2020 NASCAR Cup Series preview: Talladega 1

Superspeedway racing is back! The NASCAR Cup Series will run its first race at a superspeedway since the Daytona 500 on February 17th; a race in which Denny Hamlin won after Ryan Newman crashed on the final lap.

The last race at Talladega Superspeedway took place on October 14, 2019. Like this year’s Daytona 500, rain pushed the race to Monday. If the weather holds, this will be the first superspeedway race on a Sunday since the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on July 7, 2019. Last year’s Talladega race in October saw crashes one would expect at a superspeedway. Kurt Busch turned his brother Kyle Busch to cause a big wreck that took out numerous drivers with seven laps to go. Ryan Blaney would go on to collect the win in a photo finish over Newman.

Blaney currently sits fifth in overall points despite being the only driver in the top eight without a win this season. However, he has finished in the top five six times this season, which is matched by Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott. Blaney will start 12th.

It will be interesting to see if there are any big wrecks in this race and how they will affect the leaderboard.

The two storylines to watch for this race is if Hamlin continues to perform well, and how will the next chapter in the Joey Logano and Elliott feud be written.

Hamlin, last week, dominated the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway as he won all three stages and led 137 of the 267 laps. Hamlin picked up his third win of the season, which includes his victory at the Daytona 500. He has four victories in the Cup Series at superspeedways (one at Talladega in 2014 and three at Daytona) and will look to make it five on Sunday. He will start on the front row beside pole-sitter Martin Truex Jr.

A few weeks ago at Bristol Motor Speedway, Logano and Elliott were battling for the lead but Elliott collided with Logano, causing both to crash and lose the race to Brad Keselowski. Last week at Homestead, Logano, while two laps down, slowed Elliott’s momentum down, which helped Hamlin take the lead from Elliott. The superspeedway race on Sunday could provide another chaotic moment between the two drivers. Logano will start ninth and Elliott will start 11th.

The coverage for the GEICO 500 at Talladega will begin at 3:00 p.m. EST. You can catch the race on FOX and the Motor Racing Network.

Starting lineup: https://www.jayski.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2020/06/18/2020-13cup-lineup.pdf

Goodyear tire notes: https://www.jayski.com/2020/06/16/goodyear-fast-facts-talladega-4/

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