FORD PERFORMANCE NASCAR: TALLADEGA NOTES
The NASCAR playoffs continue with a second straight tripleheader weekend, but this time the venue is Talladega Superspeedway. The NASCAR Camping World Truck and NASCAR XFINITY Series will highlight a Saturday afternoon doubleheader while the NASCAR Cup Series headlines the finale on Sunday. Here’s a look at where Ford drivers stand in each series and how the manufacturer has fared at NASCAR’s biggest track.
This Week’s Schedule:
Saturday, Oct. 2 – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, 1 p.m. ET (FS1)
Saturday, Oct. 2 – NASCAR XFINITY Series, 4:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Sunday, Oct. 3 – NASCAR Cup Series, 2 p.m. ET (NBC)
FORD IN THE NASCAR CUP SERIES AT TALLADEGA
- Ford has 31 all-time series wins at Talladega, including 10 of the last 12, and 11 of the last 14.
- Ford has won at least one Talladega Cup race each of the last 10 years.
- Brad Keselowski is going for a Talladega season sweep this weekend.
ROUND OF 12 NCS PLAYOFF STANDINGS (Top 8 advance after Charlotte)
5- Ryan Blaney +24
7- Joey Logano +6
8- Brad Keselowski +4
10- Kevin Harvick -7
FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT TALLADEGA
- Ford has 6 series wins at Talladega.
- The first Ford victory in the series was by Chad Little in 1995.
- Six different Ford drivers have series wins at Talladega.
ROUND OF 12 NXS PLAYOFF STANDINGS (Top 8 advance after Charlotte)
1- Austin Cindric +66
11- Riley Herbst -32
FORD IN THE NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES AT TALLADEGA
- Ford has 1 series wins at Talladega.
- That victory came in the inaugural series race when Mark Martin won in 2006.
TEAM PENSKE ROLLING AT TALLADEGA
Team Penske drivers Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney have combined to win 9 of the last 14 NCS races at Talladega Superspeedway. Keselowski started this run by winning in 2014 and has registered four victories at the track during this stretch. Logano won this weekend’s event in back-to-back seasons (2015-16) while Blaney has followed suit, winning twice in the last three years at Talladega.
KESELOWSKI CLIMBING ALL-TIME TALLADEGA WIN LIST
Brad Keselowski will be going for a season sweep this weekend after taking the checkered flag in the spring for his sixth career win at Talladega Superspeedway. That victory makes him the winningest active driver at the track and is tied for second on the all-time Talladega Cup win list with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jeff Gordon. The track’s all-time winner is Dale Earnhardt Sr., who won 10 times during his NASCAR Hall of Fame career.
ALMIROLA ALRIGHT AT TALLADEGA
Stewart-Haas driver Aric Almirola has had his share of success recently at Talladega Superspeedway, having posted eight top 10 finishes in the last 10 races at NASCAR’s biggest track. Almirola, who won the playoff race at Talladega in 2018, had his streak of eight straight top 10 finishes come to an end last year in this event when an accident on lap 58 ended his day with a 37th-place result.
TALLADEGA TOP 10’s FOR NEWMAN
Ryan Newman has competed in five NASCAR Cup Series events at Talladega Superspeedway since joining Roush Fenway Racing in 2019 and produced three top 10 finishes. Newman was seventh in his first outing with the team, and then later that year had the lead coming off turn four before getting nipped at the finish line by Ryan Blaney in a photo finish. Last season, he finished 24th in the first race and sixth in the playoff event. He narrowly missed extending that streak this past spring when he finished 13th. This weekend will mark Newman’s 40th career series start at TSS.
Ford Talladega Highlights:
WINNING IN THE CLUTCH
Needing a win to advance in the Playoffs, Brad Keselowski did exactly that in winning the Geico 500 on Oct. 19, 2014. The win was Keselowski’s sixth of the year, most for any driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, and enabled him to move into the next round. Keselowski got a push from Penske teammate Joey Logano on the final green-white-checker restart and held off Matt Kenseth for the win.
ROUND OF 12 SWEEP
Joey Logano made history in 2015 when he came to Talladega Superspeedway and completed a three-race Round of 12 sweep by surviving a green-white-checker finish to win the CampingWorld.com 500. Logano became the first driver to sweep an entire round in only the second year of the format and won for the sixth time in 2015. In order to do it, he had to survive an aborted green-white-checker restart and then the official restart after it was determined by NASCAR that the original attempt had not gone green before an accident back in the pack occurred. The cars lined up again and shortly after Logano passed the start-finish line, a multi-car wrecked ensued that involved Kevin Harvick, who was having engine issues which brought the caution out and gave Logano the win.
BAKER PROVIDES MOORE SUCCESS
The first time Ford went to victory lane at Talladega Superspeedway was May 4, 1975 when Buddy Baker, driving for Hall of Fame car owner Bud Moore, held off David Pearson on the final lap. The win was Baker’s ninth career victory and came after he took the lead with 18 laps to go. One of the key decisions in getting Baker to the checkered flag first came when his team opted for two tires on its final pit stop of the day while Pearson and the Wood Brothers decided on gas only. Even though Pearson steadily gained ground on the final lap, Baker was able to hold on by half a car length to win. That started a streak which saw Baker and Moore win three straight Talladega races.
DAVEY ALLISON’S FIRST WIN
Ford has had many milestone moments at Talladega Superspeedway, including the first NASCAR Cup Series win for the late Davey Allison, who won the Winston 500 on May 3, 1987. The race came down to a restart with 10 laps to go in which Allison found himself behind Dale Earnhardt in the outside lane. Earnhardt bolted to the lead when the green flew and Allison tucked in right behind him through turns one and two. As they came off the second corner, Allison went to the inside and easily passed Earnhardt for what proved to be the winning pass. Terry Labonte ended up finishing second with Earnhardt third. Allison went on to win 19 NCS races, including three at Talladega.
ROBERT YATES RACING’S FINAL WIN
When Dale Jarrett won the UAW-Ford 500 on Oct. 2, 2005 it ended up being the final trip to victory lane for Robert Yates Racing. This race came down to a green-white-checker restart, where Jarrett was positioned fourth. He was still in that spot when they came around to start the final lap, but quickly moved to the outside as Tony Stewart grabbed the lead on the inside lane. The two drivers battled side-by-side down the backstretch before Jarrett powered his way in front. Seconds after getting the lead, Kyle Petty was involved in a single-car accident that brought out the caution as the cars entered turn three. Jarrett was declared the winner after NASCAR verified that he was in front at the time the yellow flag was thrown. The win was RYR’s 57th triumph in the NASCAR Cup Series, and came six years after the team won its only championship with Jarrett in 1999.
DAVID RAGAN’S SURPRISE VICTORY
And then there was David Ragan, who became the 11th driver to win a NASCAR XFINITY and NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway when he took the checkered flag in the 2013 Aaron’s 499. The win was his second series victory and first for Front Row Motorsports, and it ended in typical Talladega fashion. As the cars came to the white flag it was Carl Edwards in the lead while Ragan was fifth and tucked in the middle lane behind Aric Almirola. When Almirola moved to the high side, it enabled Ragan and teammate David Gilliland to work together and push their way forward. The duo was behind Edwards off turn two, but they made their move to the inside on the backstretch and made what proved to be the decisive pass.
FORD’S NASCAR CUP SERIES WINNERS AT TALLADEGA
1975 – Buddy Baker (Sweep)
1976 – Buddy Baker (1)
1979 – Bobby Allison (1)
1983 – Dale Earnhardt (2)
1985 – Bill Elliott and Cale Yarborough
1987 – Davey Allison and Bill Elliott
1989 – Davey Allison and Terry Labonte
1992 – Davey Allison (1)
1994 – Jimmy Spencer (2)
1995 – Mark Martin (1)
1997 – Mark Martin (1)
1998 – Dale Jarrett (2)
2005 – Dale Jarrett (2)
2009 – Jamie McMurray (2)
2012 – Matt Kenseth (2)
2013 – David Ragan (1)
2014 – Brad Keselowski (2)
2015 – Joey Logano (2)
2016 – Brad Keselowski (1) and Joey Logano (2)
2017 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (1) and Brad Keselowski (2)
2018 – Joey Logano (1) and Aric Almirola (2)
2019 – Ryan Blaney (2)
2020 – Ryan Blaney (1)
2021 – Brad Keselowski (1)
FORD’S NASCAR XFINITY SERIES WINNERS AT TALLADEGA
1995 – Chad Little
1997 – Mark Martin
2002 – Jason Keller
2009 – David Ragan
2015 – Joey Logano
2017 – Aric Almirola
FORD’S NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES WINNERS AT TALLADEGA
2006 – Mark Martin