NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: GEICO 500
The Place: Talladega Superspeedway
The Date: Sunday, April 23
The Time: 3 p.m. ET
The Purse: $7,857,314
TV: FOX, 2 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 500 miles (188 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 60), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 120), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 188)

NASCAR Xfinity Series
Next Race: Ag-Pro 300
The Place: Talladega Superspeedway
The Date: Saturday, April 22
The Time: 4 p.m. ET
The Purse: $1,438,641
TV: FS1, 3 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 300.58 miles (113 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 25), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 50), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 113)

Next Race: Heart Of America 200
The Place: Kansas Speedway
The Date: Saturday, May 6
The Time: 8 p.m. ET
The Purse: $734,551
TV: FS1, 7 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 201 miles (134 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 30), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 60), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 134)

NASCAR Cup Series

Fast Start To 2023: Next Gen is once again setting records in on-track action

In its sophomore season, the NASCAR Cup Series‘ Next Gen car is again producing some record setting statistical superlatives in on-track action. Below are just a few of the statistical highlights of the Next Gen‘s performance this season.

Through the first nine points-paying races of the 2023 season, the NASCAR Cup Series has produced 442 Green Flag Passes for the Lead, which is the series-most through the first nine races of season since the Loop Data statistic was initially tabulated in 2007 (last 17 seasons). In a year-over-year comparison, the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season with 442 Green Flag Passes for the Lead, has produced an increase of 7.3% over the 2022 season‘s first nine races with 412 Green Flag Passes for the Lead, and up 113.5% over the last season with the Gen 6 car with 207 Green Flag Passes for the Lead through the first nine races of the 2021 season.

Passing throughout the field has also been up this year. The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season has produced 39,992 Total Green Flag Passes in the first nine points-paying races of the year; the series-most through the first nine races of a season since the Loop Data statistic was initially tabulated in 2007. In a year-over-year comparison, the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season with 39,992 Total Green Flag Passes, has produced an increase of 31.0% over the 2022 season‘s first nine races with 30,533 Total Green Flag Passes, and up 69.5% from the first nine races of the 2021 season with 23,600 GFP. Plus, three tracks this season have set track records in green flag passes — Circuit of The Americas (3,110 GFP), Richmond Raceway (3,816 GFP) and Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt (3,699 GFP).

The close racing and dramatic finishes this season have resulted in seven different winners in the first nine races. The 2023 season has also produced an average Margin of Victory of 1.604-seconds; with three of the nine races this season finishing with a Margin of Victory of under a second. In addition, four of the first nine NASCAR Cup Series races this season have resulted in overtime finishes – Daytona, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Austin.

Big opportunity for Playoff seeking competitors at Talladega

With seven different winners in the first nine races of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, this weekend‘s GEICO 500 (Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) offers a plethora of opportunity for an eighth different winner to pull into Victory Lane and secure their spot in the Playoffs. Talladega Superspeedway has seen six different winners in the last six races; including this Sunday‘s defending winner, Trackhouse Racing‘s Ross Chastain, who is still looking for his first win of 2023.

Construction began on what was then known as the Alabama International Motor Speedway on May 23, 1968. The first NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway was held on September 14, 1969, and the event was won by Richard Brickhouse, from Rocky Point, North Carolina, driving a Dodge for car owner Ray Nichels. The average speed of the first race at the 2.66-mile track was 153.778 mph.

The name of the facility changed to Talladega Superspeedway in 1989, and the surface underwent its fourth repaving on September 19, 2006. In total, there have been 107 NASCAR Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway; one series event in 1969, and two races per year since 1970.

NASCAR Hall of Famers hold the qualifying and race records at Talladega Superspeedway. Bill Elliott holds the qualifying record, which he set on April 30, 1987, with a lap at 212,809 mph (44.998 secs.) and Mark Martin holds the race record with his win on May 10, 1997, at an average speed of 188.354 mph (2 hours, 39 mins., 18 secs.).

A total of 45 different drivers have won at least one pole at Talladega Superspeedway in the NASCAR Cup Series; 24 of the pole winners have won more than one. Six of the 45 Talladega NASCAR Cup Series pole winners are active this weekend. Busch Light Pole Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday, April 22 at 10:30 a.m. ET on FS1.

Active NASCAR Cup Series Pole Winners at Talladega Superspeedway

Active Pole Winners (6)PolesSeasonsChristopher Bell22022 sweepChase Elliott22019, 2016Kevin Harvick22018, 2005Austin Dillon12019Ricky Stenhouse Jr12017Martin Truex Jr12016

The 107 NASCAR Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway have also produced a total of 51 different race winners; 26 of the 51 have won multiple times at the 2.66-mile track. This weekend 11 of the 51 NASCAR Cup Series Talladega race winners are entered into the event.

Active NASCAR Cup Series Race Winners at Talladega Superspeedway

Active Race Winners (11)WinsSeasonsBrad Keselowski62021, 2017, 2016. 2014, 2012, 2009Joey Logano32018, 2016, 2015Chase Elliott22022, 2019Ryan Blaney22020, 2019Denny Hamlin22020, 2014Ross Chastain12022Bubba Wallace12021Aric Almirola12018Ricky Stenhouse Jr12017Kevin Harvick12010Kyle Busch12008

NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Talladega Superspeedway with 10 victories (1983, 1984, 1990 sweep, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1999 sweep, 2000). RFK Racing‘s Brad Keselowski leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in wins at Talladega Superspeedway with six victories (2009, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2021). The two most recent winners at Talladega are Trackhouse Racing‘s Ross Chastain (April 2022) and Hendrick Motorsport‘s Chase Elliott (Oct. 2022); both drivers are looking for their first win of the 2023 season.

‘Dega doesn‘t disappoint

Known as one of the most competitive tracks on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule, the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway is the perfect stage for the wild side-by-side action NASCAR fans love and this weekend‘s GEICO 500 (Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) is expected to produce just that.

Talladega Superspeedway holds the all-time record in Green Flag Passes for the Lead in a single NASCAR Cup Series event with 219 green flag passes for the lead set on October 20, 2013.

Talladega Superspeedway also holds the all-time record in total Green Flag Passes in a single NASCAR Cup Series event with 23,765 total green flag passes throughout the field set on October 20, 2013.

Last season, Talladega Superspeedway was the class of the field in passing. The Talladega Superspeedway NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race (October) produced 190 Green Flag Passes for the Lead – the most in a single event during the 2022 season. The April Talladega NASCAR Cup Series race last season produced the second-most Green Flag Passes for the Lead in a single event during 2022 with 125.

The 2022 Talladega Superspeedway NASCAR Cup Series races produced the two highest single event totals in Green Flag Passes throughout the field in 2022; the April race put up 8,025 total Green Flag Passes and the October Playoff race had 10,035.

Kings of ‘Dega

The art of ‘Drafting‘ on tracks like Talladega Superspeedway is a skill not every driver can master, but for the ones that learn to manipulate the air to their benefit at nearly 200 mph have found the spoils of Victory Lane in some of the NASCAR Cup Series‘ biggest races.

No driver has been more successful in points-paying races at Talladega Superspeedway than NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt with 10 wins (1983, 1984, 1990 sweep, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1999 sweep, 2000).

In total, 11 active drivers have won at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway. RFK Racing‘s Brad Keselowski with six victories (2009, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2021) leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in Talladega wins. Keselowski will look rebound from his last season‘s Talladega finishes where he posted a 23rd-place finish in April and a 24th-place finish in October. Keselowski should feel optimistic heading into this weekend, he finished runner-up in the NASCAR Cup Series‘ last race run with the superspeedway package at Atlanta.

The next active driver with the most wins at Talladega, is Team Penske‘s Joey Logano with three victories (2015, 2016, 2018). Logano finished 27th or worse in both Talladega races last season but comes in this weekend with some confidence after opening the 2023 season with a runner-up finish in the DAYTONA 500. Plus, Joey Logano‘s lone win this season came at the newly adapted Atlanta Motor Speedway that is run with a similar superspeedway package as Daytona and Talladega.

The most recent winner at Talladega is Hendrick Motorsport‘s Chase Elliott, who returned to competition last weekend at Martinsville after being sidelined with a broken leg from a snowboarding accident. Elliott has two wins at the 2.66-mile track (2019, 2022). And this weekend will look to become the ninth different driver to win consecutive NASCAR Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway; joining Pete Hamilton (1970 sweep), Buddy Baker (1975 sweep, 1976), Darrell Waltrip (1982 sweep), Dale Earnhardt (1990, 1993-94, 1999 sweep), Sterling Marlin (1995-96), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2001-2003), Jeff Gordon (2007 sweep) and Ryan Blaney (2019-2020). Expect Elliott to run well this weekend, as he leads the NASCAR Cup Series among active drivers in average finish (14.2) at Talladega.

Team Penske‘s Ryan Blaney is the only active driver to win consecutive races at Talladega Superspeedway (2019, 2020) and this weekend the North Carolina native would like to add another ‘Dega trophy to his case. Last season, Blaney finished 11th in the April Talladega race and runner-up to Chase Elliott in October. In 17 starts at Talladega Blaney holds the ninth best average finish (16.0) among active drivers.

The fifth and final driver with multiple wins that is competing at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, is Joe Gibbs Racing‘s Denny Hamlin with two victories (2014, 2020). As a three-time DAYTONA 500 champion, Hamlin is known for being one of the best on superspeedways. Last season at Talladega, he finished 18th in the April race and fifth in the Playoff race in October. Then was sixth at Atlanta back in March of 2023. Hamlin has the 10th best average finish among active drivers at Talladega with a 16.5.

First-Time Winners happen at Talladega Superspeedway

23XI Racing‘s Bubba Wallace scored his and the organization‘s first NASCAR Cup Series career win in the October Talladega Superspeedway race of 2021. In the process, Wallace became the 12th different driver to get his first career win at the behemoth 2.66-mile superspeedway; joining active drivers Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2017) and Brad Keselowski (2009).

First-Time NASCAR Cup Series Winners at Talladega Superspeedway

First-Time Race Winners (12)DateBubba WallaceMonday, October 4, 2021Ricky Stenhouse JrSunday, May 7, 2017Brad KeselowskiSunday, April 26, 2009Brian VickersSunday, October 8, 2006Ken SchraderSunday, July 31, 1988Phil ParsonsSunday, May 1, 1988Davey AllisonSunday, May 3, 1987Bobby Hillin JrSunday, July 27, 1986Ron BouchardSunday, August 2, 1981Lennie PondSunday, August 6, 1978Dick BrooksSunday, August 12, 1973Richard BrickhouseSunday, September 14, 1969

Wallace is still looking for his first win of 2023. In 10 starts at Talladega he has an average finish of 18.9.

JTG Daugherty Racing‘s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is one to watch this weekend

After winning the biggest race in NASCAR, the DAYTONA 500, to open the 2023 season, JTG Daugherty Racing‘s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is definitely one to watch this weekend as the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Talladega Superspeedway for the GEICO 500 on Sunday, April 23 at 3 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Talladega Superspeedway holds a special place in Stenhouse‘s heart, as it was the track he scored his first NASCAR Cup Series career win at in 2017. In total, Stenhouse has made 19 starts at Talladega posting one pole, one win, six top fives and nine top 10s.

Stewart-Haas Racing‘s Kevin Harvick to make milestone 800th career start at Talladega

Stewart-Haas Racing‘s Kevin Harvick will become the 10th driver in NASCAR Cup Series history to make 800 or more starts in his career this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.

NASCAR Cup Series All-Time Starts List Top 10RankDriversStarts1Richard Petty1,1842Ricky Rudd9063Terry Labonte8904Dave Marcis8835Mark Martin8826Kyle Petty8297Bill Elliott8288Darrell Waltrip8099Jeff Gordon80510Kevin Harvick799

“We‘ve been competitive, racing at the front of the pack, leading laps and having the chance to win races,” said Harvick. “For me, that‘s the thing that I‘m most proud of, and I think from your colleagues and people from other race teams, they see that body of work and being competitive across that long period of time. You hear it all the time, ‘I can‘t believe they‘ve been that competitive for that long.‘ And to me, that‘s the part I‘m most proud of, being able to do this at a high level for such a long time. But wrapping your arms around 800 of them is, for me, quite an honor, just because of the fact that you‘ve been able to adapt and adjust to so many things and stick around so long. But being competitive is still the thing that I enjoy the most. Getting to that number is great, but getting there and being competitive is better.”

After this weekend, Harvick will be just five starts shy of ninth place Jeff Gordon and the NASCAR Hall of Famer‘s 805 Cup Series starts. Harvick also leads all drivers in NASCAR national series starts entering this weekend with 1,272 career starts; 75 more starts than the second-place driver, Joe Nemechek, with 1,197.

Harvick has made 44 NASCAR Cup Series starts at Talladega posting two poles, one win, eight top fives a 19 top 10s.

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

Multi-Platinum Superstar Cole Swindell to Perform Saturday Night Infield Concert at Talladega – Longtime NASCAR fan and GRAMMY-nominated superstar Cole Swindell will headline Talladega Superspeedway‘s Saturday Night Infield Concert Presented by Cabo Wabo Tequila, the track announced today. The multi-Platinum singer-songwriter will rock out with the fans for an evening of excitement before Sunday‘s highly anticipated GEICO 500, as NASCAR returns to Talladega.

“I have been a NASCAR fan my entire life,” said Swindell. “There‘s not much that can beat getting to play a show in the center of it all — infield at Talladega! One of the biggest racing venues in all of NASCAR. I‘m so excited to play in front of the NASCAR fans which are some of the biggest fans in country music. I can‘t wait!”

Swindell‘s fourth studio album, Sterotype, tallied three back-to-back multi-week No. 1 hits: the Platinum-certified “Single Saturday Night,” the Platinum-certified “Never Say Never” (with Lainey Wilson) and, most recently, the Platinum-certified, five-week chart-topper “She Had Me At Heads Carolina.” His new single, “Drinkaby,” will be one of the three new songs on his upcoming deluxe album Stereotype Broken, available April 28.

“Cole has been lighting up the charts and he‘s going to light up the stage as our Saturday Night Infield Concert performer,” said Talladega Superspeedway President Brian Crichton. “He‘s an incredible talent and his passion for NASCAR just adds to the excitement of the weekend. I know he‘s going to put on a great show for our fans.”

Original Members of the “Alabama Gang” named Grand Marshals at Talladega Talladega Superspeedway announced that the original “Alabama Gang” members Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, and Red Farmer will serve as the Grand Marshals and will give the command to fire engines for the GEICO 500 this Sunday, April 23.

The pre-race celebrants are joining the weekend as part of the NASCAR Legends Presented by GEICO campaign, highlighting traditions and stories throughout the rich history of NASCAR, which will conclude with the GEICO 500. Fans will get to see the legends on Sunday at BIG BILL‘S in the Talladega Garage Experience, as the “Alabama Gang” members will have an autograph session from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CT.

In addition to giving the command, after the familiar sight of Johnny Ray‘s big rig flying the American flag during the National Anthem, Donnie Allison will take a ceremonial lap in his famed #27 1968 Ford. The car won five races between 1968-1970 and had a local tie-in to Talladega with sponsorship from Sunny King Ford in nearby Anniston, Alabama. It is being provided for the race weekend by The Garage Shop Performance Fabrication collection from Catawba, NC.

“To have the original ‘Alabama Gang‘ members involved in our pre-race ceremonies is truly an honor,” said Talladega Superspeedway President Brian Crichton. “It‘s going to be very special seeing Donnie drive around the track during his ceremonial lap. The impact that Bobby, Donnie, and Red had on both NASCAR and Talladega can‘t be measured and it always means a lot to the fans when they come out to the track.”

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Joe Gibbs Racing coming in hot

Joe Gibbs Racing‘s John Hunter Nemechek completely dominated in his first NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Martinsville Speedway last weekend as he led 198 of the 250 laps, swept all the stages, and put up a Perfect Driver Rating (150.0) leading him to his second win of the season.

Nemechek has had a hot start to his first full-time season in the Xfinity Series since 2019, posting a top-five or top-10 finish in all but one race. His success on the track thus far has him out front in the points standings with 319 points.

The Mooresville, North Carolina native will tackle Talladega Superspeedway next where he has posted two top-10 finishes in his three Xfinity Series starts at the track. Although his last stint at Talladega in the Xfinity Series was in 2021, Nemechek hasn‘t lost his touch on superspeedways. In the season-opener at Daytona, he posted a second-place finish.

Nemechek isn‘t the only JGR driver who had a stand-out performance at Martinsville – teammate Sammy Smith was right behind him to post a runner-up finish. The 18-year-old, Smith, is in his first full-time season in the Xfinity Series and has already become a popular name in the sport. He‘s posted one win (Phoenix), three top fives, three top 10s and las led 152 laps this year.

He‘ll be posting his first start at the iconic superspeedway in Talladega this weekend.

Back for some superspeedway action: Talladega up next

After some short track racing, the NASCAR Xfinity Series will be doing a 180 and heading to Talladega Superspeedway for the Ag-Pro 300 on Saturday, April 22 at 4 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio.

The 2.66-mile Alabama superspeedway has hosted 34 Xfinity Series races, producing 28 different race winners and 23 different pole winners. Only three drivers have won races from the pole or first starting position — Joe Nemechek (1998), Tony Stewart (2008) and Justin Haley (2020).

Cup Series regular Martin Truex Jr. has posted the most wins at Talladega in the Xfinity Series but it‘s Joe Nemechek who holds the most records — most poles (five), top 10s (nine), lead lap finishes (14), laps completed (2,153), laps led (202), and is tied with Joey Logano for most top fives at seven. Nemechek also holds the qualifying record with his 1997 speed of 193.517 mph.

Only one previous winner is entered in this weekend‘s Ag-Pro 300 — Jeb Burton. He snagged his win in the spring of 2021 and led a total of 20 of the 90 laps. In total, Burton has six starts under his belt at Talladega, posting one win (2021), two top fives and three top 10s.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will be skipping practice this weekend and heading straight for qualifying on Friday, April 21 at 5:35 p.m. ET, streamed on FS1.

Talladega Standouts

Fans can always expect the unexpected on superspeedways, but some drivers have learned to hang on until the end or simply have a knack for the action-packed racing.

One of those drivers is RSS Racing‘s Ryan Sieg. The 35-year-old has yet to post a NASCAR Xfinity Series win but has proved that he can hang out front at Talladega. In his 12 starts at the 2.66-mile track, he‘s posted four top fives and five top 10s. In both Talladega Superspeedway races last season, he posted fourth-place finishes and nearly pulled off his first win in 2020 (finished runner-up). Keeping the momentum on superspeedways in 2023 (Daytona), he pulled off an eighth-place finish.

JR Motorsports‘ Josh Berry is still on the hunt for a win this season and Talladega may be the place where he gets the job done. In his most recent start at the track (2022), he posted a fifth-place finish. In total, he‘s posted four starts with one top-five and two top-10 finishes.

JRM teammate Brandon Jones is still trying to find his groove with his new team and after a solid run last weekend at Martinsville, there‘s no doubt he‘ll be carrying that energy into this weekend‘s Ag-Pro 300. Jones has 10 starts at the Alabama track, posting three top fives and four top 10s. He almost got a taste of victory at the track in 2018 and 2021 after posting runner-up finishes.

Dashin at ‘Dega: Dash 4 Cash continues

Last week at Martinsville, Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry, Chandler Smith and John Hunter Nemechek were racing to the finish line for the second $100,000 bonus prize after Allgaier snagged the first check at Richmond. With the race win, Nemechek took home the money and secured his spot in the third segment of Dash 4 Cash at Talladega Superspeedway. He will be joined by JGR teammate Sammy Smith, Stewart Haas Racing‘s Cole Custer, and JR Motorsports‘ Josh Berry.

Nemechek has made three starts at Talladega, posting two top-10 finishes while his teammate, Smith, will be making his Xfinity Series debut on the Alabama superspeedway.

Custer has given the Talladega track a go three times, posting one top-10 finish (2018).

Berry has four starts under his belt at ‘Dega, posting one top-five and two top-10 finishes.

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings – With eight races down, the Sunoco Rookie class heads to Talladega with Chandler Smith leading the pack with 285 points. He sits in third in the overall points standings, 34 points back from John Hunter Nemechek in first.

Sammy Smith holds the second-place spot with 254 points. He has racked up one win (Phoenix), three top fives and three top 10s.

Parker Retzlaff sits in third with 149 points. He kicked off his 2023 season with a fourth-place finish at Daytona and will look to have another great finish on Talladega‘s 2.66-mile track.

Closing out the competition is Blaine Perkins with 61 points.

Riley Herbst pulling double duty – Stewart-Haas Racing‘s Riley Herbst will be running in this weekend‘s Ag-Pro 300 then coming back the next day to run in the Cup Series‘ Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

He will be behind the wheel of the No. 15 Ford for Rick Ware Racing. This will be Herbst‘s second career start in the Cup Series.

Although he has yet to post a start at Talladega in the Cup Series, he‘s made six starts at the track in the Xfinity Series, posting one top five and two top 10s.


The clock strikes Heim time

Corey Heim triumphed at Martinsville Speedway late Friday night to earn his first NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series victory of the season. The rain-shortened Truck race was Heim‘s third win of his career, winning twice while running a partial schedule last season. The driver of the No. 11 TRICON Garage Toyota is the tenth different winner in the last ten races at Martinsville, marking it the longest active streak in the Truck Series.

The 20-year-old Georgia native swept stage one and two, as well as led 82 of 124 laps. Heim persevered through both rain and dry conditions and two red flag periods for weather, while holding off veteran Kyle Busch, who was on the hunt for Kyle Busch Motorsports‘ 100th win.

Busch, the winningest driver in Truck Series history, finished second and posted his ninth top-10 finish in 12 races at Martinsville Speedway. This was his third top-10 finish in the 2023 season.

Following suit was reigning CRAFTSMAN Truck Series champion and Martinsville Pole Winner, Zane Smith, posting his fourth top-10 finish in four races at the Paperclip track and his fourth top-10 finish this year.

Wet weather tires make oval debut in CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race at Martinsville

NASCAR got its first chance to use Goodyear‘s wet weather tires on an oval track in last Friday‘s CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway. The treaded tires are intended to allow NASCAR to put cars on track before the racing surface is dry, reducing the amount of time fans must wait for an event to start or resume.

Trucks, Xfinity, and Cup have all used rain tires on road courses, but they have never been utilized on an oval until this visit to the half-mile short track.

The race commenced without a hitch, running 27 laps before officials displayed the competition caution, inducing all competitors to change back to slicks.

The yellow brick road awaits

The NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series is taking two weekends off while the Xfinity Series and Cup Series will tackle on the high banks of Talladega Superspeedway and then head to the concrete oval of Dover Motor Speedway. The CRAFTSMAN Truck Series will jump back into action under the lights at Kansas Speedway for the Heart Of America 200 (Saturday, May 6, at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, and SiriusXM Radio).

Kansas has hosted 24 CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races with 21 different drivers posting a win. Matt Crafton and Kyle Busch lead all drivers with three victories at the 1.5-mile track.

Toyota trucks lead the pack with the most wins in the Sunflower state, coming in at a whopping 11 victories.

SeasonManufacturerRace Winners2005ToyotaTodd Bodine2009ToyotaMike Skinner2013ToyotaMatt Crafton2014ToyotaKyle Busch2015ToyotaMatt Crafton2016ToyotaWilliam Byron2017ToyotaKyle Busch2018ToyotaNoah Gragson2020ToyotaAustin Hill2021ToyotaKyle Busch2022ToyotaJohn H. Nemechek

Chevrolet follows behind with eight trips to Victory Lane and Ford with six.


Zane Smith to compete this weekend at Talladega — The 2022 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series champion Zane Smith will be the only full-time Truck Series driver competing this weekend in Talladega. He will pilot the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford in the Cup Series on Sunday.

Smith has made four previous career starts in the NASCAR Cup Series, posting an average finish of 23.8.

Garcia cutting into the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings lead — As the 2023 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Sunoco rookies take a couple weeks off before returning to Kansas Speedway, Rev Racing‘s Nick Sanchez continues to sit atop the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings.

Despite missing the first race of 2023, McAnally Hilgemann Racing‘s Jake Garcia is quickly beginning to cut into Sanchez‘s lead in the rookie standings, trailing by just 22 points. Garcia has had quite the run in the last three races, finishing twice in the top-10 (fifth and sixth) and leaving Martinsville Speedway with a 13th-place finish.

NCTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year StandingsRookiesPointsAwardsNick Sanchez1743Jake Garcia1523Rajah Caruth1180Daniel Dye980Bret Holmes940Taylor Gray731


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