TALLADEGA, AL – It’s not often that two drivers both have a shot to make history – albeit two different aspects – at the same race track during the same weekend, but Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Joey Logano have the opportunity staring them in the face for Talladega Superspeedway’s Alabama 500 on Sunday, Oct. 15.
Stenhouse Jr. is looking to become only the third driver to win three of the four “Super” Superspeedway races in a single season at Talladega and Daytona while Logano aims to become the first driver ever to win three straight races during NASCAR’s second yearly visit to Talladega.
Stenhouse Jr.’s drive in this spring’s GEICO 500 at TSS is one he’ll remember for the rest of his life. In his 158th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) start, he powered his No. 17 Roush-Fenway Racing Ford past Kyle Busch with just over a lap remaining to make the trip to Gatorade Victory Lane – his first career checkered flag in NASCAR’s top-tier series.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Stenhouse Jr. said after his victory that propelled him into NASCAR’s Playoffs for the first time in his career. “The fans were awesome. We had a lot packed in here at Talladega and it felt old-school. Man, to finally get that win for Jack (Roush) and everyone on our team is really special. We are really excited about our (Super) Speedway program.”
After his historic triumph at the biggest and baddest track on the planet, Stenhouse Jr. backed it up with another victory at Talladega’s sister track of speed – Daytona International Speedway – in July. By virtue of the triumph, he can now join Pete Hamilton (1970) and Dale Earnhardt Sr. (1990) as the only drivers to win three “Super” Superspeedway races in a season.
Logano, on the other hand, hopes to become the first driver in track history to win three consecutive races in Talladega’s yearly subsequent event, the Alabama 500 (held in late summer from 1970-1996 before moving to the fall in 1997).
“It’s hard to believe that no driver has won three straight races for Talladega’s second race weekend,” said Logano, who held off Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2015, and Brian Scott and Denny Hamlin a year ago. “This track is incredibly competitive, and it’s certainly a great feat for us to have won here not just once, but on back-to-back occasions. We’re going to give it our best shot to make it three in-a-row.”
Logano currently is in good company. The Earnhardts – Dale Sr. and Dale Jr. – as well as Clint Bowyer, have managed two consecutive victories during NASCAR’s annual later visit to TSS. Earnhardt Sr. pulled off the feat three times – 1983/1984, 1990/1991 and 1999/2000. The 2000 victory marked his 10th Talladega triumph and the final win of his career. Earnhardt Jr. reeled off two straight in 2001/2002, while Bowyer’s accomplishment came in 2010/2011. Only one driver has ever claimed three straight of the same race in consecutive years – David Pearson captured the checkered flag during Talladega’s spring race weekend MENCS race from 1972-74.
The Alabama 500, the “Wildcard” second race in the Round of 12 for the MENCS Playoffs and the final scheduled Talladega start for six-time winner, Earnhardt Jr., takes place on Sunday, Oct. 15, at 1 p.m. (CDT).
The NASCAR playoff weekend kicks off on Friday, Oct. 13 with a full slate of practice sessions for the Alabama 500 as well as the fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race. The fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola, also a NASCAR Playoff event that will trim the field of eight championship eligible contenders to six at event’s end, which is set for 12 Noon (CDT) on Saturday, Oct. 14.
For more information or to order tickets visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com
About Talladega Superspeedway
Talladega Superspeedway is NASCAR’s Most Competitive (record of 88 lead changes in 188 laps), highest banked (33 degrees), and longest track (2.66-miles), as well as the most fun and fan-friendly. Talladega offers something for everyone, including hundreds of acres of free camping, amazing kids ticket and college student prices, along with special offers for military members and first responders. The historic venue, built in 1969, is deemed NASCAR’s “Party Capital” thanks to the track’s infamous infield, which features the traditional Saturday Night Concert (featuring Colt Ford Powered by American Ethanol) and the world-renowned Talladega Blvd, home of the Friday night “Big One on the Blvd” party. It’s the site of the most comfortable seats in motorsports, large ISM Vision HD video viewing boards that line the frontstretch and endless pre-race activities for fans on race day, including special kid’s VIP opportunities. Talladega Superspeedway’s next NASCAR weekend is set for October 13-15, featuring the fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race Sat. Oct. 14 – the final race in the Round of 8 in the NCWTS Playoffs where the field of eligible title contenders will be trimmed from eight to six. The weekend’s anchor is on Sun. Oct. 15 with the Alabama 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) event, the second race in the Round of 12 during the MENCS Playoffs. For more details and ticket information simply log on to www.talladegasuperspeedway.