GFT Facts & Stats Friday: NASCAR Cup Series Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway

Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle
5 min readApr 19, 2024

19 April 2024
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News

TALLADEGA, AL — With six different winners in the first nine races of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season, this weekend’s GEICO 500 (Sunday, April 21 at 3 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) provides a big opportunity for a seventh different winner to pull into Victory Lane and secure their spot in the Playoffs. Talladega Superspeedway has seen seven different winners in the last seven races; including this Sunday’s defending winner, Richard Childress Racing’s Kyle Busch, who is still looking for his first win of 2024.

NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500
Talladega Superspeedway
Sunday, April 21
3 p.m. ET
The Purse: $8,234,125

TV: FOX, 2 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 500.08 miles (188 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 60), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 120), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 188)

Track Facts

Track Length: 2.66 Miles
Race Length: 500 Miles (188 Laps)
Grandstand Seating Capacity: 80,000+
First Race: September 14, 1969 — Talladega 500
Banking in Corners: 33 degrees
Banking on Frontstretch: 16.5 degrees
Banking on Backstretch: 2 degrees
Frontstretch: 4,300 feet
Backstretch: 4,000 feet

Qualifying & Race Records

Qualifying: Bill Elliott, Ford, 212.809 mph (44.998 sec.); April 30, 1987
Race: Mark Martin, Ford, 188.354 mph (2:39:18); May 10, 1997

Track Records

Most Wins: 10 — Dale Earnhardt
Most Poles: 8 — Bill Elliott
Most Top Fives: 23 — Dale Earnhardt
Most Top 10s: 27 — Dale Earnhardt

This is Talladega — Talladega Superspeedway hosts the Geico 500 on Sunday, April 21 at 3 p.m. ET (Image Credit: Getty Images/

Active Driver Data — The Data That Matters

Via NASCAR — Top 35 in Driver Points and 2024 Cup Playoff Outlook after Texas

Talladega Specific Data

Six NASCAR Cup Series pole winners at Talladega Superspeedway are active this weekend:

A total of 15 of the 109 NASCAR Cup Series races have been won from the pole or first starting position (13.76%).

But 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 (18.3%).

Busch Light Pole Qualifying is scheduled for Saturday, April 20 at 10:30 a.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

A look at NASCAR’s Talladega Superspeedway Box Scores provides insights into key statistical data and overall Driver Rating (DR) scores. Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott are the only competitors with a DR in the 90s, 93.4 and 90.5 respectively. Keselowski and Logano both have 30 starts at Dega and an identical 88.2 DR. William Byron, with 3 wins already, is P5 with a 86.5 DR.

GFT INSIGHTS: In 2024 on Superspeedways, we have these results so far:
*Bluegreen Vacations Duel 1 at DAYTONA — Winner: Tyler Reddick
*Bluegreen Vacations Duel 2 at DAYTONA—Winner: Christopher Bell
*DAYTONA 500 — Winner: William Byron

Winners Data Weighted Heaver than Pole Results in Data Models

This weekend nine NASCAR Cup Series Talladega race winners are entered into the event.

RFK Racing’s Brad Keselowski leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in wins at Talladega Superspeedway with six victories (2009, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2021).

The two most recent winners at Talladega are Richard Childress Racing’s Kyle Busch (April, 2023) and Team Penske’s Chase Elliott (Oct., 2023); both drivers are looking for their first win of the 2024 season.

Talladega Superspeedway holds the all-time record in Green Flag Passes for the Lead in a single NASCAR Cup Series event with 348 Green Flag Passes for the Lead set on October 1, 2023.

Talladega Superspeedway also holds the all-time record in Total Green Flag Passes in a single NASCAR Cup Series event with 23,765 total green flag passes throughout the field set on October 20, 2013.

Last season, the Talladega Superspeedway NASCAR Cup Series race in April produced 21 different leaders and 57 different lead changes. The Playoff race later that season at Talladega produced 24 different leaders and 70 lead changes.

GFT AI Driver Rankings ahead of Talladega

Go Full Throttle NASCAR AI Driver Rankings following the Cook Out 400 on April 7, 2024 at Martinsville Speedway (Image Credit: GFT Digital)

Kyle Larson holds at P1 in the ranking thanks largely to the points for winning the first stage at Texas after a crazy lost wheel, penalty, and subsequent 21st place finish.

GFT AI Prediction Models in NASCAR Fantasy LIVE — TMD League

From Best to Worst! As predicted last Friday, the next frontier in #AI development is “asset allocation.” Our #NASCARFantasyLIVE AI 1 entry went from 223 points at Martinsville to a season-low of 148 points at Texas, in part because we didn’t play top drivers who have 5+ starts.

Initial Picks for the Geico 500 at Talladega:
The GFT AI models have ingested all the relevant historical data ahead of Cup Practice and Qualifying and here is the initial output:

**NOTE** Be sure to follow us on X (aka Twitter) to see the updated GFT NASCAR Fantasy Live picks AFTER we ingest the Practice and Qualifying data. For a Sunday race, this usually happens overnight Saturday and is published Sunday morning at least 2 hours before the green flag.



Bob Francis - Go Full Throttle

Go Full Throttle editors and reporters bring you news & commentary on NASCAR, F1, IndyCar, and World of Outlaws. Member: National Motorsports Press Association