Everything you need to know about Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in three minutes:
Three things to watch
1. The second round of NASCAR’s Chase wraps up at Talladega, with 11 drivers needing a victory to guarantee a spot in the round of eight. Only Joey Logano, who has won the first two races of this round, is set for round three.
2. Talladega’s treacherous and fast 2.66-mile layout will have a big say in the outcome. Will the “big one” play a part in which drivers advance – or don’t?
3. Jeff Gordon will be on the pole for his final race at Talladega. It was a good qualifying day for Hendrick Motorsports, with all four drivers in the top five – Gordon, Kasey Kahne (second), Jimmie Johnson (third) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (fifth).
▪ As unhappy as Matt Kenseth is with Logano for bumping him out of the way to win at Kansas, he’s unlikely to pay Logano back Sunday. Too much is at stake for Kenseth, who needs to win.
▪ Talladega is to be commended for installing of SAFER barriers, which now cover the entirety of the track’s inside and outside walls. Let’s hope the trend for 100 percent coverage continues around NASCAR.
▪ Drivers appear to be happy with NASCAR’s decision to limit potential overtime at Talladega to one green-white-checkered finish (instead of the maximum of three). There’s enough possibility for late-race mayhem without adding more layers at then end.
▪ The paint scheme on Kyle Larson’s No. 42 Chevy will feature a red houndstooth design to honor former Alabama football coach Bear Bryant.
▪ All four Stewart-Haas Racing cars (Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart) had to make changes to their radiator duct inlet panels during Saturday’s pre-qualifying inspection.
▪ Unfortunate incident before qualifying Saturday, when Clint Bowyer inadvertently backed into Justin Allgaier’s car – the same No. 51 Chevy that Bowyer will drive instead of Algaier next season for HScott Motorsports.
Three picks for your fantasy team:
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Hasn’t performed well in the Chase, but he’s got six career victories at Talladega, including this season’s spring race. That’s tied with pole-winner Jeff Gordon for most of any active driver.
Brad Keselowski: He’s inside the top-eight cut line entering the race, but he’d like to win to ensure his spot in the next round. He won this race in 2014 when he absolutely had to.
Jeff Gordon: Pole winner also started first in May at Talladega -- but finished 31st.
He said it
“I think it’s important to be in the lead in the last 50 laps of the race, so we’re going to try to be there.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Where: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
Track type: 2.66-mile asphalt trioval.
Race distance: 500 miles, or 188 laps.
Green flag: 2:30 p.m.
Weather: High of 77, cloudy, zero percent chance of rain.
TV: NBC Sports Network.
Radio: Motor Racing Network.