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 20; placed 15th in this event last season but has dominated at this track throughout his career, registering five wins and eight top-10 finishes in 12 career starts; won four consecutive races here from fall 2001-spring 2003.
Kasey Kahne Placed sixth at Phoenix to remain third in the standings with 1,167 points; is tied with Johnson for the series lead with two victories and six top-10 finishes; won the Samsung/RadioShack 500 to record his third career victory; also visited victory lane at Atlanta after registering consecutive fourth-place finishes at California and Las Vegas; finished 24th in this race last year and has struggled at this track, placing outside the top 10 in four career starts; traditionally does not race well at superspeedways, finishing no higher than 11th in nine career races.
Kevin Harvick Hottest driver on the Nextel circuit hopes to carry momentum from victory at Phoenix, his sixth career checkered flag; has finished seventh or better in each of his last four races, climbing to eighth in the standings with 1,044 points; was runner-up to Kurt Busch at Bristol on March 26, ran seventh at Martinsville on April 2 and placed fifth at Texas on April 9; finished 12th from the pole in this race last season and has registered five career top-10 finishes at this track.