The NASCAR Cup Series fills out a weekend of racing at Talladega Superspeedway with the Yellawood 500.
On Saturday afternoon the Camping World Truck Series and the Xfinity Series saw red flags and big crashes. The Cup Series afternoon begins with the track drying machine out on the track after some rain in the area.
In both races on Saturday the race winners earned their first career wins…and were non-playoff drivers. Can a non-playoff or winless driver make it a Talladega sweep?
Justin Haley, Justin Allgaier, and Landon Cassill are all doing double duty after running in the Xfinity Series race on Saturday.
After his race win at Las Vegas last week, Denny Hamlin sits on the pole and will bring the field to green with “candy man” Kyle Busch starting alongside on the front row.
The starting lineup for the Yellawood 500:
Martin Truex Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Quin Houff and Joey Gase were moved to the back of the field due to inspection issues; James Davison’s car has been moved to the back of the field due to a driver change.
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.
Originally scheduled to start at 2:03pm EDT, NASCAR had the teams bringing the cars out of the garage at 3:06pm in preparation for the start of the race. NASCAR is hoping for a race start in around 30 minutes.
At 3:28pm the drivers have been called to their cars but there is more inclement weather in the vacinity.
And at 3:37pm the command to start engines was finally given.
NASCAR has called for a competition caution at around lap 25.
Just as the drivers were making their pace laps and setting the tac speeds on pit road, the rains have returned.
NASCAR brings the drivers down pit road in order to begin track drying once again.
At 3:56pm NASCAR has called race. It has been rescheduled for 1pm EDT on Monday, October 4.
Nearly 24 hours later the drivers are on the track at Talladega Superspeedway and are ready to race.
Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane with Kyle Busch on the inside. After going side by side, Kyle Busch gets out in front for the lead. Drivers quickly get three wide across the track.
The last two times that the race at Talladega was moved to a Monday, Ryan Blaney was the race winner.
Lap two, Joey Logano takes the lead from the outside lane.
Joey Logano leads the race with Kyle Busch in second; Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.
Lap three, drivers are three wide with Kyle Busch leading the race.
Lap four, Kyle Busch is in the lead with Chase Elliott right behind him; Kyle Larson ,Kevin Harvick, and Alex Bowman round out the top five.
Lap five, leaders are single file with Kyle Busch leading the race.
Lap six, Denny Hamlin is falling back in the field in hopes of avoiding “the big one”.
Kyle Busch leads the race with Chase Elliott in second; Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, and Kyle Larson round out the top five.
Lap seven, Kevin Harvick comes from the outside to take the lead with a pusch from Joey Logano.
Lap eight, Kevin Harvick leads the race with Joey Logano in second; Matt DiBenedetto, Ryan Blaney, and Kyle Busch round out the top five.
Lap eleven, Kevin Harvick continues to lead the race from the outside lane but Matt DiBenedetto drops to the inside lane and takes the lead with Aric Almirola in second; William Byron, Kevin Harvick, and Kyle Busch round ou the top five.
Lap 13, Matt DiBenedetto is in the lead but Kevin Harvick comes from the outside to battle DiBenedetto.
Lap 14 Matt DiBenedetto leads the race with Martin Truex Jr in second.
Drivers are three wide through the field.
Lap 15, in a three wide battle, Martin Truex Jr comes from the outside to take the lead.
Lap 16 Bubba Wallace take the lead briefly before Martin Truex Jr retaks the lead with a push from Kyle Larson.
Lap 16, Kyle Larson is the new leader on the inside lane.
Lap 17, Kyle Larson leads the race with Bubba Wallace in second; Martin Truex Jr, Kevin Harvick, and Joey Logano round out the top five.
William Byron has dropped through the field with temperatures issues. He is looking for some clean air to cool off the car.
Lap 22, Cole Custer leads the race with Kevin Harvick in second; Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.
Lap 23, James Davison is the only car not on the lead lap.
Leaders are single file with the field three wide back in the field.
Lap 24, Cole Custer has the lead with Kevin Harvick in second; Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.
Several of the drivers have begun dropping back in the field.
Lap 26, NASCAR displays the yellow flag for the competition caution.
Drivers come down pit road for service. With a fuel load of around 43 to 45 laps, the drivers will have to make at least one pit stop in every stage. Kevin Harvick wins the race off of pit road after taking only two tires. Denny Hamlin missed his pit stall and had to back up before having his car serviced.
Chase Elliott and Cody Ware nearly made contact on pit road; Elliott avoided any incident by moving into a pit stop.
Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lpa 30 and takes the lead.
Martin Truex Jr takes the lead from the outside lane after a push from Kurt Busch. Busch then drops to the inside lane to battle for the lead.
Brad Keselowski give Martin Truex Jr a push to put him in the lead.
Lap 31, Kurt Busch takes the lead from the inside lane with Kevin Harvick in second; Martin Truex Jr, Colse Custer, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.
Drivers are three wide through the field.
After having a slow pit stop, Denny Hamlin is just outside the top 10 in eleventh.
Lap 33, Kurt Busch leads the race with Kevin Harvick in second; Cole Custer, Ryan Blaney, and Joey Logano round out the top five.
Lap 34, leaders jump to the top lane but Kevin Harvick drops back down to the inside lane to take the lead; Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Austin Dillon, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.
During the pit stop, Denny Hamlin’s crew chief asked if he wanted to race. Hamlin said yes and is now charging through the field. He is currently in seventh place.
Lap 36, Kevin Harvick leads the race with Ryan Blaney in second; Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, and Austin Dillon round out the top five.
Lap 40, Brad Keselowski is the new leader with Denny Hamlin in second.
Lap 41, Denny Hamlin takes the lead Brad Keselowski comes up to retake the lead.
Lap 42, Denny Hamlin leads the race with Brad Keselowski in second, Austin Dillon, Tyler Reddick, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.
Lap 43, Brad Keselowski takes the lead form the outside lane. Denny Hamlinand Brad Keselowski are side by side and swapping the lead before Keselowski takes the lead with Chris Buescher in second; Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hanlin round out the top five.
Lap 46 Brad Keselowski leads the race with a push from Chris Buescher; Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick ,and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.
Thirty eight of the 40 cars on the track are on the lead lap.
Lap 47, Brad Keselowski has to top lane working with much of the field single file; with Chris Buescher Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, and Ryan Blaney rounding out the top five.
Lap 51, with most of the field single file, Brad Keselowski leads the race with Chris Buescher in second; Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick nad Ryan Blaney rounding out the top five.
Nine laps remain in stage one, the drivers are forming two and three lanes in a battle for position…and stage points.
Lap 53, Brad Keselowski drops to the inside lane to hold on to the lead with Chris Buescher on his bumper pushing him along.
Chris Buescher drops to the inside lane and takes the lead with a push from Joey Logano; Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.
Lap 55, Chris Buescher leads the race with Brad Keselowski on his bumper; Tyler reddick, Joey Logano, and Kevin Harvick round out the top five.
Justin Allgaier spins out and brings out the caution flag. Kyle Larson was also involved. Larson reports that his steering wheel is off. Allgaier hits Larson’s car in the front left tire after a push from William Byron. Ryan Preece and Chase Briscoe were also involved and have damage to their cars.
Stage one ends under caution with Chris Buescher winning the stage.
The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Kyle Larson is on pit road and on the crash clock trying to get the car repaired.
Drivers come down pit road for service with Kevin Harvick winning the race off of pit road. Ryan Blaney is reporting a bad brake shake.
Kevin Harvick had to make a second trip down pit road with a flat tire.
Kyle Larson’s crew has done all the repairs they can and the crash clock has run out. Larson’s only hope to remain in the race is to make at least minimum speed in the race.
Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two and edges out Denny Hamlin to take the lead with a push from Brad Keselowski on lap 65.
Joey Logano leads the race but Tyler Reddick comes from the outside to challenge for the lead.
Lap 66 the top five are Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick, and Ross Chastain.
Lap 67, Kyle Larson brings out the caution flag when he gets into the wall with a flat tire. He had achieved minimum speed when the tire blew. He is again on the crash clock.
When the race began, Kyle Larson was in second place in the standings 59 points ahead of the cut line; he is now 16 points ahead in fifth place.
Kyle Larson is back on pit road getting his car repaired.
Several drivers come down it road and top off their fuel.
Kyle Larson is back on the track, four laps down, after the crew has made more repairs to his damaged car.
One to go, the field comes down pit road to top off the fuel.
It is raining in turns one and two; NASCAR brings the cars down pit road and sends out the jet dryers to dry the track.
The race is under a red flag condition. The race becomes “official” when it reaches halfway or at the end of stage two.
Drivers make another stop down pit road to top off their fuel. Drivers are now in their pit window to make it to the end of the stage.
Justin Haley brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 78 with Corey LaJoie alongside.
Justin Haley edges out for the lead after going side by side with JaLoie.
Lap 78, Justin Haley leads ther race with Joey Logano in second; Brad Keselowski, Tyler Reddick, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.
Chris Buescher takes the lead from the outside lane and then jumps down to the inside lane leaving Christopher Bell leading the outside lane to take the lead.
Lap 80, Christopher Bell has the lead with Kevin Harvick in second; Denny Hamlin, Alex Bowman, and Ryan Preece round out the top five.
When he started the race, Christopher Bell was well below the cut line, now the leader he is bac above the cut line.
Lap 82, the drivers have gotten single file through at least half of the field with Christopher Bell leading the way.
Lap 84, Denny Hamlin moves down to the inside lane and takes the lead with Erik Jones in second; Cole Custer, Christopher Bell, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.
Lap 86, no longer in the lead, Christopher Bell has fallen below the cut line once again.
Lap 87, Christopher Bell retakes the lead from the outside lane. He moves down with Kevin Harvick in second and Denny Hamlin in third.
Lap 88, Kevin Harvick takes the lead with Alex Bowman on his bumper; Christopher Bell, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.
Lap 91, Christopher Bell takes the lead form the inside briefly before Kevin Harvick comes back to battle for the lead.
There are some dark clouds in the area.
Lap 92, Christopher Bell takes the lead with Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin battling for second.
Lap 93, in a three wide battle, Christopher Bell holds on to the lead with Denny Hamlin on his bumper.
Lap 94, halfway, the race is now official should bad weather return.
The top five are Christopher Bell, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Alex Bowman, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Laps down, the leaders put Kyle Larson another lap down.
Drivers are three and four wide across the field.
Alex Bowman passes Christopher Bell for the lead on lap 96.
Christopher Bell retakes the lead from the inside lane.
Lap 97, Alex Bowman and Christopher Bell battle for the lead in a side by side race.
Lap 98, Alex Bowman gets into the wall after a bump from Ricky Stenhouse Jr and causes a wreck involving Tyler Reddick, Ross Chastain, Martin Truex Jr, Ryan Preece, Kyle Busch, Josh Bilicki, Cody Ware, BJ McLeod, Quin Houff, and Corey LaJoie. Alex Bowman has some heavy damage to his car.
Drivers come down pit road for service and repairs.
Lap 101, Ricky Stenhouse Jr is listed as the leader with Christopher Bell in second.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 104 with Christopher Bell alongside. With a big push from Chase Elliott, Ricky Stenhouse Jr takes the lead but Christopher Bell comes form the inside to take the lead.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr retakes the lead with Chase Elliott in second; Brad Keselowski, Christopher Bell, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.
Lap 106, Christopher Bell gets out in front briefly after a push from Denny Hamlin, but Ricky Stenhouse Jr makes it a battle for the lead as they swap back and forth.
Lap 107, Chase Elliott pushed Ricky Stenhouse Jrto the front as a third lane on the outside led by Bubba Wallace are moving forward.
Lap 108, Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Christopher Bell continue to battle for the lead but Kurt Busch comes from the outside to take the lead.
Lap 109, Christopher Bell surges forward for the lead with a big push from Denny Hamlin but Kurt Busch comes back to take the lead.
Lap 111,Kurt Busch leads the race in a three wide battle.
Lap 112, Kurt Busch holds on to the lead with the field two wide behind him.
Lap 113, Bubba Wallace comes from the outside lane to battle Kurt Busch for the lead.
Brad Keselowski pushed Bubba Wallace to the lead.
Lap 114, Bubba Wallace leads the race with Kurt Busch in second; Christopher Bell, Denny Hamlin, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.
Crews are reporting rain will come before the end of the stage.
Six laps remain in stage two, Bubba Wallace has the lead with Brad Keselowski in second. Joey Logano comes up to battle from the outside lane.
Ryan Preece gets into the wall and brings out the caution flag on lap 116 after a push from Chris Buescher. William Byron has flames coming out the back of his car. Byron gets out of his car quickly. Matt DiBenedetto was also involved in the wreck.
Stage two will end under caution due to the amount of cleanup needed.
The rains come down and bring out the red flag once again. NASCAR brings the cars down pit road. Should the race be called, Bubba Wallace will earn his first ever race win.
Bubba Wallace wants the rains to continue but doesn’t want to talk about the possibility of being named the winner of the race.
NASCAR has called the race after 118 of 188 laps; Bubba Wallace and 23 XI Racing has won their first career Cup Series race. Wallace becomes the first bi-racial driver to win in the Cup Series. Car owners Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin formed 23 XI Racing just before the beginning of the 2021 racing season.
This has been a historic weekend at Talladega Superspeedway with all three races bringing first time and non playoff drivers.
The unofficial results of the Yellawood 500:
Martin Truex Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr