NASCAR’s Sprint Cup and Xfinity Series visits Talladega Superspeedway this weekend for the Winn-Dixie 300 Xfinity Series race on Saturday, May 2 and the GEICO 500 Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, May 3rd. Joe Gibbs Racing heads to the 2.66-mile track with three drivers who have taken the checkered flag in the Cup Series at the track, and three Xfinity Series drivers who are looking to make a name for themselves at the superspeedway.
David Ragan, in his final race in the No. 18 Pedigree Toyota Camry before moving to Michael Waltrip Racing, picked up an underdog victory in the spring 2013 race, giving Front Row Motorsports their only Cup Series win so far. Talladega is Ragan’s best track, with an average finish of 16.5 and seven total top 10 finishes in 16 starts; Ragan has led laps in 11 of those 16 races, including each of the last five.
Denny Hamlin, in the No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota, picked up his only Talladega win last spring after starting 34th. Hamlin has six total top 10 finishes in 18 starts, with an average finish of 19.0.
Matt Kenseth, in the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota, picked up his win in fall 2012 with Roush Fenway Racing. Kenseth has 10 top 10 finishes in 30 starts, with an average finish of 17.8.
Carl Edwards, in the No. 19 ARRIS Toyota, is the only JGR Cup Series driver without a win at Talladega. Edwards has five top 10 finishes in 21 starts, with a best-finish of third in spring 2013; his average finish is 21.0.
In Saturday’s Xfinity Series race, Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones will be joined by JGR newcomer and NASCAR veteran Boris Said. Suarez, in the No. 18 ARRIS Toyota Camry, will make his first Xfinity Sereis start at Talladega, but has one previous start at the track in the Camping World Truck Series: his Truck Series debut in fall 2014, starting 17th and finishing 15th.
Jones, in the No. 20 SportClips Toyota, also has one previous start in the Truck Series at Talladega, starting and finishing sixth last fall. Jones will take over the No. 18 Toyota in the Cup Series beginning at Kansas as the team waits for Kyle Busch’s return from injury.
Said, in the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota, is best known as a road course ringer, but has two previous Cup Series starts at Talladega, with a best finish of 27th in spring 2007. He also has an ARCA Racing Series start at the track, finishing 24th in 2003.
Qualifying for the Winn-Dixie 300 for the Xfinity Series is set for Saturday at 10 a.m. CT, followed by the green flag at 2 p.m. CT. Qualifying for the Cup Series GEICO 500 begins Saturday at noon CT, with the race going green Sunday at noon CT. Keep up with the action at joegibbsracing.com.