It will be the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega with NASCAR change to no ride-height rules for superspeedways this season, and NASCAR reduced the size of the cars' restrictor-plates on Friday after drivers were averaging laps in practice at over 203mph.
NEXT UP: Final practice at 2:35 p.m. ET. So here's how five drivers say they plan to manage the chaos.
Joey Logano is a two-time victor at this track. He crashed in every event and has yet to lead a single lap all year. With 16 spots up for grabs in the playoffs, this is a race where a driver can steal a postseason berth.
The Joe Gibbs Racing driver would make the most of opportunity in this 300-mile race.
Austin Dillon and his team celebrate their victory in the Daytona 500 on February 18. Series leader Kyle Busch, who is seeking a fourth straight Cup victory, failed to advance to the second round and will start 19th. Not a bad bang for your buck if you ask me.
But like his Hendrick Motorsports teammates, he's working with a new Camaro that has yet to show much muscle on the track.
"It doesn't really bother me that a couple people are winning most of the races".
McMurray and Newman both will resort to backup cars for Sunday's GEICO 500 and will start from the rear of the field according to NASCAR rules.
Johnson, the seven-time NASCAR champion, has not had one of the fastest cars this year, and had a disastrous Speedweeks at Daytona. Johnson is no stranger to the Winner's Circle at Talladega.
His last win came in the "encumbered" April 30, 2017 race at Richmond. Vegas has him set at +2150 when the green flag drops this Sunday. His average finish here is 14.1, while his driver rating is 89.0.
This cleared the back of the field for Elliott Sadler who climbed from dead-last to the front in just 42 laps. Unfortunately, he has wiped out in the last to showdowns here.
Almirola was a half-lap from winning the Daytona 500 in this season's first race before being moved out of the way. Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kurt Busch joins him on the front row.
Keep in mind Almirola's only MENCS win was also at a restrictor plate track. The veteran competitor has won here back in the spring of 2010 and led 15 laps in the last Geico 500 a year ago. Once in 2010 and again in 2011.
Earnhardt had a four-race string intact - with victories at Darlington, North Wilkesboro, Bristol and Martinsville - when he came to Talladega in 1987. Bobby Allison had won at Bristol, Trenton and Atlanta in 1972, but he finished third behind race victor James Hylton at NASCAR's longest oval.
So there you have it.
Have you ever wondered what it feels like to speed around one of NASCAR's longest and fastest tracks?
"Just unfortunate to tear up a race vehicle". At speeds of 200 to 205 miles per hour for 500 laps, anything can happen.
McMurray rolled his auto multiple times in a Friday accident.
What does a NASCAR driver do when his vehicle blows a tire and goes out of control, tumbling over and over on the track? He is listed in at +4400. "We'll give it a go anyway, see what we get".
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