CUP: Talladega Welcomes Sunshine

It’s Sunday morning at Talladega Superspeedway and the sun is shining, and that’s news.

After a nervous Saturday that saw severe storms whip across Mississippi and Alabama, Sunday’s weather at Talladega is expected to be excellent. The forecast calls for most sunny skies and high temperatures in the low 80s.

That’s good news for NASCAR, which plans to run more than 800 miles of racing Sunday at stock car racing’s biggest track. Because of Saturday’s poor weather and the postponement of the afternoon’s scheduled Nationwide Series race, the speedway is scheduled to host a rare doubleheader Sunday.

The featured Aaron’s 499 Sprint Cup race is scheduled for a 1 p.m. (EDT) start. The Aaron’s 312 Nationwide race is scheduled to follow at about 5:30 p.m.

The starting grid for the Sprint Cup race was set by the NASCAR rulebook after Saturday’s qualifying was washed out. Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon will be starting in the top five.

Harvick won the pole Friday for the Nationwide race. He’ll start in front of Carl Edwards, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Steve Arpin and Shelby Howard.

Eleven drivers are scheduled to compete in both events.

The worst slices of Saturday’s weather – there were severe thunderstorms and threats of tornadoes – were west and north of the speedway area, but rain fell much of the day at the track.

Mike Hembree is NASCAR Editor for and has been covering motorsports for 28 years. He has written several books on NASCAR, including "NASCAR: The Definitive History of America's Sport" and "Then Tony Said To Junior: The Best NASCAR Stories Ever Told". He is a six-time winner of the National Motorsports Press Association Writer of the Year Award.

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