TALLADEGA, Ala. – Kyle Larson and William Byron each earned starting spots in the top 10 for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway. This event at the 2.66-mile track marks the second in the three-race Round of 12.
Larson will start fourth in the No. 5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. In the final round of qualifying, the 2021 Cup Series champion posted a lap of 181.549 mph to be the highest-starting Chevy. It is the eighth time he has started inside the top five this year. In 17 starts at Talladega, the 31-year-old driver has a track-best finish of fourth (in the 2022 spring race) and three top-10 finishes. He enters this race two points above the elimination line to advance with two events to go in the Round of 12.
RELATED: How the Hendrick Motorsports playoff drivers, team rank heading to 'Dega
Byron will take the green flag from the eighth position in the No. 24 Axalta Chevy for his 18th top-10 starting position of the season. The 25-year-old driver posted a lap of 180.932 mph in the final round of qualifying. In 11 starts at Talladega, he has two top-five finishes and three top-10s, including a seventh-place run in the spring 2023 race. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native has three drafting track victories. With his win last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, Byron is locked into the Round of 8. That victory was the milestone 300th in the Cup Series for Hendrick Motorsports.
Alex Bowman is set to start 20th in the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. In 15 Cup Series starts at Talladega, he has a track-best result of second (in the 2019 spring race) and four top-10 finishes. This season, the 30-year-old driver has recorded a pair of top-six results on drafting tracks, with both coming at Daytona International Speedway.
RELATED: Hendrick discusses how Elliott, Bowman are both 'coming on now'
Chase Elliott will line up from the 23rd position in the No. 9 LLumar Chevy. The 27-year-old driver has two victories at Talladega, is the defending race winner and has three drafting track victories in his Cup Series career. In 12 starts, he has five top-five finishes and seven top-10s. Additionally, Elliott has scored the most points (146) in the last three races at the Alabama venue. The No. 9 team remains in the owner championship hunt and is two points below the elimination line.
Aric Almirola earned the pole position for the 188-lap, 500-mile race.
Hendrick Motorsports has 14 wins at Talladega, which are the most in the series. Team vice chairman and NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon won six times wins followed by Jimmie Johnson and Elliott’s two triumphs each. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Terry Labonte, Ken Schrader and Brian Vickers each have one victory at Talladega while driving for the organization. The seven drivers to win at this track are the most for one team.
PHOTOS: See every Hendrick Motorsports win at Talladega Superspeedway
On drafting tracks, the Rick Hendrick-owned organization has 32 victories. In addition to its 14 wins at Talladega, the team has won 15 times at Daytona and three times at Atlanta Motor Speedway (since its reprofiling ahead of the 2022 season). In the Next Gen era (2022-present), Byron and Elliott each have a series-best two victories on drafting tracks.
Tune in to watch Sunday’s race at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, NBC Sports App, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).