Geico 500 Starting Lineup and Stats for NASCAR Cup Series Race


After three straight weeks of short-track racing , the NASCAR Cup Series will be doing anything but this weekend. Sunday’s running of the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway sees the drivers go from running on track less than a mile in length to one that spans over two and a half. As is the case for all superspeedway races, the tapered engine spacer package that NASCAR deploys at these tracks lead to plenty of shuffling over the course of 500 miles between the Geico 500 starting lineup and the eventual race results.

This article contains all kinds of vital information necessary to get you ready for the tenth race of the NASCAR Cup Series season. Read on for the Geico 500 starting lineup, start time, fast facts and NASCAR betting stats.
Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway

51st Geico 500
Date: Sunday, April 25, 2021
Start Time: 2 p.m. EST
Track: Talladega Superspeedway — Lincoln, AL
Coverage: FOX
Pole Sitter: Denny Hamlin
Defending Champion: Ryan Blaney

Geico 500 Race Details

Distance: 500.08 miles
Laps: 188
Lap Length: 2.66 miles
Stages: Three (Laps 1-60; Laps 61-120; Laps 121-188)
Surface: Asphalt
Turns: 4

Geico 500 Starting Grid

See below for a breakdown of qualifying.

Starting Position Driver Car Number Team Manufacturer
1 Denny Hamlin 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
2 Joey Logano 22 Team Penske Ford
3 Martin Truex Jr. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
4 William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
5 Alex Bowman 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
6 Christopher Bell 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
7 Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske Ford
8 Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
9 Kyle Busch 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Ford
10 Brad Keselowski 2 Team Penske Ford
11 Austin Dillon 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
12 Kyle Larson 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
13 Matt DiBenedetto 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford
14 Aric Almirola 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
15 Kurt Busch 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
16 Kevin Harvick 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
18 Ross Chastain 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
19 Daniel Suarez 99 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet
20 Tyler Reddick 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
21 Chris Buescher 22 Roush Fenway Racing Ford
22 Erik Jones 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet
23 Michael McDowell 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford
24 Bubba Wallace 23 23XI Racing Toyota
25 Chase Briscoe 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
26 Corey LaJoie 7 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
27 Cole Custer 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford
28 Ryan Newman 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford
29 Ryan Preece 37 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet
30 Anthony Alfredo 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford
31 B.J. McLeod 78 Live Fast Motorsports Chevrolet
32 Quin Houff 00 StarCom Racing Chevrolet
33 Cody Ware 51 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet
34 Justin Haley 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet
35 Joey Gase 28 Rick Ware Racing Ford
36 Josh Billicki 52 Rick Ware Racing Ford
37 J.J. Yeley 15 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet
38 Kaz Grala 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet
39 Harrison Burton 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota
40 Timmy Hill 66 MBM Motorsports Toyota

NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying Overview

Following the virus-caused interruption to racing last season, NASCAR did away with practice and qualifying runs at the majority of races. A combination of grouped draws and a performance-metrics formula were used to determine starting grids. That same formula remains in place for the majority of races on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, including this weekend’s Geico 500 starting lienup.

So, what exactly is involved in the performance-metrics formula? Well, it draws on a number of factors including individual race performances and seaosn-long results. The following breakdown illustrates the weighted grades associated with each component of NASCAR’s metrics formula:

NASCAR Cup Series Metrics Formula Breakdown

  • 35 percent: Team owner points ranking
  • 25 percent: Driver’s finishing position from the previous race
  • 25 percent: Car owner’s finishing position from the previous race
  • 15 percent: Fastest lap from the previous race
Credit: Edwin Locke/UPI

Geico 5 00 Stats and NASCAR Betting Facts

  • The 1987 edition of the Geico 500 still stands today as the fastest NASCAR race ever run with an average speed of 188.354 mph.
  • Many consider this race to be the “fifth crown jewel” of the NASCAR Cup Series season. Given the decision to move the Brickyard 400 from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval to the road course this season, perhaps you could say this Talladega Superspeedway race rounds out NASCAR’s four crown jewels in 2021.
  • The race has set and then broken its own records for the most lead changes numerous times over the years.
  • The 2011 edition of the race tied the record for the closest margin of victory in a NASCAR Cup Series race. Jimmie Johnson beat Clint Bowyer to the line by 0.002 seconds.
  • Jeff Gordon leads drivers all-time with four wins in this race.
  • Brad Keselowski tops all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers with three victories (2009, ’12 and ’16). He is also the only active driver with multiple wins in this race.
  • Hendrick Motorsports leads all teams with eight victories in the race with the most recent coming in 2019.
  • Team Penske drivers have combined to win three of the last five editions of the race.
  • Chevrolet tops all manufacturers with 20 all-time Geico 500 wins. Ford is a fairly distant second with 14.
  • Ford manufacturer has won four of the last five editions of the race.

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