Share this article

print logo

Starting Line for April 30

Sprint Cup

Event: Geico 500, Talladega Superspeedway; Talladega, Ala.

TV: Sunday, 1 p.m., Fox.

Then and now: Denny Hamlin finally earned his first career win at NASCAR’s longest track on the circuit, the 2.66-mile long Talladega Superspeedway, one year ago. ’Dega is not one of Hamlin’s favorite or better-performing tracks, which explains why he’s only won once and has four top-5 and six top-10 finishes in 18 career starts there. Interestingly, Hamlin’s win was one of only two for all Toyota drivers in 2014, as opposed to 16 victories in 2013. ... Penske Racing’s Brad Keselowski won the fall race during the Chase for the Sprint Cup, his third career triumph at Talladega. ... After all three drivers had dismal performances at Bristol (their first poor outings respectively of the season), points leader Kevin Harvick, second-ranked Joey Logano (33 points behind Harvick) and third-ranked Martin Truex Jr. (42 points back) rebounded with strong runs this past Sunday at Richmond. But no one had a stronger car than race winner Kurt Busch, who earned his first victory of the season and all but clinches his spot in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup. ... Several drivers who have won at Talladega (several having done so multiple times) in the past are still looking for their first overall triumph of 2015, including Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray and David Ragan. Could one of them finally break through in Sunday’s race? ... All four Hendrick Motorsports drivers are ranked in the top 10: Jimmie Johnson (4th), Kasey Kahne (6th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (8th) and Jeff Gordon (10th).


Event: Winn Dixie 300, Talladega Superspeedway.

TV: Saturday, 3 p.m., Fox Sports.

Then and now: NASCAR veteran driver Elliott Sadler looked very strong in winning last year’s spring Xfinity Series race at Talladega. Sadler led 40 of the event’s 117 laps, but the most important was the last lap, when he drove past Chris Buescher (who had led Lap 116) and captured the checkered flag in a thrilling finish, beating Buescher to the finish line by a mere .124 seconds. ... It was Sadler’s first career triumph at Talladega, be it on the Xfinity Series or his previous lengthy run in the Sprint Cup Series. ... Regan Smith finished third in last spring’s race, disappointed that he wasn’t able to repeat after winning the lone 2013 Xfinity race there. ... Coming into this weekend, Ty Dillon regained the points lead from Buescher (they were tied going into Richmond). Dillon leads, defending series champion Chase Elliott moved into second place after Richmond and trails Dillon by eight points, Buescher dropped to third (11 points back), Darrell Wallace Jr. is fourth (-25) and Regan Smith is fifth (-41).

Verizon IndyCar

Next Event: Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, Saturday, May 9.

Last week: Josef Newgarden won for the first time in 55 career starts in the series at the Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Fellow American Bobby Rahal was second.

Camping World Truck

Next event: May Kansas Race, Friday, May 8, 8:30 p.m., Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan.

Formula 1

Next event: Spanish Grand Prix, Sunday, May 10, 8 a.m., Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Western New York

Holland Speedway: McKinley Mall Show, May 2-9.

Ransomville Speedway: 58th Season Opener $2,000-to-win 358 Modifieds, Friday, 7:15 p.m.

Freedom Motorsports Park: Practice, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Merrittville Speedway: 64th Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series Opener, Saturday, 7 p.m.

Humberstone Speedway: 56th Season Opener, Sunday, 6:30 p.m.

Raceway 5: Season Opener, Saturday, 6 p.m.

Stateline Speedway: “Papa” Don Frank Super Late Model Memorial, Saturday, 7 p.m.