The intensity of Talladega Superspeedway’s already highly anticipated Oct. 3-4 NASCAR Playoffs weekend just ratcheted up a few notches.
Always playing a vital role in NASCAR’s Playoffs, the annual fall doubleheader, featuring the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, just expanded to a tripleheader over the course of two days as the NASCAR Xfinity Series will now be a part of the weekend. A spring staple at NASCAR’s Most Competitive Track since 1992, the NASCAR Xfinity race will be held in the fall for the first time in history. The news came as part of NASCAR’s announcement Thursday, unveiling the rest of the 2020 schedules for its top three national series.
A double-dose of action at Talladega Superspeedway’s 2.66-mile venue is set for Saturday, Oct. 3 with the Sugarlands Shine 250 for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series at 12:00 p.m. CDT, followed by the newly added Xfinity Series race, a 300-miler, at 3:30 p.m. CDT. Sunday’s anchor event, the YellaWood 500 for the Cup Series, is scheduled to get the green flag at 1:00 p.m. CDT.
The Sugarlands Shine 250 will serve as the cutoff race in the Round of 10 for the Gander Trucks, reducing the field of eligible title contenders from 10 to eight. Both the YellaWood 500 and the newly scheduled Xfinity Series race will be the second of three events in each series’ Round of 12. The addition of the Xfinity Series race comes from a realignment from the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course event, originally set for May 30. Complete details on the tripleheader weekend, including fan attendance, are currently being finalized and will be announced in the near future.
The newly scheduled Oct. 3-4 weekend for Talladega Superspeedway includes:
- Sat Oct. 3 – Sugarlands Shine 250 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series at 12:00 p.m. CDT (FS1); 94 laps
- Sat, Oct. 3 - NASCAR Xfinity Series at 3:30 p.m. CDT (NBCSN); 113 laps (300 miles, 113 laps)
- Sun, Oct. 4 – YellaWood 500 NASCAR Cup Series at 1:00 p.m. CDT (NBC); 188 laps
“We are thrilled to have the NASCAR Xfinity Series join our NASCAR Playoffs weekend,” said Talladega Superspeedway President Brian Crichton. “Over the years, the NASCAR Cup and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series in the fall have seen some of the most exciting racing and incredible finishes. The Xfinity Series, too, has been a pillar of so many memorable battles here, and now to have those drivers back for a playoff run, it’s going to get really fun. What a weekend!”
Close finishes have, indeed, been the norm at NASCAR’s biggest track, with all three series producing final record results of .002 second. Jimmie Johnson, who is in his last season as a full-time Cup driver, edged Clint Bowyer by inches in 2011 while Terry Labonte pulled off the feat in the Xfinity Series in 1999 with Kyle Busch turning the trick in the Gander Trucks in 2010.
Driver Ryan Blaney is the defending champion of the YellaWood 500, and also the track’s latest Cup winner in June when he claimed the GEICO 500 prize, narrowly winning both races by just .007 second. Alabama native Grant Enfinger, who won Dega in 2016, has two Gander Trucks triumphs this year, and will be a favorite in the Sugarlands Shine 250. Justin Haley, currently fifth in the championship chase, won a thriller in the track’s NASCAR Xfinity race back in June, edging his teammate Ross Chastain.
NASCAR’s playoffs are scheduled to conclude at Phoenix Raceway with champions crowned in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series on Friday, Nov. 6, the Xfinity Series on Saturday, Nov. 7 and the NASCAR Cup Series on Sunday, Nov. 8. For the entire schedule, visit www.nascar.com.