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Live updates: NASCAR Cup Series race Talladega. Who is winning?

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April 20, 2024; Talladega, Alabama, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Michael McDowell (34) races through the trioval during qualifying for the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

USA TODAY Sports



TALLADEGA, Ala.

Charlotte Observer NASCAR reporter Shane Connuck will provide live updates during Sunday’s Cup Series race from Talladega Superspeedway in the section below. Refresh this page for the latest news. The full results will be announced at the end of the race. All tenses are oriental.

Round 45: Make it another penalty for Zane Smith, who also drove too fast on his pass-through. Joey Logano also receives a ticket for speeding on pit road.

Round 42: Denny Hamlin turns into the pit lane. Daniel Suarez and Zane Smith receive a speeding fine.

Click to resize

Round 41: We’re starting to see our first pit stops with less than 20 to go in Stage 1. Chase Eliott is currently leading the race

Round 40: BJ McLeod cleared the wall at Turn 4 and entered the pit lane. He tells his team that he has no fuel pressure.

Round 35: Ty Gibbs runs right behind Truex’s bumper and currently occupies fourth position. BJ McLeod and Chase Briscoe are three wide behind leader Truex.

Round 28: Truex still leads from the outside, ahead of Justin Haley, Chase Briscoe, BJ McLeod and Daniel Hemric.

Round 18: Make that eight different race leaders! Martin Truex Jr. leads today for the first time. So far there isn’t much separation in the pack, but there is plenty of passing and three wide running forward.

Your Top 10: Truex, Chase Briscoe, Justin Haley, BJ McLeod, Denny Hamlin, Zane Smith, Daniel Hemric, Bubba Wallace, Daniel Suarez and Ross Chastain.

Round 17: Justin Haley takes over the race lead from Daniel Hemric! He becomes the seventh different leader at the start here at Talladega.

Round 14: Daniel Hemric ran well early and took the lead in the race. Chase Briscoe is second and is already looking to become the sixth leader of the race, ahead of Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin and pole sitter Michael McDowell.

Round 3: Michael McDowell and Austin Cindric led the field through the first few laps! Kyle Larson, who was penalized yesterday and failed to qualify, served his pass-through, came out of pit road and is running at the back of the field.

Green flag3:20 PM: Boogity boogity boogity! Let’s go racing in Talladega!

3:19 PM: No rain at the moment! The sun is shining, “Sweet Home Alabama” is playing and next time should be the green flag!

3:18 PM: It hasn’t rained much here in Alabama since this morning, but it started raining again briefly during the pre-race festivities.

3:15 PM: Engines were fired. There are cars on the track. Rain is coming down. Moments away from the planned green flag at Talladega!

1:40 PM: The Cup cars have been pushed to the pit lane!

1 o’clock in the afternoon: Good afternoon from Talladega! It rained all night and morning. Today’s race in the NASCAR Cup Series will be green from Alabama’s famed 4.26-mile oval at 3:20 p.m.

According to the National Weather Service, there is a chance of rain in Talladega today until about 2 p.m., after which the track should dry. The track has no lights, so the race should be completed before sunset at 8:20 PM

April 20, 2024; Talladega, Alabama, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Michael McDowell (34) during GEICO 500 qualifying at Talladega Superspeedway. Peter Casey USA TODAY Sports

Michael McDowell on pole as Ford appears to be slipping

Still looking for the manufacturer’s first victory, Ford drivers enter Sunday’s nine-race winless. But a few of them start this race at the front.

Michael McDowell won his second pole of the season – and his career – after leading the field to green in Atlanta and starting second in the Daytona 500. Austin Cindric will start alongside McDowell on the front row.

“When we went to Daytona and sat in the front row, we said, ‘Hey, we’ve got something here,’” McDowell said. “I kind of backed that up in Atlanta by getting the pole and I think we all felt that pressure knowing we were so strong in Atlanta and Daytona to come here to Talladega and try to repeat that and get a really good starting place to have. The guys have put a lot of energy and effort into all the little extra details that are needed on these superspeedways to achieve that speed.”

Who are the favorites in the Geico 500?

Ford drivers Ryan Blaney (+800) and Joey Logano (+900) are the favorites as of Sunday morning on DraftKings Sportsbook, followed by Brad Keselowski (+1100), William Byron (+1100), Denny Hamlin (+1200) , Kyle Busch (+1300), Chase Elliott (+1300) and Bubba Wallace (+1500).

The Observer’s Shane Connuck picks Kyle Busch to take the checkered flag. Busch, last spring’s winner at Talladega, returns to the iconic superspeedway for a victory amid a 30-game winless streak. Since coming within 0.007 seconds of victory in Atlanta, the two-time Cup Series champion has finished 20th or worse in four of the last seven races. But with a pair of recent ninth-place finishes at COTA and Texas, “Rowdy” has done well, and another wild race at Talladega could send him back to Victory Lane.

How to watch and stream the NASCAR race at Talladega

Race: GEICO 500

Place: Talladega Superspeedway (Talladega, Ala.)

Date: Sunday April 21

Time: 3:00 PM ET (green flag scheduled for 3:20 PM)

Bag: $8,234,125

TV: FOX

Streaming: FOX Sports

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR

Distance: 500 miles (188 laps)

Phases: Phase 1 ends on lap 60; Phase 2 ends on lap 120; and the final stage ends in lap 188.

April 20, 2024; Talladega, Alabama, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Michael McDowell (34) drives Ford Mustang along pit road after taking the pole during qualifying for the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. John David Mercer USA TODAY Sports

Starting lineup for the Geico 500

Position

Director

Car number

1

Michael McDowell

34

2

Austin Cindric

2

3

Todd Gilliland

38

4

Kyle Busch

8

5

Austin Dillon

3

6

Martin Truex Jr.

19

7

Joey Logano

22

8

Chris Buescher

17

9

Chase Elliott

9

10

Christopher Bell

20

11

Ryan Preece

41

12

Alex Bowman

48

13

William Byron

24

14

Bubba Wallace

23

15

Ty Gibbs

54

16

Harrison Burton

21

17

Shane Van Gisbergen

16

18

Tyler Reddick

45

19

Daniel Hemric

31

20

John Hunter Nemechek

42

21

Ryan Blaney

12

22

Brad Keselowski

6

23

Denny Hamlin

11

24

Anthony Alfredo

62

25

Daniel Suarez

99

26

Chase Briscoe

14

27

Justin Haley

51

28

Erik Jones

43

29

Josh Berry

4

30

Zane Smith

71

31

Corey LaJoie

7

32

Ross Chastain

1

33

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

47

34

Cody Ware

15

35

Carson Hocevar

77

36

Noah Gragson

10

37

BJ McLeod

78

38

Kyle Larson

5

This story was originally published April 21, 2024 1:00 PM.

Profile image of Shane Connuck