The NASCAR Cup Series returns to the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama this weekend.
The Cup Series season started with an upset win by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at Daytona 500. The second race of the 2023 campaign featured a dominating win by Joey Logano in Atlanta.
Sunday’s 500-mile race will mark the third high-banks drafting event of the season. Christopher Bell leads the points standings heading into the Talladega weekend.
A general view of the Talladega Superspeedway infield tunnel during qualifying for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Ag-Pro 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 21, 2023, in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
As the anticipation builds for Talladega, some drivers will enter the weekend as frontrunners; while others will be underdogs looking to pull off an upset.
Here is a closer look at a few drivers to keep an eye on this Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway:
Logano came close to winning his second-career Daytona 500 a couple of months ago, but he was able to deliver a dominating performance on the new configuration at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in March.
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, laughs during the NASCAR Championship 4 Media Day at Phoenix Raceway on November 03, 2022, in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Logano has experienced a resurgence so far this season after his performance dropped off over the past two seasons. From the beginning of 2021 through the end of last year, Logano only managed to produce one top-five finish in 10 races at drafting tracks.
The last time Brad Keselowski took the checkered flag at a Cup Series race was two years ago at Talladega.
Keselowski was in the lead for the majority of the laps at this year’s Daytona 500. Keselowski and his teammate Chris Buescher were poised for a top-five finish if not for some late cautions.
Nov 5, 2022; Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski (6) during qualifying at Phoenix Raceway. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
Keselowski is tied for second on the all-time wins list at Talladega, alongside Hall of Famers Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. with six.
He is looking make it to victory lane for the first time with RFK Racing on Sunday.
After a leg injury sidelinesd him for six events, Elliott made his return to racing earlier this month at the Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. He managed to battle to a 10th-place finish.
“Top 10 is nothing to be too upset about,” Elliott said after the 400-lap race.
Chase Elliott during driver introductions before the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2023, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)
He finished in the seventh spot last year Talladega, but he does have a chance to win it this year.
Due to his underwhelming record at Talladega, it is safe to say that Kyle Busch will be considered underdog this Sunday. He has had nine finishes of 13th or worse in the past 11 races.
Feb 19, 2023; Daytona Beach, Florida; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (8) during driver introductions before the start of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. (Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports)
He did not finish in the top 10 in any of the previous three races.
The NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. EST.