Monster Energy Series Playoff Fast Facts Race No. 5: Talladega Superspeedway
· This is the second year in a row the fifth race in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs will be held at Talladega Superspeedway (2017 and 2018).
· Talladega is the third track to host the fifth race in the Monster Energy Series Playoffs; joining Charlotte Motor Speedway (2004 - 2014) and Kansas Speedway (2015 and 2016).
· Prior to last season, Talladega was the third race of the Playoffs from 2004 - 2005; it then moved to the fourth race of the Playoffs from 2006 - 2008; it then moved to the seventh race of the Playoffs from 2009 - 2010; then moved to the sixth Playoff race in 2011; then back to the fourth race of the Playoffs in 2012 and then from 2013 to 2016, Talladega was the sixth race of the Playoffs.
· A total of 10 different drivers have won the Talladega Playoff races, led by Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray and Joey Logano with two wins each.
· The winner of the Talladega Superspeedway Playoff race has never gone on to win the title in the same season in the Playoff era (2004-2017).
· Twice the winner of the fifth race in the Playoffs has gone on to win the title later that season; both happening at Charlotte Motor Speedway: In 2009, Jimmie Johnson won from the pole at Charlotte then the fifth race in the Playoffs and went on to win his fourth consecutive Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title. In 2014, Kevin Harvick won from the seventh starting position at Charlotte then the fifth race in the Playoffs and went on to win his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title.
· The worst finish in a Playoff race at Talladega by a driver that went on to win the title was 24th by Jimmie Johnson (2006). Last season's champ, Martin Truex Jr., finished 23rd.
· Five times a non-Playoff driver has won the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway: 2005 - Dale Jarrett won the Playoff race at Talladega; he was 14th in points at the time of his win. 2006 - Brian Vickers won the Playoff race at Talladega; he was 16th in points at the time of his win. 2009 - Jamie McMurray won the Playoff race at Talladega; he was 22nd in points at the time of his win. 2011 - Clint Bowyer won the Playoff race at Talladega; he was 13th in points at the time of his win. 2013 - Jamie McMurray won the Playoff race at Talladega; he was 14th in points at the time of his win.
· Since the inception of the elimination-style format in the Playoffs in 2014, the deepest seeded driver entering the Playoffs to go on and win the title was Kevin Harvick, 2014 (seventh seed); the remaining champions all started within the top five: Kyle Busch, 2015 (No. 1 seed); Jimmie Johnson, 2016 (fifth seed); Martin Truex Jr. (No. 1 seed).
Top 10 Driver Ratings at Talladega
Chase Elliott .............................. 93.7
Kurt Busch................................. 89.2
Jimmie Johnson.......................... 89.0
Brad Keselowski......................... 88.9
Joey Logano............................... 88.0
Ryan Blaney............................... 86.4
William Byron............................. 85.8
Denny Hamlin............................. 84.7
Ricky Stenhouse Jr..................... 82.3
Kevin Harvick............................. 81.9
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2018 races (29 total) among active drivers at Talladega Superspeedway.
· Construction began on what was then known as the Alabama International Motor Speedway on May 23, 1968.
· The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega was held on Sept. 14, 1969 - won by Richard Brickhouse (Dodge).
· The name changed to Talladega Superspeedway in 1989.
· Fourth repaving completed on Sept. 19, 2006.
· There have been 98 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway, one MENCS event in 1969, and two races per year since 1970.
· 457 drivers have competed in at least one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega; 315 in more than one.
· Dave Marcis and Terry Labonte lead the series in starts at Talladega with 61 starts each.
· Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch lead all active drivers in starts at Talladega with 35 each; followed by Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman with 33 each.
· Bobby Isaac (eight starts) leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average starting position at Talladega with a 3.625.
· Chase Elliott (five starts) leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average starting position at Talladega with a 4.0.
· A total of 70 drivers have made their first series start at Talladega; Ryan Reed (10/23/2016) and Jamie McMurray (10/06/2002) are the only two active drivers to make their series debut at Talladega Superspeedway.
· Bobby Isaac won the inaugural Busch Pole Award at Talladega in 1969 with a speed of 199.466 mph. In fact, Isaac won the first three poles at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.
· 42 different drivers have won at least one Busch Pole Award at Talladega Superspeedway, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott with eight poles (1985 sweep, 1986 sweep, 1987 sweep, spring 1990 and fall 1993).
· Elliott Sadler leads all active drivers in Busch Pole Awards at Talladega with three (2003, 2005, 2006); followed by Kevin Harvick with two (2005, 2018).
· Four active drivers are tied for the third-most poles at Talladega with one each - Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
· 11 drivers have won consecutive Busch Pole Awards at Talladega. Bill Elliott holds the record for most consecutive poles at Talladega with six-straight from 1985 - 1987.
· Youngest Talladega pole winner: Chase Elliott (05/01/2016 - 20 years, 5 months, 3 days).
· Oldest Talladega pole winner: Mark Martin (10/23/2011 - 52 years, 9 months, 14 days).
· Six drivers have posted their first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Busch pole at Talladega - Brian Scott (05/04/2014); Juan Pablo Montoya (04/26/2009), Travis Kvapil (10/5/2008), David Gilliland (10/8/2006), Stacy Compton (04/22/2001) and Jeremy Mayfield (07/28/1996).
· A total of 46 different Monster Energy Series drivers have won at Talladega Superspeedway, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt with 10 victories.
· Brad Keselowski leads all active Monster Energy Series drivers with five wins (2009, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017); followed by Joey Logano (three wins), Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer and Jimmie Johnson with two wins each.
· Richard Childress Racing and Hendrick Motorsports are tied for the most wins at Talladega in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with 12 each.
· Nine different manufacturers have won in the MENCS at Talladega; led by Chevrolet with 40 victories; followed by Ford with 27 and Toyota with three.
· The outside front row (second-place) starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (20) than any other starting position at Talladega.
· The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Talladega is 36th, by Jeff Gordon in the 2000 spring race.
· The deepest in the field that an active race winner has started at Talladega is 34th, by Denny Hamlin in the 2014 spring race.
· Youngest Talladega winner: Bobby Hillin Jr. (07/27/1986 - 22 years, 1 month, 22 days).
· Oldest Talladega winner: Harry Gant (05/06/1991 - 51 years, 3 months, 26 days).
· A total of 11 drivers have won their first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega - Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (5/7/2017), Brad Keselowski (04/26/2009), Brian Vickers (10/08/2006), Ken Schrader (07/31/1988), Phil Parsons (05/01/1988), Davey Allison (04/30/1987), Bobby Hillin Jr. (07/27/1986), Ron Bouchard (08021981), Lennie Pond (08/06/1978), Dick Brooks (08/12/1973) and Richard Brickhouse (09/14/1969).
· Kevin Harvick (18), and David Ragan (12) both made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Talladega.
· Kurt Busch leads the series among active drivers with the most Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Talladega without visiting Victory Lane at 35; followed by Ryan Newman with 33.
Additional Finishing Positions
· A total of 47 different drivers have finished runner-up at Talladega Superspeedway; led by Buddy Baker and Tony Stewart with six second-place finishes each.
· Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick lead all active drivers with three runners-up finishes each.
· A total of 111 different drivers have finished in the top five at Talladega Superspeedway; led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt with 23 top-five finishes.
· Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray lead all active drivers in top fives at Talladega with eight each.
· A total of 189 different drivers have finished in the top-10 at Talladega; led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt with 27 top-10 finishes.
· Kurt Busch leads all active drivers in top 10s at Talladega with 19.
· Pete Hamilton (five starts) leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Talladega with a 5.600.
· Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (11 starts) leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Talladega with a 11.400.
Track / Event Specific Stats
· A total of 191 different drivers in series history have led at least one lap at Talladega Superspeedway. Dale Earnhardt leads the series in laps led at Talladega with 1,377 in 44 starts.
· Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in laps led at Talladega with 470 in 32 starts.
· There have been 13 Monster Energy Series races resulting in NASCAR Overtime at Talladega.
· Only two of the 98 series races at Talladega Superspeedway have been shortened due to weather conditions.
· Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway five times: fall of 2002, fall of 2009, spring of 2010, spring and fall of 2013.
· Only one Monster Energy Series race held at Talladega Superspeedway was not run on its scheduled date. The April 27, 1997, race was postponed due to inclement weather to May 10, 1997 - Mark Martin won the event.
· Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega Superspeedway is the April 17, 2011 race won by Jimmie Johnson over second-place Clint Bowyer with a MOV of 0.002 second - the MOV is tied with the 2003 Darlington race as the closest finishes in the MENCS using electronic scoring.
Female Competitor Stats
· Three female drivers have competed at Talladega in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series: Janet Guthrie, Patty Moise and Danica Patrick.
NASCAR in Alabama
· There have been 156 NASCAR national series races held in the state of Alabama among seven different tracks:
· The very first NASCAR national series race held in the state of Alabama was a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event held at Lakeview Speedway (Mobile) in 1951 - the race was won by Tim Flock (Oldsmobile).
· The first race held at Talladega Superspeedway was in 1969 - the event was won by Richard Brickhouse (Dodge).
Alabama Drivers In NASCAR
· A total of 74 different drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Alabama.
· 11 drivers from Alabama have won at least one race in NASCAR's three national series; six have won in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
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