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Geico 500 Starting Lineup and Stats for NASCAR Cup Series Race

After three straight weeks of short-track racing, the NASCAR Cup Series will be doing anything but this weekend. Sunday’s running of the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway sees the drivers go from running on track less than a mile in length to one that spans over two and a half. As is the case for all superspeedway races, the tapered engine spacer package that NASCAR deploys at these tracks lead to plenty of shuffling over the course of 500 miles between the Geico 500 starting lineup and the eventual race results.

This article contains all kinds of vital information necessary to get you ready for the tenth race of the NASCAR Cup Series season. Read on for the Geico 500 starting lineup, start time, fast facts and NASCAR betting stats.

NASCAR Cup Series Geico 500 starting lineup Talladega Superspeedway
Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway

51st Geico 500
Date: Sunday, April 25, 2021
Start Time: 2 p.m. EST
Track: Talladega Superspeedway — Lincoln, AL
Coverage: FOX
Pole Sitter: Denny Hamlin
Defending Champion: Ryan Blaney

Geico 500 Race Details

Distance: 500.08 miles
Laps: 188
Lap Length: 2.66 miles
Stages: Three (Laps 1-60; Laps 61-120; Laps 121-188)
Surface: Asphalt
Turns: 4

Geico 500 Starting Grid

See below for a breakdown of qualifying.

Starting PositionDriverCar NumberTeamManufacturer
1Kyle Larson5Hendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
2Chase Elliott9Hendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
3William Byron24Hendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
4Denny Hamlin11Joe Gibbs RacingToyota
5Kyle Busch18Joe Gibbs RacingFord
6Austin Dillon3Richard Childress RacingChevrolet
7Alex Bowman48Hendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
8Kevin Harvick4Stewart-Haas RacingFord
9Brad Keselowski2Team PenskeFord
10Tyler Reddick8Richard Childress RacingChevrolet
11Ryan Blaney12Team PenskeFord
12Chris Buescher17Roush Fenway RacingFord
13Joey Logano22Team PenskeFord
14Ricky Stenhouse Jr.47JTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet
15Bubba Wallace2323XI RacingToyota
16Daniel Suarez99Trackhouse RacingChevrolet
17Matt DiBenedetto21Wood Brothers RacingFord
18Erik Jones43Richard Petty MotorsportsChevrolet
19Martin Truex Jr.19Joe Gibbs RacingToyota
20Christopher Bell20Joe Gibbs RacingToyota
21Michael McDowell34Front Row MotorsportsFord
22Corey LaJoie7Spire MotorsportsChevrolet
23Cole Custer41Stewart-Haas RacingFord
24Ryan Newman6Roush Fenway RacingFord
25Chase Briscoe14Stewart-Haas RacingFord
26Aric Almirola10Stewart-Haas RacingFord
27Ryan Preece37JTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet
28Anthony Alfredo38Front Row MotorsportsFord
29Ross Chastain42Chip Ganassi RacingChevrolet
30Kurt Busch1Chip Ganassi RacingChevrolet
31Ben Rhodes77Spire MotorsportsChevrolet
32James Davison15Rick Ware RacingChevrolet
33Quin Houff00StarCom RacingChevrolet
34Garrett Smithley53Petty Ware RacingFord
35Scott Heckert78Live Fast MotorsportsFord
36Josh Billicki52Rick Ware RacingFord
37Cody Ware51Rick Ware RacingChevrolet

NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying Overview

Following the virus-caused interruption to racing last season, NASCAR did away with practice and qualifying runs at the majority of races. A combination of grouped draws and a performance-metrics formula were used to determine starting grids. That same formula remains in place for the majority of races on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, including this weekend’s Geico 500 starting lienup.

So, what exactly is involved in the performance-metrics formula? Well, it draws on a number of factors including individual race performances and seaosn-long results. The following breakdown illustrates the weighted grades associated with each component of NASCAR’s metrics formula:

NASCAR Cup Series Metrics Formula Breakdown

  • 35 percent: Team owner points ranking
  • 25 percent: Driver’s finishing position from the previous race
  • 25 percent: Car owner’s finishing position from the previous race
  • 15 percent: Fastest lap from the previous race
Brad Keselowski NASCAR betting Geico 500 starting lineup Talladega Superspeedway Cup Series
Credit: Edwin Locke/UPI

Geico 500 Stats and NASCAR Betting Facts

  • The 1987 edition of the Geico 500 still stands today as the fastest NASCAR race ever run with an average speed of 188.354 mph.
  • Many consider this race to be the “fifth crown jewel” of the NASCAR Cup Series season. Given the decision to move the Brickyard 400 from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval to the road course this season, perhaps you could say this Talladega Superspeedway race rounds out NASCAR’s four crown jewels in 2021.
  • The race has set and then broken its own records for the most lead changes numerous times over the years.
  • The 2011 edition of the race tied the record for the closest margin of victory in a NASCAR Cup Series race. Jimmie Johnson beat Clint Bowyer to the line by 0.002 seconds.
  • Jeff Gordon leads drivers all-time with four wins in this race.
  • Brad Keselowski tops all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers with three victories (2009, ’12 and ’16). He is also the only active driver with multiple wins in this race.
  • Hendrick Motorsports leads all teams with eight victories in the race with the most recent coming in 2019.
  • Team Penske drivers have combined to win three of the last five editions of the race.
  • Chevrolet tops all manufacturers with 20 all-time Geico 500 wins. Ford is a fairly distant second with 14.
  • Ford manufacturer has won four of the last five editions of the race.

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