For The Win’s Michelle Martinelli thinks these drivers have the best chance of winning at NASCAR’s famously unpredictable track. USA TODAY Sports
Itâs race day at Talladega Superspeedway, and we’ve got all the informationÂ you need to get ready for Sunday’s GEICOÂ 500, the 10th race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series:
START TIME:Â 2Â p.m. ET (1 p.m. local).Â GREEN FLAG:Â 2:19Â p.m. ET (1:19 p.m. local).
Grant Lynch, Chairman of Talladega Superspeedway,Â will instruct drivers to start their engines at 2:07Â p.m. ET (1:07 p.m. local).Â Senior Airman Matthew J. Kovall of the U.S. Air Force, will wave the green flag.
TV:Â Fox. Pre-race broadcast begins at 1:30Â p.m. ET (12:30 p.m. local).
RACE DISTANCE: 188 laps around the 2.66-mile track for a total of 500.08Â miles.
STAGE LENGTHS (laps per stage):Â Stage 1: 55, Stage 2: 55, Stage 3: 78.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: TheÂ 313th United States Army BandÂ will perform the anthem at 2:01Â p.m ET (1:01 p.m. local), followed by a flyover by fourÂ F-15s from the 122nd Fighter Squadron in New Orleans.
WEATHER: Pretty ideal. The Weather Channel is calling for cloudy skies with highs in the upper 70s and a very slim chance of rain.
LAST TIME: Aric Almirola only led one lap, but it was a big one as he outdueled Clint Bowyer byÂ .105 seconds in the October playoff race to book a spot in the elite 8. And one year ago last April, Joey Logano edged Kurt Busch byÂ .127 seconds after leading 70 laps. Ford drivers have won seven consecutive races at Talladega and eight of the last nine.
LINEUP: Austin Dillon celebrated his 29th birthday by winning the pole, his second of the season and fifth of his Cup Series career. Almirola qualified second and will start alongside Dillon the front row.
Here is the lineup for the GEICOÂ 500Â (car number in parentheses):
1. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet
2. (10) Aric Almirola, Ford
3. (14) Clint Bowyer, Ford
4. (2) Brad Keselowski, Ford
5. (8) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet
6. (17) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford
7. (12) Ryan Blaney, Ford
8. (22) Joey Logano, Ford
9. (88) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet
10. (42) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet
11. (9) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet
12. (34) Michael McDowell, Ford
13. (13) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet
14. (1) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet
15. (38) David Ragan, Ford
16. (41) Daniel Suarez, Ford
17. (21) Paul Menard, Ford
18. (36) Matt Tifft, Ford
19. (4) Kevin Harvick, Ford
20. (19) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota
21. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet
22. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota
23. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota
24. (6) Ryan Newman, Ford
25. (24) William Byron, Chevrolet
26. (95) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota
27. (20) Erik Jones, Toyota
28. (43) Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet
29. (62) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet
30. (47) Ryan Preece, Chevrolet
31. (37) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet
32. (00) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet
33. (81) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Toyota
34. (15) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet
35. (96) Parker Kligerman, Toyota
36. (32) Corey LaJoie, Ford
37. (27) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet
38. (77) Justin Haley, Chevrolet
39. (52) Stanton Barrett, Chevrolet
40. (51) Cody Ware, Ford
Follow Horrow on TwitterÂ @EllenJHorrow