Talladega Notes & Facts: Drivers, history, poles and top-10 ratings
In order to help you enjoy Sunday’s Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, we’re passing along some of the most noteworthy bits of information and history of the celebrated 2.66-mile track.
Talladega Superspeedway Notes & Facts - Drivers:
· 439 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega; 302 in more than one.
· Dave Marcis and Terry Labonte lead the series in starts at Talladega with 61 each. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 44 starts; followed by Tony Stewart with 31.
· 44 different drivers have won at Talladega Superspeedway, led by Dale Earnhardt with 10. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with six.
· Buddy Baker and Tony Stewart are tied for most runner-up finishes at Talladega with six each.
· NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the series in top-five finishes at Talladega with 23. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 15.
· Dale Earnhardt leads the series in top-10 finishes at Talladega with 27. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 19.
· Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Talladega with a 10.192.
· Clint Bowyer leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Talladega with a 14.444.
· Jamie McMurray (10/06/2002) made his series debut at Talladega Superspeedway.
· Brian Scott (05/04/2014), David Gilliland (10/08/2006) and Travis Kvapil (10/05/2008) posted their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series poles at Talladega.
· 2012 series champion Brad Keselowski (04/26/2009) and Brian Vickers (10/08/2006) posted their first Cup wins at Talladega.
· Nine Cup drivers have posted consecutive wins at Talladega; Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the series in consecutive wins at Talladega after posting four straight from the fall of 2001 - 2003.
· Brad Keselowski is the only active series driver to win at Talladega in his first appearance.
· Matt Kenseth competed at Talladega 25 times before winning the fall of 2012; the longest span of any the 12 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
· Matt Kenseth (25), Tony Stewart (19), Kevin Harvick (18), and David Ragan (12) all made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Talladega.
· Kurt Busch leads the series among active drivers with the most Cup starts at Talladega without visiting Victory Lane at 28. Ryan Newman is next with 26.
· Jeff Gordon leads active Cup drivers in laps led at Talladega with 847 laps led in 44 starts.
· Three female drivers have competed at Talladega in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie, Patty Moise and Danica Patrick.
Talladega Superspeedway Notes & Facts - History:
· Construction began on what was then known as the Alabama International Motor Speedway on May 23, 1968.
· The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on Sept. 14, 1969 - won by Richard Brickhouse.
· The name changed to Talladega Superspeedway in 1989.
· Fourth repaving completed on Sept. 19, 2006.
Talladega Superspeedway Notes & Facts - Poles:
· Bobby Isaac won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Talladega in 1969 with a speed of 199.466 mph. Isaac won the first three poles at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.
· 38 drivers have Coors Light poles at Talladega, led by Bill Elliott with eight. Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with three.
· 10 drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Talladega. Bill Elliott holds the record for most consecutive poles at Talladega with six (1985 - 1987).
· 13 of the 91 (14.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega have been won from the Coors Light pole. Jeff Gordon (2007) is the only active driver to be able to accomplish the feat.
· The outside front row (second-place) starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (20) than any other starting position at Talladega.
· 33 of the 91 (36.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega have been won from the front row: 13 from the pole and 20 from second-place.
· 63 of the 91 (69.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Talladega have been won from a top-10 starting position.
· 8 of the 91 (8.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega have been won from a starting position outside the top 20.
· The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Talladega was 36th, by Jeff Gordon in the spring of 2000.
· Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway five times; most recently fall of 2013.
Top 10 Driver Ratings at Talladega Superspeedway:
#42-Kyle Larson 95.6
#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. 90.7
#20-Matt Kenseth 89.9
#41-Kurt Busch 88.3
#48-Jimmie Johnson 87.5
#17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 85.0
#55-Brian Vickers 84.0
#2-Brad Keselowski 82.9
#22-Joey Logano 82.2
#11-Denny Hamlin 82.0
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (20 total) among active drivers at Talladega Superspeedway. Formula combining the following categories: Win, Finish, Top-15 Finish, Average Running Position while on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish. Maximum: 150 points per race.