Race Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Matt DiBenedetto of Wood Brothers Racing (Ford)
Stage 2 Winner: Bubba Wallace of 23XI Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60)
● Chase Briscoe started 25th and finished 17th.
● By lap three, Briscoe had placed his Rush Truck Centers/Cummins Ford Mustang in the top-10, and he quickly joined his Stewart-Haas Racing teammates in the top-five. When the action picked up, he dropped back to the second pack and ran just outside of the top-20 until the competition caution on lap 25.
● Briscoe pitted under yellow on lap 28 for tires and fuel after reporting his Ford was “a bit edgy.” The No. 14 restarted 24th on lap 30, and by lap 38 Briscoe was back in the top-10.
● The Rush Truck Centers/Cummins driver was running in the middle lane, attempting to collect stage points at the end of the first stage, when the leaders made contact, sending the No. 22 onto its side. Briscoe turned left to avoid contact with the No. 22 and tagged the 2 as the stage was ending.
● Briscoe pitted twice under caution to repair damage to the left-front fender and maintained his position on the lead lap.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
● Briscoe started 34th and finished 18th.
● The 26-year-old rookie driver began the second stage in 34th on lap 66 and made his way back into the top-20 by lap 70.
● Briscoe was running 18th when scheduled green-flag pit stops began. He eventually gave up the 13th position when the Fords hit pit road on lap 92 for fuel only.
● The fourth caution of the race occurred on lap 104 with Briscoe running 10th. When the field returned to green, Briscoe was shuffled out of line to the top lane with no help and fell back to 25th.
● The Rush Truck Centers/Cummins Ford Mustang was running 21st when the drivers at the front of the pack began wrecking with one lap remaining in the second stage. Briscoe avoided the incident and picked up a 18th-place result as the stage ended.
● During the stage break, Briscoe visited pit road for tires and fuel and pitted a second time on lap 126 to top off on fuel.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-191):
● Briscoe started 15th and finished 11th.
● The No. 14 moved into ninth place on the lap-126 restart signaling the beginning of the final stage. Briscoe maintained his position in the top-10 until lap 145, when he fell back to 18th and reported his Ford Mustang was loose.
● Scheduled green-flag stops began on lap 155, and Briscoe moved into the sixth position. On lap 160, the group of Fords made their way to pit road with Briscoe taking right-side tires and fuel. He returned to the track in 10th.
● When the caution flag waved on lap 173, Briscoe pitted from 14th for four tires and fuel. He restarted 22nd with 12 laps remaining. He ran as high as seventh before falling back to 16th when the yellow flag was shown on lap 186 for debris.
● Briscoe restarted 16th for the green-white-checkered finish and crossed the line in 11th.
● Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie.
● This was Briscoe’s best finish so far this season. His previous best result was an 18th-place drive Feb. 28 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
● Briscoe led one lap – his first lap led in the Cup Series.
● Brad Keselowski won the GEICO 500 to score his 35th career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his sixth at Talladega. His margin over second-place William Byron was .102 of a second.
● This was Ford’s 708th all-time NASCAR Cup Series victory and its fourth win of 2021.
● This was Ford’s 31st all-time NASCAR Cup Series victory at Talladega and its 10th in the last 12 races at the 2.66-mile oval. Ford won its first race at Talladega on May 4, 1975 with NASCAR Hall of Famer Buddy Baker.
● There were seven caution periods for a total of 34 laps.
● Only 26 of the 40 drivers in the GEICO 500 finished on the lead lap.
● Denny Hamlin remains the championship leader after Talladega with an 87-point advantage over second-place Martin Truex Jr.
Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 Rush Truck Centers/Cummins Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“Hate that we couldn’t get a top-10 out of it, but honestly, 11th is a great finish. You never know how it’s going to go at Talladega, and I was hoping this could be a race for us to turn things around and get a good finish. Momentum is always a good thing. This is the confidence builder we need heading into the next few races.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Buschy McBusch Race 400 on Sunday, May 2, at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The race begins at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.