TALLADEGA — NASCAR is coming to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend for its annual fall races.
On Saturday, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chevy Silverado 250 will run at 11:30 a.m., followed by the NASCAR Xfinity Series Sparks 300 race at 3 p.m.
Sunday is reserved for the NASCAR Cup Series YellaWood 500 at 1 p.m.
A list of five things to know about this weekend:
1. Defending champion
Although Ross Chastain won the most recent Cup Series race at Talladega, the defending champion of the YellaWood 500 is Bubba Wallace, who won at the superspeedway last fall.
The last driver to win consecutive YellaWood 500 races was Joey Logano in 2015-16. According to the superspeedway's staff, four drivers have won the Talladega fall race twice in a row, including Clint Bowyer (2010-11), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2001-2002) and Talladega’s all-time winner, Dale Earnhardt Sr., who did it three times (1999-2000, 1990-91 and 1983-84).
Chastain is looking for a yearly sweep at Talladega. Again, according to superspeedway research, six drivers have made the Talladega sweep since the track opened in 1969 but it hasn’t been accomplished since 2007. They include Pete Hamilton (1970), Buddy Baker (1975), Darrell Waltrip (1982), Dale Earnhardt Sr. (1990 and 1999), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (2002) and Jeff Gordon (2007).
2. Best finishes
Talladega has had its share of close finishes, including the track record of .002 seconds separating 2011 winner Jimmie Johnson over the next-closest car.
Over the last four Cup Series races, here is the margin of victory: 2019 fall, Ryan Blaney (.007 seconds); 2020 spring, Ryan Blaney (.007 seconds); 2020 fall, Denny Hamlin (.086 seconds); and 2021 spring, Brad Keselowski (.102 seconds).
3. Lead changes
Guess who has the NASCAR record for most lead changes in a race? Of course, it's Talladega with 88 twice. It happened in the spring of 2010 and again in the spring of 2011. Those races were 188 laps.
Lead changes are counted by NASCAR at the start-finish line.
Since Talladega began hosting Cup Series races in 1969, the track has had 106 races, and an official lead change happened on the last lap in 30 races.
In fact, when Chastain captured the GEICO 500 in April, he grabbed the lead on the last lap.
4. Series record
The Cup Series has had 19 winners this year through 30 races, which is tied for a record.
That joins the 1956, 1958, 1961 and 2001 series. There's seven more races for the 2022 series to break the tie.
By the way, there have been five first-time Cup Series winners this year, which is a record. That is a record for the modern era (1972-2022). There were four first-time winners in 2001, 2002, 2011 and 2022.
5. Series leader
Joey Logano enters Sunday as the leader in the Cup points standings. He has 29 Cup victories, including three at Talladega.
He won in the fall of 2015 and 2016 and the spring of 2018.
This year he has won at Darlington and Gateway.