After three weeks of short track racing, the NASCAR Cup Series to Talladega Superspeedway – the circuit’s biggest track at 2.66 miles – for the Geico 500.

The Xfinity Series race on Saturday was shortened for rain, but on this Sunday afternoon, the skies are blue, warm, and ready for racing.

Cup Series points leader Denny Hamlin sits on the pole and will bring the field to green as he hopes to earn his first win of the season.  Joey Logano will start alongside Hamlin on the front row.

After failing the pre-race inspection process multiple times, Cody Ware will have to start the race from the back of the field.

BJ McLeod, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Christopher Bell, Bubba Wallace, and Harrison Burton will also have to start the race from the back of the field after their crews made some unapproved adjustments to the car.

The starting lineup for the Geico 500:
Denny Hamlin – moved to the back of the field
Joey Logano
Martin Truex Jr– moved to the back of the field
William Byron
Alex Bowman
Christopher Bell– moved to the back of the field
Ryan Blaney
Chase Elliott
Kyle Busch
Brad Keselowski
Austin Dillon
Kyle Larson
Matt DiBenedetto
Aric Almirola
Kurt Busch
Kevin Harvick
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Ross Chastain
Daniel Suarez
Tyler Reddick
Chris Buescher
Erik Jones
Michael McDowell
Bubba Wallace – moved to the back of the field
Chase Briscoe
Corey LaJoie
Cole Custer
Ryan Newman
Ryan Preece
Anthony Alfredo
BJ McLeod – moved to the back of the field
Quin Houff
Cody Ware – moved to the back of the field
Justin Haley
Joey Gase
Josh Bilicki
JJ Yeley
Kaz Grala
Harrison Burton– moved to the back of the field
Timmy Hill

Stages one and two of the race are 60 laps each with stage three lasting 68 laps for a total of 188 laps around the 2.66 mile track.

For the first time in NASCAR, the pace car is an all electric car.

Alex Bowman and Joey Logano bring the field down for the green flag start of the race with Alex Bowman getting out in front for the lead.  William Byron passes his team mate to take the lead

Lap two, the top five are Joey Logano, William Byron, Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, and Brad Keselowski.

Kyle Larson is reporting some overheating issues and has to make an unscheduled trip down pit road.

The drivers are getting three and four wide across the track.

Lap four, After starting in the back of the field, Denny Hamlin is in 35th place.

Lap five Bubba Wallace has moved up 31 spots to enter the top 10 after having to start the race from the back of the field.

Lap six, Kyle Larson returns to the track two laps down after his pit stop for overheating issues.

Lap seven, the top five are Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Aric Almirola, Kevin Harvick, and Chase Briscoe.

Kyle Larson’s car is smoking, he says that the car is blowing up.  A sheet of metal in front of the radiator contributed to his overheating issues.

Lap nine, Joey Logano continues to lead the race but Kevin Harvick is leading the charge from the inside lane.

Lap 13, Bubba Wallace passes Joey Logano for the lead after starting the race from the back of the field in a worst to first move.

Lap 14, the top five are Bubba Wallace, Kevin Harvick, Ross Chastain, Tyler Reddick, and Chase Elliott.

Lap 15, Kevin Harvick put his Busch Dog Brew number four car in the front to take the lead.

Lap 16, the to five are Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Bubba Wallace, Michael McDowell, and Joey Logano.

The drivers are three wide across the track.

Out of the race with a blown engine, Kyle Larson is the only driver not on the lead lap.

Lap 18, Kevin Harvick leads the race from the outside lane near the wall; Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Bubba Wallace, and Austin Dillon round out the top five.

Lap 19, Bubba Wallace retakes the lead with Kyle Busch in second.

Lap 22, Kyle Busch takes the lead from the inside lane; Christopher Bell, Martin Truex Jr, Denny Hamlin, and Chase Elliott round out the top five.  Three of the top five drivers started the race from the back of the field.

At the end of lap 25, NASCAR displays the yellow flag for a competition caution.

The drivers are easily achieving 200mph speeds around the track.

The top five at the competition caution; Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Christopher Bell, and Michael McDowell.

Kyle Busch brings the field down pit road for service.  Denny Hamlin wins the race off of pit road but Harrison Burton will have to restart the race from the back of the field after leaving his pit stall with the fuel can attached.

Martin Truex Jr was caught speeding on pit road.  Ryan Preece’s crew was charged with coming over the pit wall too soon.  Both drivers will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 31 and edges out Kyle Busch for the lead.

The top five are Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Ruan Blaney, William Byron, and Christopher Bell.

Lap 33, the drivers are getting three wide across the track.

Lap 35, Aric Almirola is reporting a vibration.

Lap 36, Denny Hamlin leads the race; Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, and Joey Logano round out the top five.

Lap 37, Kyle Busch takes the lead as the drivers get three and four wide across the track.

Denny Hamlin retakes the lead.

Lap 39, the caution flag comes out after Joey Gase blows a tire and gets into the wall.

Some drivers near the back of the field come down pit road for service; the top 24 drivers stay out on the track.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green floag restart on lap 44 and holds on to the lead after a little push from Ryan Blaney.

Lap 45, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, and Kyle Busch.

Lap 48, the leaders have gotten single file with Denny Hamlin leading the way; Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, William Byron, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Kurt Busch was reporting some issues with his car that turned out to be a track bar mount issue.  After being in the back of the field, he has moved back up to 12th place.

Lap 49, Ryan Blaney takes the lead after a push form Joey Logano; Cole Custer, Kevin Harvick, and Matt DiBenedetto round out the top five.

Ten laps remain in stage one, Matt DiBenedetto takes the lead with Deny Hamlin in second; Danny Hamlinm Ryan Blaney, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 54, Matt DiBenedetto has the number 21 Wood Brothers car in the lead with Ryan Blaney and Kevin Harvick battling for second.

Drivers are three wide across the track with 23 cars in the lead pack.

Lap 54, Ryan Preece takes the lead with Chris Buescher in second.

Lap 56, Matt DiBenedetto retakes the lead.

The caution flag comes out on the last lap of stage one for a wreck that sent Joey Logano airborne and lands him on all four wheels in the grass.  Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Chase Briscoe, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Bubba Wallace were also involved in the crash.

Matt DiBenedetto wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Matt DiBenedetto
Ryan Blaney
Chase Elliott
Dennhy Hamlin
William Byron
Chris Buescher
Alex Bowman
Christopher Bell
Kevin Harvick
Michael McDowell

Joey Logano radios his team and reports that he is okay.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Chase Elliott winning the race off of pit road. 

Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 67 with Denny Hamlin alongside.  After going nose to nose, Denny Hamlin takes the lead with the help of a push from Matt DiBenedetto. 

Lap 69, the top five are Denny Hamlin, Matt DiBenedetto, Chase Elliott, William Byron, and Chris Buescher

Matt DiBenedetto takes the lead.

Despite a little damage to his car from the wreck, Bubba Wallace is still reaching speeds of over 200mph.

After a push from Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin retakes the lead on lap 72.

Drivers are getting three and four wide across the track. With Denny Hamlin leading the way on lap 76.

The top five are Deny Hamlin, Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Preece, Kevin Harvick, and William Byron.

Lap 80, Denny Hamlin leads the race with Matt DiBenedetto in second; Ryan Preece, William Byron, and Martin Truex Jr round out the top five.

Lap 84, drivers begin making green flag pit stops.  Many of the drivers are taking only two tires with a full load of fuel.

Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain were caught speeding on pit road.   They will have to serve a pass through penalty at pit road speed which is 60mph.

Lap 86, Denny Hamlin continues to lead the race with Matt DiBenedetto in second; Martin Truex Jr, Christopher Bell, and Cole Custer round out the top five.

After a slow pit stop, Chase Elliott came back on the track by himself and lost seven mph to the cars in the draft.  As a result, Chase Elliott is now one lap down in 34th place.

Lap 92, more drivers come down pit road for service.  Kevin Harvick and Chris Buescher were caught speeding on pit road and will have to serve a pass through penalty.

The remaining drivers come down pit road for service including leader Denny Hamlin.  Hamlin overshot his pit box and had to back up the car; but he was also caught speeding on pit road.

Lap 96, the top five are Ryan Preece, William Byron, Kurt Busch, Alex Bowman, and Austin Dillon.

While serving his pass through penalty, Denny Hamlin was caught speeding for a second time.

Lap 98, Ryan Preece is the leader with William Byron in second; Kurt Busch, Matt DiBenedetto, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

His two speeding penalties have put Denny Hamlin one lap down.

Lap 101, William Byron takes the lead.

The caution flag comes out on lap 103 for Kurt Busch’s smoking car.  Busch’s car now has flames coming out from under it.

Reports are that an oil line has come loose on Kurt Busch’s number one car.

Although they were on pit road not too long ago, some drivers come down pit road for service and fresh tires.

Ricky Stenhouse was penalized for pitting too soon and Kevin Harvick was penalized for his crew coming over the wall too soon.

William Byron brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 109 and edges out Matt DiBenedetto to take the lead before DiBenedetto gets out in front for the lead.

The top five are Matt DiBenedetto, William Byron, Ryan Preece, Brad Keselowski, and Kyle Busch.

Lap 110, William Byron takes the lead with Ryan Preece in second.

Lap 111, Matt DiBenedetto takes the lead from the outside lane.

Kyle Busch makes a run through the grass after being blocked by Matt DiBenedetto.

Lap 112, Bubba Wallace takes the lead with William Byron in second; Chris Buescher, Brad Keselowski, and Michael McDowell round out the top five.

Kurt Busch returns to the track after a loose oil line left him with a flaming car on pit road, seven laps down.

Five laps remain in stage two, Bubba Wallace leads the race.

Three laps remain in stage two and the drivers are three wide across the track battling for position.

The caution flag comes out just before the final lap in stage two for another wreck involving several drivers.  Alex Bowman, William Byron, Martin Truex Jr, Denny Hamlin, and Chase Elliott were all involved but are able to continue.

Like stage one, stage two ends under caution.  Ubba Wallace gets his first career stage win.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Bubba Wallace
Brad Keselowski
Michael McDowell
Kyle Busch
Ryan Blaney
Ryan Preece
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Chris Buescher
Christopher Bell
Harrison Burton

Drivers come down pit road for service with Ryan Blaney winning the race off of pit road.

Ryan Blaney brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three with Aric Almirola alongside.  There are 33 cars on the lead lap. 

On lap 127, Ryan Blaney gets out in front for the lead with Bubba Wallace in second.

The top five are Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola, Bubba Wallace, Michael McDowell, and Brad Keselowski.

Involved in the last wreck, Alex Bowman was on the crash clock and his team did not complete the repairs in time.  He had to take his car to the garage and is out of the race.

Leader Ryan Blaney has a large piece of debris on his front grille.

Lap 130, Ryan Blaney continues to lead the race even with the debris on his front grelle; Aric Almirola, Michael McDowell, Brad Keselowski, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

Lap 132, Ryan Blaney gets behind Aric Almirola in order to get the debris off of his car.  Almirola is now the leader of the race.

Lap 137, Aric Almirola leads the race for his first laps led this season.

The cars are single file with Aric Almirola leading the way; Ryan Blaney, Michael McDowell, Brad Keselowski, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

There are 48 laps remaining in the race, but the drivers have to make one more stop for fuel.

With 43 laps to go, the drivers have gotten double file again as they battle for position.

Forty to go, Ross Chastain leads the pack of drivers on the inside lane and takes the lead with Kyle Busch in second; Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Lap 150, Kevin Harvick takes the lead from Ross Chastain, but Ross Chastain makes it a battle asthe two drives swap the lead back and forth.

Lap 152, Ross Chastain takes the lead on the inside lane with Kyle Busch in second.

Lap 153, Kevin Harvick takes the lead but Harvick and Chastain continue their battle of swapping the lead.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr spins out and hits the wall but the track stays green as several drivers come down pit road for their green flag pit stop.

Kevin Harvick is the leader with Aric Almirola in second; Ryan Blaney, Michael McDowell, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Ryan Newman was caught speeding on pit road and will have to serve a pass through penalty.

Lap 158, more drivers come down pit road including leader Kevin Harvick. 

Ryan Newman was caught speeding on pit road while serving his pass through penalty.  He will have to make a second trip for the penalty.

Christopher Bell is the new leader with Ros Chastain in second; Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick and Erik Jones round out the top five.

With 26 laps to go, Ross Chastain takes the lead with Kyle Busch in second.

Reports are that Christopher Bell’s team told him that he was using too much fuel as the leader and to drop back.

Twenty to go, Ross Chastain leads the race; Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, Michael McDowell, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Several of the teams may not have enough fuel to make it to the end of the race; while others are being told that they barely have enough fuel.

Lap 169, Erik Jones takes the lead with Matt DiBenedetto in second; Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

The caution flag comes out with 17 laps remaining in the race when Quin Houff gets into the wall.  Teams will now be able to ensure that their drivers have plenty of fuel to make it to the end of the race.

Ryan Preece was penalized for the crew coming over the wall too soon.

After the top 10 drivers stayed out on the track, Erik Jones brings the field down for the green flag restart with just 12 laps remaining in the race.  Erik Jones edges out for the lead.

The top five are Erik Jones, Ross Chastain, Bubba Wallace, Matt DiBenedetto, and Martin Truex Jr.

Eleven to go, Matt DiBenedetto takes the lead with Martin Truex Jr in second; Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Nine to go, Matt DiBenedetto leads the race; Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, and Michael McDowell round ut the top five.

The drivers are three wide and battling for position.

Four drivers in the top 10 have yet to win a Cup Series race.

Seven to go, Matt DiBenedetto holds on to the lead with Ryan Blaney in second.

Martin Truex Jr has dropped to the back of the field with a possible tire going down.

The drivers who stayed out on the track have fallen through the field.

Five to go, Matt DiBenedetto is in the lead with Ryan Blaney on his bumper; Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Michael McDowell round out the top five.

Martin Truex Jr brings out the caution flag with just four laps to go when his tire comes apart.

A few drivers come down pit road for fresh tires.

The race goes into overtime and have a two lap green/white/checker shootout for the finish.

Currently the Wood Brothers have a total of 99 Cup Series wins.  If current leader Matt DiBenedetto can win the race, he will give the Wood Brothers win number 100!

Brad Keselowski has five Talladega wins to lead all active drivers.

Matt DiBenedetto brings the filed down for the overtime restart from the inside lane with Ryan Blaney on the outside lane.  DiBenedetto edges out for the lead but the drivers are getting three wide across the track.

Drivers are four wide coming through the trioval.

Matt DiBenedetto takes the white flag but Brad Keselowski takes the lead after a pusgh from Michael McDowell.

Chris Buescher smacks the wall.  Erik Jones spins out and hits the wall.  Justin Haley gets into the wall

Drivers are wrecking four wide but Brad Keselowski notches Talladega win number six to become another first time winner in the 2021 season.

The unofficial results of the Geico 500:
Brad Keselowski
William Byron
Michael McDowell
Kevin Harvick
Matt DiBenedetto
Kaz Grala
Tyler Reddick
Austin Dillon
Ryan Blaney
Cole Custer
Chase Briscoe
Anthony Alfredo
Ryan Newman
Ryan Preece
Aric Almirola
Ross Chastain
Christopher Bell
Kyle Busch
Bubba Wallace
Harrison Burton
Chris Buescher
Corey LaJoie
Daniel Suarez
Chase Elliott
BJ McLeod
JJ Yeley
Erik Jones
Cody Ware
Timmy Hill
Justin Haley
Martin Truex Jr
Denny Hamlin
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Joey Gase
Kurt Busch
Quin Houff
Alex Bowman
Joey Logano
Kyle Larson