Talladega Weekend Preview: All hail the return of Amelia and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won in May last year behind the wheel of Amelia.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. won in May last year behind the wheel of Amelia.

One quarter of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season is over.  Last Sunday at Richmond International Raceway, Carl Edwards bumped his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch out of the way on the final corner of the final lap to secure the win. But that wasn’t the most exciting thing to happen in the series first nine races of the season.

The first quarter of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series featured two finishes, Daytona and Phoenix, that are tied for the seventh of all time (.010 seconds).  In fact seven of the first nine races ended in a margin of victory that was under one second, with one race (Atlanta) ending under caution. That’s the most since 2010 and is tied for the most through nine races since the inception of electronic scoring in 1993.

And there’s a full three quarters of a season to go.

The next stop on the circuit is at NASCAR’s largest track the mammoth 2.66 mile Talladega Superspeedway.  Saturday the NASCAR Xfinity Series will race 113 laps (300.58 miles) for the Sparks Energy 300 (3:00 p.m. ET on Fox) while Sunday the Sprint Cup series will take to the track for the GEICO 500, 188 laps (500.08 miles) (1:00 p.m. ET Fox, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

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