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Live updates: NASCAR Cup Series race Talladega. Who won?

Apr 21, 2024; Talladega, Alabama, USA; The field races through the trioval during the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

USA TODAY Sports



Tyler Reddick has won at Talladega.

Michael McDowell led on the first lap and took the white flag. He was in a position to win throughout the Geico 500’s final lap, but spun around, allowing Tyler Reddick to get his first checkered flag of the season.

The two stages were entirely green. Austin Cindric started second and won Stage 1. He ran toward the front throughout Stage 2 as well and finished just behind Joey Logano.

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Those stages saw a lot of drivers fuel-saving, which resulted in many lead changes at the front.

The race’s first non-stage break caution came early in the final stage, with Christopher Bell getting into the wall on Turn 3.

A bigger wreck came a few laps later, with Bubba Wallace getting into fellow Toyota driver Erik Jones. The No. 43 car quickly spun and turned into the wall. Jones, who said his back was sore, was evaluated and released from the infield care center. That knocked Jones, Wallace and Denny Hamlin out of the race.

Lap 188: WHOA!!! Tyler Reddick is going to win!! Michael McDowell goes around moments from the checkered!!

Lap 187: White flag! Michael McDowell and Tyler Reddick are door-to-door!

Lap 184: Tyler Reddick gets side-by-side with Michael McDowell!

Lap 181: Michael McDowell still has his lead! Can he do it?

Lap 175: Brad Keselowski is pushing Ford teammate Michael McDowell from second place. Martin Truex Jr. runs fifth, pushing Tyler Reddick in third.

Lap 172: Michael McDowell is back in the lead! The pole-sitter is pacing the field, with Tyler Reddick and Brad Keselowski leading two lines behind him. Martin Truex Jr. runs fourth, and Noah Gragson fifth.

Lap 165: Denny Hamlin, Bubba Wallace and Erik Jones have been evaluated and released from the infield care center. A very disappointing day for these Toyota drivers, but great to see that Jones is all right.

Lap 162: Green again! Tyler Reddick leads, followed by Michael McDowell.

Lap 159: Some more pit stops under caution, including Carson Hocevar — and Tyler Reddick will move into the race lead when we restart.

Lap 158: Erik Jones suffered a big hit as his 43 car turned and got into the wall.

Lap 157: CAUTION! Our second non-stage break caution comes as Bubba Wallace gets into Erik Jones, collecting Denny Hamlin and John Hunter Nemechek.

Lap 149: McDowell leads with under 40 laps left! He’s on the inside, ahead of Todd Gilliland, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch.

Lap 143: Michael McDowell, today’s pole-sitter, is back in the lead! Daniel Suarez moves up to second. Austin Dillon runs third, Daniel Hemric fourth and Alex Bowman fifth.

Lap 139: Green again! Josh Berry is the race leader, ahead of Noah Gragson, Daniel Hemric, Harrison Burton and Shane Van Gisbergen. All but the first seven drivers pitted under the caution.

Lap 138: Nearly everyone comes down pit road under caution! Fifty laps remain.

Lap 135: Christopher Bell is done for the day. Today will mark the fourth time in this season’s 10 races that Bell will finish 33rd or worse.

Lap 134: Under a non-stage break caution for the first time today, coming with roughly 55 laps left. Ross Chastain is the race leader, over Noah Gragson, Josh Berry, Joey Logano and Anthony Alfredo.

Lap 132: CAUTION! Christopher Bell gets into the wall by Turn 3 after Justin Haley started spinning toward the back. Chase Elliott got into Haley, and Haley’s 51 car spun Bell into the wall. Chase Briscoe also spun, while Elliott, Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson are among drivers who come out unscathed.

Lap 128: So, nearly everyone toward the front went to the bottom on the stage break restart, and most of the field has moved back to running two-wide. Joey Logano is in the lead, alongside Ross Chastain, ahead of Austin Cindric, Noah Gragson and Kyle Busch.

Lap 125: Green for the final stage!

Lap 122: Trucks are out drying parts of the track, especially outside pit road, where Corey LaJoie recently spun and Denny Hamlin claimed he hit water earlier.

Lap 121: Logano held off the rest of the pack and claimed the Stage 2 win. The Top 10: Logano, Austin Cindric, Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon, Ross Chastain, Tyler Reddick, Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott, Ryan Preece and Ty Gibbs.

Stage 2

Lap 120: Joey Logano wins Stage 2!

Lap 119: Kyle Larson is all the way up to second and has a chance at Logano!

Lap 117: Chris Buescher passes Joey Logano again! Good finish brewing here with three left in the stage.

Lap 115: Logano has reclaimed the lead from Buescher!

Lap 114: Chris Buescher surges ahead and passes Joey Logano for the race lead! Ryan Preece now runs alongside Logano battling for second. Austin Cindric, Noah Gragson run fourth and fifth, respectively, with six to go in Stage 2.

Lap 106: Joey Logano is in the lead, ahead of Denny Hamlin and Austin Cindric.

Lap 104: Corey LaJoie spins coming off pit road! We stay green.

Lap 101: A bunch of cars, mainly Fords, head down pit road under green with under 20 left in Stage 2! Joey Logano moves into the race lead, ahead of Bubba Wallace, Austin Dillon, Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch.

Lap 99: Shane Van Gisbergen briefly holds the lead again! SVG has led in three of his four Cup Series races.

Lap 95: John Hunter Nemechek led for 17 laps, marking the longest a Nemechek has led a Cup race in nearly 20 years. Denny Hamlin briefly held the lead, and Chris Buescher now has it with 25 to go in Stage 2.

Lap 79: It’s taking nearly 54 seconds for the leaders to complete a lap as the field continues to be bunched up as everyone’s fuel-saving. Noah Gragson, John Hunter Nemechek, Corey LaJoie, Anthony Alfredo and Austin Dillon are your Top Five at the moment.

Lap 73: There’s been a lot of fuel-saving by drivers throughout the field, and we’re seeing plenty of movement at the top. John Hunter Nemechek just took the lead from Noah Gragson. Corey LaJoie up to second. Kyle Larson, who started the race after the first lap in the back of the field, has worked to fifth after running with the field for most of Stage 1.

Lap 70: And how about this: Anthony Alfredo takes the lead!

Lap 69: Shane Van Gisbergen surges to the race lead! Austin Dillon is up to second, Anthony Alfredo third, Kyle Busch fourth and Ryan Blaney fifth.

Lap 65: Green for Stage 2! Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney lead the field to green, ahead of Chase Elliott, Austin Cindric and Harrison Burton.

Lap 61: Your Top 10 following Stage 1: Austin Cindric, Chase Elliott, William Byron, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch, Harrison Burton, Christopher Bell, Brad Keselowski, Tyler Reddick and Alex Bowman.

Stage 1

Lap 60: Austin Cindric takes the green-and-white checkered flag!

Lap 54: Closing in on the end of Stage 1! Austin Cindric holds a narrow lead over Chase Elliott. Harrison Burton, William Byron and Ryan Blaney are behind. Kyle Larson still appears to be running in the lead, next to Cindric, while he’s a lap behind.

Lap 50: Austin Cindric, who started on the front row, has moved into the race lead. He runs alongside Chase Elliott (P2), and Kyle Larson (P36) is right in front of both of them.

Lap 47: Kyle Larson clearly has speed today, and is running right in front of his teammate and the race leader in Chase Elliott. He’s a lap down.

Lap 45: Make that another penalty for Zane Smith, who was also speeding on his pass-through. Joey Logano also gets a pass-through for speeding on pit road.

Lap 42: Denny Hamlin spins entering pit road. Daniel Suarez and Zane Smith get speeding penalties.

Lap 41: Starting to see our first pit stops with under 20 to go in Stage 1. Chase Eliott currently holds the race lead

Lap 40: BJ McLeod scraped the wall coming around Turn 4 and heads down pit road. He tells his team he head no fuel pressure.

Lap 35: Ty Gibbs runs right up behind Truex’s bumper, currently holding the fourth position. BJ McLeod and Chase Briscoe are three-wide next to the leader Truex.

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

Lap 18: Make that eight different race leaders! Martin Truex Jr. leads for the first time today. Not much separation in the pack thus far, but plenty of passes and three-wide running toward the front.

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

Lap 17: Justin Haley takes the race lead from Daniel Hemric! He becomes the seventh different leader in the early goings here at Talladega.

Lap 14: Daniel Hemric has been running well early and moved into the race lead. Chase Briscoe is up to second, already looking to become the race’s sixth leader, ahead of Ross Chastain, Denny Hamlin and pole-sitter Michael McDowell.

Lap 3: Michael McDowell and Austin Cindric lead the field around the first couple of laps! Kyle Larson, who was penalized yesterday and didn’t qualify, served his pass through, came out of pit road and is running in the back of the field.

Green flag, 3:20 p.m.: Boogity boogity boogity! Let’s go racing at Talladega!

3:19 p.m.: No rain at the moment! The sun is popping out, “Sweet Home Alabama” is playing, and the next time around should be the green flag!

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

3:15 p.m.: Engines have been fired. Cars are on the track. Rain is coming down. Moments away from scheduled green flag at Talladega!

1:40 p.m.: The Cup cars have been pushed out to pit road!

1 p.m.: Good afternoon from Talladega! It’s been raining throughout the night and morning. Today’s NASCAR Cup Series race is scheduled to green at 3:20 p.m. from the famed 2.66-mile oval in Alabama.

There’s a chance of rain until around 2 p.m. in Talladega today, according to the National Weather Service, and then the track would need to dry. The track doesn’t have lights, so the race would need to be complete before sunset at 8:20 p.m.

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

Michael McDowell on pole as Ford looks to snap skid

Still looking for the manufacturer’s first win, Ford drivers enter Sunday winless through the nine races. But a pair of them begin this race up front.

Michael McDowell won his second pole of the season — and his career — after leading the field to green at 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 on the front row we’re like, ‘Hey we’ve got something here,’” McDowell said. “I kind of backed that up at Atlanta with getting the pole and I think we all felt that pressure knowing that we were so strong at Atlanta and Daytona to come here to Talladega and try to repeat and have a really good starting spot. The guys put a lot of energy and effort into all of the little extra details that it takes on these superspeedways to get that speed.”

Who are the favorites in the Geico 500?

Ford drivers Ryan Blaney (+800) and Joey Logano (+900) have emerged as the favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook as of Sunday morning, 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 is picking Kyle Busch to take the checkered flag. The last spring winner at Talladega, Busch returns to the iconic superspeedway due for a win amid a 30-race winless streak. Since coming within 0.007 seconds of victory at 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 been running 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 p.m. ET (Green flag scheduled for 3:20 p.m.)

Purse: $8,234,125

TV: FOX

Streaming: FOX Sports

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR

Distance: 500 miles (188 laps)

Stages: Stage 1 ends on Lap 60; Stage 2 ends on Lap 120; and the Final Stage ends on Lap 188.

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

Starting lineup for the Geico 500

Position

Driver

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.

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