Itâs NASCAR race day at Talladega Superspeedway, and weâve got some essential information you need to get ready for Sunday’s 1000Bulbs.com 500, the second race of the Round of 12 in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs:
START TIME:Â Kim Pederson, CEO of 1000Bulbs.com,Â will instruct drivers to start their engines at 1:53Â p.m. ET (12:53 p.m. local), followed by theÂ green flag at 2:05Â p.m. ET (1:05 p.m.) local.Â
RACE DISTANCE:Â The 1000Bulbs.com 500 is 188 laps around the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway. That’s 500.08Â miles.
RACE STAGES:Â After a successful run last season, NASCARÂ will once again beÂ dividing races into stagesÂ and handing out points. Here are the segmentsÂ for tonight’s Cup race:Â Stage 1: 55Â laps, Stage 2: 55Â laps, Stage 3: 78Â laps.
PLAYOFFS:Â Today’s race is the fifth of 10 playoff races and the second of the three-race second round, which concludesÂ next weekend at Kansas Speedway. Twelve drivers advanced from the first round and remain in contention for the championship.
NATIONAL ANTHEM:Â The 313th United States Army Band out of Birmingham, Ala.,Â will perform the national anthem at 1:47Â p.m. ET (12:47 p.m. local), followed by a flyover by four F-18s from The World-Famous Fighting Blacklions of VFA-213 of the U.S. Navy.
TV RADIO SCHEDULE:Â The race will be broadcast on NBCÂ starting at 2Â p.m. ET (1 p.m. local), with a pre-show beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. local). Radio calls can be found on the Motor Racing Network andÂ Sirius/XM NASCAR Radio.
LIVE STREAMING:Â NBCSports.comÂ will live-stream the race for those who sign in with their cable/satellite provider’s credentials.
ELLIOTT: Not sweating Talladega playoff race
WEATHER: Ideal conditions. The Weather Channel is calling for sunny skies with temperatures in the low 80s with no chance of rain.
LAST TIME: Team Penske’s Joey Logano led 70 laps, including the final 42, to earn his third career Cup win at Talladega. And one year ago in the playoff race, teammate Brad Keselowski passed Ryan Newman on the final lap to score his fifth Talladega Cup Series win.
LINEUP: Kurt Busch led a 1-2-3-4 sweep of the top qualifying spots on Saturday for Stewart-Haas Racing, taking his fifth pole of the season. Clint Bowyer will start alongside Busch, while Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola will start on row 2.
Here’s the starting lineup for today’s 1000Bulbs.com 500Â (car number in parentheses):
1. (41) Kurt Busch, Ford
2. (14) Clint Bowyer, Ford
3. (4) Kevin Harvick, Ford
4. (10) Aric Almirola, Ford
5. (9) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet
6. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet
7. (88) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet
8. (24) William Byron, Chevrolet
9. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota
10. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota
11. (78) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota
12. (17) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford
13. (19) Daniel Suarez, Toyota
14. (34) Michael McDowell, Ford
15. (20) Erik Jones, Toyota
16. (38) David Ragan, Ford
17. (43) Darrell Wallace Jr., Chevrolet
18. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford
19. (12) Ryan Blaney, Ford
20. (22) Joey Logano, Ford
21. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet
22. (31) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet
23. (47) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet
24. (6) Trevor Bayne, Ford
25. (95) Regan Smith, Chevrolet
26. (37) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet
27. (32) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford
28. (62) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet
29. (13) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet
30. (21) Paul Menard, Ford
31. (1) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet
32. (23) JJ Yeley, Ford
33. (7) DJ Kennington, Chevrolet
34. (42) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet
35. (96) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Toyota
36. (15) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet
37. (00) Joey Gase, Chevrolet
38. (99) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet
39. (51) Cody Ware, Chevrolet
40. (72) Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet
Follow Horrow on TwitterÂ @EllenJHorrow