2020 GEICO 500 NASCAR Cup Series race preview
The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series rolls along after a rain-drenched outing at Homestead. This week, the Series returns to the track that made fictional movie character Ricky Bobby famous: Talladega Superspeedway.
Read on for our preview for the much-awaited GEICO 500 race below and start placing stakes on who you predict will take home the checkered flag at Lincoln, Alabama this Sunday. And for more news and updates from NASCAR and the rest of the sporting world, head back to Nitrogen Sports Blog main page after this.
Where: Talladega Superspeedway, Lincoln, AL
When: Sunday, June 21, 3:00 PM ET
Where to watch: FOX
2020 NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 Favorites
Denny Hamlin won both pole and the race itself at Homestead this past weekend, vaulting him to the top of the Cup Series standings as the only driver to have won three races this season. The 2020 Daytona winner proved yet again that winning the biggest race of the year wasn’t a fluke, nor was that enough for him to be considered a serious contender for the Cup this year.
Considering how similar Talladega is to Daytona, Hamlin appears in line for another fantastic outing this weekend. His career average finish on the two lengthy tracks combined is 17.25 – good enough for seventh all-time for drivers with at least five starts on those tracks.
Read: Three things to know about the return of 2020 NASCAR Cup Series
The bad weather at Miami must’ve thrown off a lot of drivers last week, including Joey Logano. The former Cup Series champ finished 27th at Homestead, but was joined by other big names like Kevin Harvick (26th) and Matt Kenseth (25th) in the middle of the pack.
Logano has three career victories at Talladega to date, and his 5.25 average driver finish on the course is the best mark since 2018. That being said, Logano could very well join Hamlin as the only drivers with three victories this season to really put the pressure on the rest of the field.
2020 NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 Dark Horses
Florida native Aric Almirola made his home state proud by bagging a superb fifth-place finish at Homestead, which was his first top-five finish and just his fourth top 10 this season.
A return to Talladega is just what Almirola needs to sustain his momentum. He’s made the top 10 at ‘Dega seven-straight times dating back to October 2016, including a win in October 2018. In fact, he also shares the exact same average driver finish on the track as Logano before him over the last three years.
30-year-old Austin Dillon had himself quite the weekend. He and his wife welcomed their newborn son, Ace, into the world before racing in Miami, and he then followed-up that fantastic news with a solid seventh-place finish at Homestead for his fourth top-10 finish of 2020.
Dillon hasn’t been as consistent at ‘Dega than most of the drivers on this here feature, but you certainly can’t go wrong with a newly-inspired father who just proved to be uplifted by his first child as a trendy sleeper pick this weekend.
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2020 NASCAR Cup Series
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2020 NASCAR Cup Series GEICO 500 Huge Reach
Cup Series newcomer Brennan Poole shares the same first name as another fictional character played by movie actor Will Ferrell. However, it’s from the movie Step Brothers; not from the more apropos flick for the occasion that is Talladega Nights.
All kidding aside, Poole still has quite a way to go to prove his worth to Premium Motorsports. His best finish in this maiden campaign of his was 16th place at Daytona, and he’s failed to crack the top 20 in the 11 races since then.
What’s your 2020 GEICO 500 prediction?
Recency bias will have us roll the hot hand with Hamlin this Sunday. Then again, perhaps it would be wiser indeed to side either Logano or Almirola – two men who have basically dominated Talladega of late.
Does your NASCAR betting game need a pit stop for improvements? Check out our sports betting guide right after this.
*All stated odds are subject to change without prior notice.