Four things to watch for today at Talladega

It's go time at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR's wildest and most unpredictable track, where today 40 cars will line up for the GEICO 500 (FOX, 12:30 p.m. ET).

The good news is that the weather forecast has improved substantially. Earlier in the week, predictions were for an 80-90 percent chance of rain all day long at the mammoth 2.66-mile Alabama track.

This morning, though, is calling for scattered thunderstorms and a 30-55 percent chance of rain during the race window. Not ideal, certainly, but we should be able to get the race in.

Here are four storylines to watch today:

4. CLASH OF THE TITANS -- All four Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets qualified in the top 12, as did four of the five frontline Toyotas from Joe Gibbs Racing and Furniture Row Racing. These two teams are the prohibitive favorites, with Hendrick's Dale Earnhardt Jr. the defending race winner and master of restrictor-plate tracks.

But don't count out Team Penske. Brad Keselowski has three victories at Talladega and Joey Logano won here last Fall and captured the 2015 Daytona 500 as well.

3. TEAMWORK -- In this year's Daytona 500, the aforementioned five Toyotas locked up nose to tail in the low lane late in the race, with Denny Hamlin winning and Toyotas sweeping the top three spots and four of the top five. Can they do it again here? They will try, certainly, but it could be tough. Talladega is much wider than Daytona, so it's harder to hold off the competition here.

2. FIRST-TIMERS -- Talladega is famous for producing first-time race winners. Ten drivers won their first race here, six of whom never won again. This time around, three of the top-10 qualifiers are looking for their first Sprint Cup victories, including the front-row tandem of Chase Elliott and Austin Dillon. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., another winless driver at the Cup level, will start sixth.

Also keep an eye on Ty Dillon. He'll replace Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet at the first pit stop and drive the remainder of the race. If Ty wins, Stewart becomes eligible for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup if he makes it into the top 30 in points.

1. RETURN TO GLORY -- Richard Childress Racing used to dominate Talladega. But the team hasn't won a Cup race since the penultimate event of 2013, when Kevin Harvick was victorious at Phoenix. All three RCR Chevrolets are fast this weekend, with Dillon starting second, Paul Menard 10th and Ryan Newman 15th. Is this the weekend RCR finally gets its mojo back? It just might happen.