Denny Hamlin Bags Pole for GEICO 500: Starting Line-up for NASCAR Cup Series 2021 Talladega Race

Published 04/21/2021, 10:12 AM EDT
TALLADEGA, AL – OCTOBER 14: Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #14 Cummins/Rush Truck Centers Ford, lead the field to the green flag to start the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 14, 2018 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)


Denny Hamlin continued his incredible consistency in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, and as a result, also keeps his place on the front row for Sunday’s Talladega race. This time, Hamlin will start on the pole for the GEICO 500.

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Joining him on the front row is Joey Logano, who ran another strong race this season and finished third at Richmond. Logano and Hamlin were once again in a battle for the win at Richmond but had to settle for 2nd and 3rd places as Alex Bowman turned the tide in his favor.

Who starts behind the front-row drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega?

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Martin Truex Jr., the only driver to win two races so far in 2021, was also very good at Richmond, before falling behind later on. He still bagged a top-5 finish and starts in 3rd place. William Byron joins him on the second row, while Bowman finishes the top-5 spots.

Apr 10, 2021; Martinsville, Virginia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series drivers cross the start line during the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Ryan Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Christopher Bell and Ryan Blaney start in 6th and 7th. Reigning champ Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch, and Brad Keselowski round out the top-10.

Kyle Larson had a bad day at the office, for a change, finishing in 18th place after going down a couple of laps at one point. He will start in 12th place at Talladega, while Kevin Harvick starts in 16th place and Bubba Wallace in 24th.

Talladega is one of the most eventful races every season. Many wrecks and crashes can be expected at the track and the pace of the race can change in a matter of seconds.

Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin enter Talladega with an edge

Blaney won last year’s regular-season race there in one of the closest finishes in a NASCAR Cup Series race. It was a photo finish and Blaney edged out Ricky Stenhouse Sr. by a difference of milliseconds.

Talladega also has a lot of importance in the larger scheme of things as the track returns during the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Hamlin will look to repeat his performance from the 2020 playoffs and get that elusive win in 2021.

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Mar 14, 2021; Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski (2) leads the way at the start of the NASCAR Instacart 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

He admitted that coming close to winning but missing out week after week is frustrating. However, he is happy with where he is and has already gained a huge lead on points.

This weekend’s NASCAR action also includes the NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday at 4 pm E.T.

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Aayush Majumdar

999 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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