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You Want Passing? No Other Race Track Provides as Much for the Lead, for Wins, and Throughout the Field During an Event Like Talladega Superspeedway

No Wonder it’s The Most Competitive Race Track on the Planet; the 2.66-mile Venue Plays Host to YellaWood 500, the Second Round of 12 in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, this Sunday, Oct. 3

TALLADEGA, Ala. –  Talladega Superspeedway, which hosts the YellaWood 500 this Sunday, Oct. 3, NASCAR’s Most Competitive track, and the biggest, baddest race track on the planet – period. The numbers show it.

Let’s look at some staggering facts to showcase how Bill France’s creation has provided some of the most thrilling racing and battles for the lead in all of motorsports for more than 50 years with three- and four-wide, nail-biting, 200 mph action.

Official Lead Changes at the Start-Finish Line
Official lead changes in NASCAR are counted at the start-finish line, and Talladega Superspeedway owns the NASCAR record – 88 (twice – in spring of 2010 and 2011). Incredibly, that is for just a 188-lap event (since the venue is a mammoth 2.66-miles which makes up 500 miles).

Green Flag Passes for the Lead
True, NASCAR counts lead changes at the start-finish line, but Talladega Superspeedway, 33-degree of banking provides passing opportunities throughout the 48-feet wide ribbon of asphalt of its four turns and tri-oval. Over the last 15 seasons, ’Dega has averaged more than 115 green flag passes for the top spot during its 500-mile events. The high mark came in 2016 when there were 213 exchanges of the lead! Second on the list is the iconic Daytona International Speedway with 82 with Charlotte Motor Speedway third with just over 28.

Total Green Passes Throughout the Field During a Talladega 500-miler
Talk about an astounding stat! Over the last 15 seasons, Talladega Superspeedway, which France, Sr., called the “greatest race track in the world,” has averaged more than 12,600 green flag passes throughout the field during its NASCAR Cup Series races. No wonder when fans purchase a seat at Talladega, they rarely sit it since they are standing with excitement.

White Flag Leader Doesn’t Mean Winner at Checkered Flag
As noted earlier, lead changes are counted at the start-finish line in NASCAR. Unbelievably, since Talladega began racing the Cup Series in 1969, in 54 races, an official lead change happened on the last lap in 29 races – the driver who took the white flag didn’t bring home the checkered flag. The trend started in 1974 and continued in April when Brad Keselowski captured the GEICO 500 for is sixth Talladega triumph. Here’s the rest:

Date                             Winner                         White Flag Leader
Aug. 11, 1974                Richard Petty                David Pearson
May 14, 1978                Cale Yarborough           Buddy Baker
May 3, 1981                  Bobby Allison                Buddy Baker
Aug. 2, 1981                 Ron Bouchard               Darrell Waltrip
May 2, 1982                  Darrell Waltrip              Benny Parsons
July 31, 1983                 Dale Earnhardt, Sr.        Darrell Waltrip
May 6, 1984                  Cale Yarborough           Harry Gant
July 29, 1984                 Dale Earnhardt, Sr.        Terry Labonte
July 31, 1988                 Ken Schrader                Dale Earnhardt, Sr.
May 2, 1993                  Ernie Irvan                    Dale Earnhardt, Sr.
Oct. 21, 2001                Dale Earnhardt, Jr.        Bobby Labonte
Oct. 2, 2005                  Dale Jarrett                   Matt Kenseth
May 1, 2006                  Jimmie Johnson            Brian Vickers
Oct. 8, 2006                  Brian Vickers                 Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
Oct. 7, 2007                  Jeff Gordon                   Jimmie Johnson
April 26, 2009               Brad Keselowski            Carl Edwards
April 25, 2010               Kevin Harvick                Jamie McMurray
Oct. 31, 2010                Clint Bowyer                 Kevin Harvick
April 17, 2011               Jimmie Johnson            Jeff Gordon
Oct. 23, 2011                Clint Bowyer                 Jeff Burton
Oct. 7, 2012                  Matt Kenseth                Tony Stewart
May 5, 2013                  David Ragan                  Carl Edwards
Oct. 19, 2014                Brad Keselowski            Ryan Newman
May 7, 2017                  Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.       Kyle Busch
Oct. 15, 2017                Brad Keselowski            Ryan Newman
Oct. 14, 2018                Aric Almirola                 Kurt Busch
June 22, 2020                Ryan Blaney                  Kevin Harvick
Oct. 4, 2020                  Denny Hamlin               Matt DiBenedetto
April 25, 2021               Brad Keselowski            Matt DiBenedetto

Oh, Those Close, Blink-of-an-Eye Finishes at ’Dega
With so much passing at Talladega, naturally it contributes to the incredible close finishes, again, like no other venue. During the last 25 years at NASCAR’s biggest track that didn’t end under caution, the average margin of victory is .129 second, most of time with multiple cars gunning for the win. The closest? Jimmie Johnson over Clint Bowyer by .002 seconds in 2011.

Here is an unbelievable stat. Add the total margin of victory times together in each Cup race over the last 25 years (38 races) at Talladega that didn’t finish under caution. The grand total is 4.905 seconds. Yes, it is true!

The most competitive track in the world continues another chapter in its storied history this weekend with the YellaWood 500 (1:00 p.m. CDT start), the culmination of a tripleheader NASCAR Playoffs weekend. Saturday features a duo of races on Saturday, Oct. 2 with the Sparks 300 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the Chevy Silverado 250 for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The action begins at Noon CDT.

Admission to the traditional Saturday Night Infield Concert, headlined by platinum-selling Dustin Lunch, is FREE to all infield guests, who purchases a ticket to the YellaWood 500. To see all admission options, including the Talladega Garage Experience (includes access to Garage Viewing Walkways, Pre-Race Ceremonies on Sunday and Ruoff Mortgage Victory Lane), visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA.

Fans are encouraged to keep up with all the happenings at the biggest, baddest race track on the planet by following Talladega Superspeedway on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

About Talladega Superspeedway
Talladega Superspeedway is the most competitive race track on the NASCAR schedule (record 88 lead changes in 188 laps), the highest-banked (33 degrees) and the longest (2.66 miles), as well as the most fun and fan-friendly. Three- and four-wide racing at 200 mph are a norm at Talladega Superspeedway, along with nail-biting, photo finishes. For information, visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA.