CONCORD, N.C. - This Sunday, Hendrick Motorsports and the NASCAR Cup Series head to Alabama to tackle the 2.66-mile circuit of Talladega Superspeedway. The event will be the third drafting-track race of the season.

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Since opening in 1969, the sport's biggest track has hosted 109 Cup Series main events. With 33 degrees of banking in the turns, the track promotes pack racing as drivers will be at or near full throttle most of their time on track. The result? Tight racing throughout the field and "The Big One" lurking around every corner. 

The first triumph at Talladega for Rick Hendrick's team came in 1988 when Ken Schrader captured the checkered flag, followed closely by teammate Geoff Bodine. The 1-2 finish was the first time in track history a team had swept the top-two positions and the first top-two sweep for Hendrick Motorsports. Since then, the team has won 13 more times at the 2.66-mile track with vice chairman Jeff Gordon leading the way with six victories. Elliott and Jimmie Johnson each have won twice for the group. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Terry Labonte, Brian Vickers and Schrader each earned one victory for the team.

RELATED: See every Talladega win for Hendrick Motorsports

Last spring's race saw the Hendrick Motorsports quartet near the front of the pack before late-race incidents impacted their finishing position. Three of the four drivers were able to lead during the main event, highlighted by Elliott's 18 circuits out front and opening stage victory. Ultimately, William Byron led the way with a seventh-place result as he avoided the final accident after the field had taken the white flag. Elliott finished 12th, with Alex Bowman right behind him in 13th. Kyle Larson was scored 33rd after being caught up in an accident in the first overtime attempt while running fifth.

Spotters play a crucial role in success at Talladega as they can see how the runs develop and call out possible trouble. During a media availability with reporters earlier this week, Byron discussed how he approaches the final laps at Talladega and how spotter Branden Lines is an integral part of the result. 

"I don't think you can think about when a wreck is going to happen," Byron said. "If Branden (Lines, spotter) says there's a wreck about to happen or happening, then obviously the urgency goes up to get an inch more or two. It's really about listening to what he says. He has such a great vision of what is happening and then sees what the field is doing out of the corner of his eye. I try not to think too much about it otherwise and rely on him to tell me. I race like we're coming all the way back to the checkered flag. If the caution comes out before that, it's subjective and you deal with whatever happens. If you make a move too early, though, banking on a caution, you could finish somewhere like 10th because you lost momentum."

Data provided by Racing Insights

Larson, No. 5 team
The No. 5 team enters Talladega riding a streak of three consecutive pole positions in the 2024 season. Should Larson earn a fourth straight pole, he would be the first Hendrick Motorsports driver to accomplish the feat since Gordon in 2004 and only the sixth driver in the last 44 years. The 2021 Cup Series champion has earned the fourth-most points (124) in the Next Gen era (since 2022) at Talladega. 

Elliott, No. 9 team
Two of Elliott's three drafting-track wins have come at Talladega, and the track is one of four on the circuit where he has multiple wins. Following their win last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, the No. 9 team carries plenty of momentum. Elliott has the best average finish (13.63) among active drivers at Talladega and the fourth-best mark all-time for drivers with at least six starts. In the Next Gen era, Elliott has scored the most points (189) of any driver. 

RELATED: Elliott, Gustafson discuss the 'climb' back to victory lane

Byron, No. 24 team
In his Cup Series career, Byron has four drafting-track wins, including this year's DAYTONA 500, but none have come at Talladega. Three of those victories have come in the Next Gen era as he and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Elliott are the only drivers with multiple wins on drafting tracks in the latest generation of stock car. Byron's two runner-up finishes are the most among drivers who have yet to win at the 2.66-mile venue. Since 2022, he has scored the third-most points (154)

Bowman, No. 48 team
Bowman has two career runner-up finishes on drafting tracks -- with one at Talladega (April of 2019) and the most recent coming in the season-opening DAYTONA 500. All of his four top-10 finishes at Talladega have come in the spring race. Additionally, he has top-10 results in two of his last four races in drafting tracks. 

Hendrick Motorsports
At Talladega, Rick Hendrick's team leads the Cup Series in wins (14), poles (13), top-five finishes (64), top-10s (99) and laps led (3,082). 

RELATED: Hendrick Motorsports scores 250th Cup Series pole

According to data from Racing Insights, Hendrick Motorsports' four pit crews all ranked inside the top seven on average four-tire pit stop time. The No. 9 crew has the fastest average of all teams at 10.724 seconds and posted the fastest four-tire stop of the season last weekend at Texas.


Saturday, April 20
10:30 a.m. ET: Qualifying - FS1 

Every team participates in the first round of single-car qualifying, with the top 10 moving to the final round. Bowman will go out 10th, while Larson will be the 29th car to take time for the session. Byron and Elliott will close out round one as the 37th and 38th drivers to hit the track, respectively.

Sunday, April 21
3 p.m. ET: Cup Series race - FOX

RELATED: Register for 'Hendrick Homecoming' autograph sessions raffle

Cup Series race
Stage 1: Lap 60
Stage 2: Lap 120
End of Race: Lap 188

Yes, listeners can find both events on MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).

Fans can watch all the action with the FOX Sports Live app. For live updates and additional content during the race, head over to X and follow @TeamHendrick for the most accurate and up-to-date information.   

The channel number may vary depending on the location. Use this link to enter your zip code and select your television provider for assistance in finding what channel number FS1 is on your provider.