Talladega Superspeedway’s most recent NASCAR Cup Series winner, Ryan Blaney, along with fan-favorite’s Bubba Wallace, Matt DiBenedetto, and young gun William Byron, are the first lineup of drivers to be announced for the Pre-Race Fan Question & Answer session prior to the track’s GEICO 500 NASCAR Cup Series event on Sunday, April 26.
The Fan Q&A session will be held in the Fr8Auctions Celebration Plaza at the entertainment stage, which is located in the fan immersive Talladega Garage Experience. Fans who purchase a Sunday admission to the Talladega Garage Experience ($89 in advance for adults and $39 for kids 12 & under; Pricing will go to $95 for adults race week), in addition to a GEICO 500 ticket or infield admission, will get the chance to ask the group questions Sunday morning, prior to the green flag. The Fan Q&A is scheduled to start at 9:15 a.m. (CDT). Additional drivers/personalities that will take part in the Fan Q&A lineup on Sunday, as well as the rest of the weekend (must have accompanied race-day ticket and Garage Experience pass) will be announced at a later date.
In addition to seeing some of NASCAR’s stars on stage as part of the Talladega Garage Experience, fans will also receive exclusive access inside all of the Cup garages via an “up-close” fan viewing walkway where they will be just feet away from where the drivers and teams prepare the cars during race weekend. Fans can also enjoy FREE Wi-Fi, plenty of social and engagement areas including BIG BILL’S 35,000 square-foot social club, a fan viewing area in Gatorade Victory Lane (where fans will have an area to get close to the winner’s celebration), Kids Zone, $4 or less value-priced concessions, plus much more!
Below are snapshots on the first quartet for the Fan Q&A sessions that will be part of a jam-packed weekend on the entertainment stage:
Blaney, driver of the No. 12 Team Penske Ford, drove to ’Dega’s Gatorade Victory Lane in thrilling fashion after beating fellow Cup Series driver Ryan Newman at the line by .007 seconds. He will be making his 12th start at NASCAR’s biggest track, with a Talladega Superspeedway (TSS) record of two top-fives and three top-10 finishes. His chances of winning back-to-back at TSS are high considering Team Penske has won seven of the last 11 events.
Wallace, driver of the iconic No. 43 Chevrolet for Richard Petty Motorsports, is in his third year running full time in the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS). The Alabama native made his first Talladega Cup Series appearance in the GEICO 500 in 2018 and placed 16th. He has shown he has speed at superspeedways – during the 2018 Daytona 500, Wallace posted a runner-up result and finished 15th in the past two races at Daytona.
DiBenedetto is in his first season driving full-time for Wood Brothers Racing in the legendary No. 21 Ford and has been posting fantastic finishes so far. Out of the four races run this year, he has not finished outside of the top 15 in three of those, and he matched his career-best runner-up result. DiBenedetto made his first appearance at TSS in the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) in 2014 and will be making his 11th TSS NCS career start in the GEICO 500. He led a race-high 49 laps in the 2019 Daytona 500 and was a frontrunner at ‘Dega last spring before a late-race accident eliminated him from competition. The Wood Brothers have five triumphs at Talladega.
Byron will be making his fifth NASCAR Cup Series start at the 2.66-mile track. The 22-year-old is piloting the legendary No. 24 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, a number Jeff Gordon took to Gatorade Victory Lane in six of Hendrick’s 13 Talladega victories, the track’s all-time record. Byron, the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion, has two starts at the mammoth track in other series, with a best finish of 10th in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
Talladega Superspeedway’s anticipated weekend kicks off on Friday with two practice sessions each for the MoneyLion 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series event and the GEICO 500 followed by the ARCA Menards Series’ General Tire 200 (5 p.m. CDT). Saturday’s slate includes KLĒNSKIN Qualifying (10:30 a.m. CDT) for the GEICO 500 and the running of the MoneyLion 300 (noon CDT). The GEICO 500 is set to get the green flag on Sunday at 1 p.m. CDT. Kids 12 and younger receive FREE admission on Friday and Saturday, and $50 off regular price grandstand and tower seats for Sunday’s GEICO 500, starting as low as $15. For more information and to purchase a Talladega Garage Experience admission, simply visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 877-Go2-DEGA.
*Driver availability for Talladega Superspeedway’s Pre-Race Fan Question & Answer session is subject to change and without notice. Neither NASCAR nor any of its affiliates are responsible for this event*