Brad Keselowski wins GEICO 500 at Talladega

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Anthony Ballantoni
·6 min read
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The Cup Series (NCS) and XFINITY Series (NXS) were active at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway, the world’s fastest oval race track. Speeds of 197 to 203 mph, all the way around the 2.66-mile track are the norm. Saturday’s NXS Ag-Pro 300 was cut short from 113 laps to 90 due to heavy rain. Sunday’s NCS GEICO 500, which had its share of multi-car wrecks, was extended from 188 laps to 191 in overtime. Brad Keselowski finally led a lap in this race, the last one, to score the win. He became the 9th different winner in 10 Cup races so far this season. The Camping World Truck Series will return on May 1st at Kansas Speedway. The latest results and upcoming scheduled events for the NASCAR feeder series are also included below as well as details on all tracks mentioned in this column.

NASCAR Cup Series (NCS)

Sun, Apr 25, GEICO 500 - Talladega Superspeedway - 188 laps (+3 laps OT).
- No practice or qualifying. NASCAR’s qualifying metric set the starting lineup for this event based on race finishes, point standings and fastest race laps. This placed Denny Hamlin (#11 Toyota Camry) P1 on the starting grid. Joey Logano (#22 Ford Mustang) completed the front row in the P2 spot. #19-Martin Truex Jr., #24 William Byron, #48 Alex Bowman, #20 Christopher Bell, #12 Ryan Blaney, #9 Chase Elliott, #18 Kyle Busch and #2 Brad Keselowski, respectively formed the rest of the top-10 in the lineup. Did not make the 40-car field: No one, only 40 entries.

- Brad Keselowski (#2 Ford Mustang) scored his 35th victory in 423 NCS races. This is his 1st victory and 4th top-10 finish in 2021. It is his 6th victory and 12th top-10 finish in 25 races at Talladega. Keselowski ties NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon for second-most series wins at Talladega all-time with six wins each (Dale Sr. scored 10 wins). William Byron (2nd) posted his 2nd top-10 finish in seven races at Talladega and his 8th top-10 finish in 2021. Michael McDowell (3rd) earned his 2nd top-10 finish in 21 Talladega races. Chase Briscoe (11th) was the highest finishing Sunoco Rookie of the Year (ROTY) contender. Polesitter Denny Hamlin led a race-high 43 laps and finished in 32nd place.

- NCS points leader: Denny Hamlin leads the point standings by 87 points over Martin Truex Jr.

- TOP-16 NCS Playoff Contenders (G/L):
1. Denny Hamlin
2. Martin Truex Jr.
3. Joey Logano
4. William Byron
5. Ryan Blaney
6. Brad Keselowski +3
7. Kevin Harvick +1
8. Chase Elliott -1
9. Kyle Larson -3
10. Christopher Bell
11. Kyle Busch
12. Austin Dillon
13. Michael McDowell +4
14. Alex Bowman -1
15. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. -1
16. Chris Buescher

- Next: Sun, May 2, Buschy McBusch Race 400 - Kansas Speedway - 267 laps.

NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS)

Sat, Apr 24, Ag-Pro 300 - Talladega Superspeedway - 113 laps (Rain-shortened to 90 laps).
- No practice or qualifying. NASCAR’s qualifying metric set the starting lineup for this event based on race finishes, point standings and fastest race laps. This placed Austin Cindric (#22 Ford Mustang) P1 on the starting grid. Daniel Hemric (#18 Toyota Supra) completed the front row in the P2 spot. #20 Harrison Burton, #9 Noah Gragson, #11 Justin Haley, #8 Josh Berry, #19 Brandon Jones, #7 Justin Allgaier, #10 Jeb Burton and #2 Myatt Snider, respectively formed the rest of the top-10 in the lineup. Did not make the 40-car field: #77 Ronnie Bassett Jr., #31 Jordan Anderson and #03 Andy Lally.

- Jeb Burton (#10 Chevrolet Camaro) scored his 1st victory in 51 NXS races. This is his 6th top-10 finish in 2021 and his 2nd top-10 finish in three races at Talladega. Polesitter Austin Cindric (2nd) posted his 3rd top-10 finish in five Talladega races and his 7th top-10 finish in 2021. AJ Allmendinger (3rd) earned his 2nd top-10 finish in three races at Talladega. Ryan Vargas (30th) was the highest finishing ROTY candidate. This is Kaulig Racing's 3rd consecutive NXS Talladega Superspeedway victory (Justin Haley 2020 sweep, Jeb Burton 2021). Noah Gragson (6th) collected the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus for the 2nd consecutive race.

- NXS points leader: Austin Cindric by 59 points over Daniel Hemric (finished 12th).

- TOP-12 NXS Playoff Contenders (G/L):
1. Austin Cindric
2. Daniel Hemric
3. Harrison Burton
4. Jeb Burton +1
5. Justin Haley -1
6. AJ Allmendinger
7. Myatt Snider
8. Jeremy Clements +1
9. Justin Allgaier -1
10. Noah Gragson +1
11. Brandon Jones -1
12. Brandon Brown +1

- Next: Sat, May 8, Steakhouse Elite 200 - Darlington Raceway.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NTS)

- NTS points leader: John Hunter Nemechek by 20 points over Ben Rhodes.

- TOP-10 NTS Playoff Contenders (G/L):
1. John Hunter Nemechek
2. Ben Rhodes
3. Sheldon Creed
4. Austin Hill +2
5. Matt Crafton -1
6. Stewart Friesen -1
7. Grant Enfinger +1
8. Zane Smith -1
9. Todd Gilliland
10. Johnny Sauter +1

- Next: Sat, May 1, WISE Power 200 - Kansas Speedway - 134 laps.

NASCAR Feeder Series

ARCA Menards Series:
Sat, Apr 24, General Tire 200 - Talladega Superspeedway - 76 laps.
Winner: Corey Heim - P1: Ty Gibbs - Points Leader: Corey Heim
Next: Sat, May 1, Dutch Boy 150 - Kansas Speedway - 100 laps.

ARCA Menards East:
Sat, Feb 27, Pensacola 200 - Five Flags Speedway - 200 laps.
Winner: Sammy Smith - P1: Sammy Smith - Points Leader: Sammy Smith
Next: Sat, May 8, Music City 200 - Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway - 200 laps.

ARCA Menards West:
Fri, Mar 12, General Tire 150 - Phoenix Raceway - 150 laps.
Winner: Ty Gibbs - P1: Ty Gibbs - Points Leader: Ty Gibbs
Next: Sat, Jun 5, General Tire 125 - Sonoma Raceway - 50 laps.

Whelen Modified Tour:
* Fri. Apr 30, NAPA Spring Sizzler - Stafford Motor Speedway - 150 laps.
Points Leader: Eric Goodale
* Postponed from Sunday, April 25th due to rain.

Pinty's Series:
Season opener: Sun, May 23, TBA - Sunset Speedway

Peak Mexico Series:
Season opener: Sun, May 22, TBA - Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas

Track Details

Darlington Raceway - 1.366-mile oval - Darlington, South Carolina
Five Flags Speedway - 0.5-mile oval - Pensacola, Florida
Kansas Speedway - 1.5-mile oval - Kansas City, Kansas
Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway - 0.596-mile oval - Nashville, Tennessee
Phoenix Raceway - 1-mile tri-oval - Avondale, Arizona
Richmond Raceway - 0.75-mile oval - Richmond, Virginia
Sonoma Raceway - 2.520-mile, 12-turn road course - Sonoma, California
Stafford Motor Speedway - 0.5-mile oval - Stafford Springs, Connecticut
Sunset Speedway - 0.333-mile oval - Innisfil, Ontario
Super Ovalo Chiapas - 0.75-mile tri-oval - Tuxtla Gutierrez
Talladega Superspeedway - 2.66-mile tri-oval - Talladega, Alabama