NASCAR at Talladega live race updates, highlights, results from YellaWood 500

By | October 4, 2020

Denny Hamlin passed Matt DiBenedetto just ahead of the finish line to win the YellaWood 500 at Talladega on Sunday.

Hamlin had avoided damage throughout a chaotic race by hanging back, safely biding his time as much of the field crashed ahead of him. There were a track-record 13 cautions.

Hamlin was forced below the double yellow line while entering the final stretch as vehicles collided in his vicinity.

DiBenedetto, no longer in the NASCAR playoffs, was racing for his first career victory and his NASCAR future. He became emotional during his postrace interview, unsure about his 2021 prospects.

Playoff drivers Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch and Aric Almirola did not finish the race because of damage to their cars. Kurt Busch has already clinched a spot in the Round of 8, but the latter competitors essentially need to win at Charlotte next weekend to stay alive.

Sporting News tracked live updates and lap-by-lap highlights from Sunday’s NASCAR race at Talladega. Follow below for complete results from the YellaWood 500.

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NASCAR at Talladega results, highlights for YellaWood 500


6:36 p.m.: FINAL LAP.

6:36 p.m.: Hamlin is pushing DiBenedetto.

6:35 p.m.: Green again.

6:30 p.m.: When we return to green, Matt DiBenedetto will start in first place. Elliott had to pick up fuel.

6:29 p.m.: This race has lasted more than four hours.

6:23 p.m.: Caution. Again. We’ll have a third OT. Wallace tried to be aggressive. He found the wall, not the lead.

6:21 p.m.: Back to green! Elliott leads but is low on fuel.

6:16 p.m.: Logano is done. Wow.

6:13 p.m.: We go from red to yellow. Overtime should restart soon.

6:11 p.m.: As officials continue to clean debris off the track, Kyle Busch conducts a dejected interview. He’ll be eliminated if he doesn’t win next weekend.

6:05 p.m.: It appeared Elliott went beyond the yellow line to move into the lead, but NASCAR rules Logano forced him there.

6:04 p.m.: Red flag. Looks like TV coverage is about to move to NBCSN.

6 p.m.: Elliott makes a huge push but a crash behind the leaders brings out the yellow flag. Kyle Busch among the drivers knocked out by the wreck.

5:59 p.m.: Back to green.

5:56 p.m.: We’re headed to overtime.

5:50 p.m.: Logano passes Wallace, and Wallace touches the wall soon after. Caution.

5:49 p.m.: Wallace to first place with eight laps left.

5:48 p.m.: Wallace up to second place behind Logano.

5:46 p.m.: 10 laps remaining. Logano-Keselowski-Preece-Wallace-Buescher in front.

5:43 p.m.: There are 11 cars within one second of each other at the front. This is wild.

5:39 p.m.: 20 laps to go. Elliott now in the lead.

5:35 p.m.: Logano overtakes Wallace with 24 laps to go.

5:34 p.m.: Wallace to the lead.

5:30 p.m.: 30 laps to go.

5:17 p.m.: Caution. Johnson sheds debris for the second race in a row.

5:06 p.m.: Wallace’s advantage is short-lived. Keselowski passes him.

5:01 p.m.: Bubba Wallace becomes the 16th leader of the afternoon.

4:47 p.m.: Martin Truex Jr. wins Stage 2.

4:46 p.m.: Logano receives a black flag! He can’t get stage points here.

4:42 p.m.: Elliott leads as the race goes to green.

4:34 p.m.: Red flag is lifted.

4:33 p.m.: Here’s the view of the incident from Brad Keselowski’s perspective.

4:28 p.m.: The frontstretch fence needs repairing after the wreck, meaning the red flag could be out for a while.

4:28 p.m.: Sounds like Kurt Busch came out of that scary crash without significant physical damage. His car flew into the air during the chain reaction of collisions.

4:22 p.m.: The red flag comes out.

4:21 p.m.: Bowyer is finished. Looks like Kurt Busch is done as well.

4:20 p.m.: Huge wreck. Probably bigger than the big one before. Kurt Busch at the center of it.

4:19 p.m.: Elliott falls behind Jimmie Johnson, who becomes the 13th leader of the race.

4:18 p.m.: Elliott needs to hang onto his lead for 15 more laps to claim Stage 2 and the vital points that would come with it.

4:06 p.m.: Back to green after Blaney’s right tire issue is sorted out.

3:57 p.m.: Caution for Blaney.

3:54 p.m.: Green flag pit stops begin with 35 laps left in Stage 2.

3:44 p.m.: Back to green.

3:33 p.m.: Caution. Kyle Busch has a tire problem and leaves debris on the track.

3:30 p.m.: Elliott leads at the start of Stage 2.

3:26 p.m.: Kyle Busch will try to continue.

3:21 p.m.: Almirola is done.

3:20 p.m.: It’s unclear whether Kyle Busch will be able to continue, but regardless this is a bad sign for his playoff hopes. He was already on the wrong side of the advancement bubble.

3:19 p.m.: Chris Buescher wins Stage 1 under caution.

3:15 p.m.: Big wreck before the end of Stage 1. Kyle Busch and Aric Almirola among those with damage. Clint Bowyer’s spotter proved prophetic after telling Bowyer a couple of minutes ago that “they’re trying to wreck.”

3:11 p.m.: Elliott takes a turn in first. There have already been 13 lead changes.

3:09 p.m.: Logano claims first place. The top of the field has been quite fluid this afternoon. There are 10 more laps in Stage 1.

3:08 p.m.: Elliott is back in the top 10.

3:05 p.m.: Ryan Blaney to first place.

2:56 p.m.: Erik Jones takes the lead on Lap 35. There are 60 laps in Stage 1.

2:47 p.m.: Another mistake from Elliott. He’s sent to the back of the field.

2:38 p.m. Hamlin makes an aggressive move to take back the lead.

2:36 p.m.: Joey Logano pushes forward to take the lead.

2:35 p.m.: Denny Hamlin is in first, followed by Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr.

2:33 p.m.: Green again. Come on, let’s get some racing now.

2:30 p.m.: As soon as the race goes green there’s a third caution in the first 12 laps. Corey LaJoie’s car stalled.

2:21 p.m.: ANOTHER WRECK. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. takes severe damage. This race is going to take 10 hours at this pace.

2:19 p.m.: Back to green. Let’s see if it can stay that way for a little longer this time.

2:11 p.m.: That was a wreck on Lap 1. Sheesh.

2:10 p.m.: Green flag … and an IMMEDIATE caution.

1:58 p.m.: Engines are fired.

What time does the NASCAR race start today?

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 4
  •   Start time: 2 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: NBC (moved to NBCSN mid-race)

The Round of 12 NASCAR playoff race at Talladega on Sunday should begin soon after 2 p.m. ET. The temperature is supposed to be in the 70s, and rain is not in the forecast.

The race is 94 laps spread over three stages and will become official after Lap 47. The distance of the race is 500 miles.

Among active Cup Series drivers, Brad Keselowski has performed best at Talladega. He has five wins in 23 races. No one else has more than three victories.

NASCAR starting lineup at Talladega

The starting lineup for Sunday’s race at Talladega was determined by NASCAR’s new formula for setting lineups in races without qualifying. The same procedure will be used through the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

The formula produced this starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR race at Talladega:

Starting spot Driver Car No. Team
1 Denny Hamlin (P) 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
2 Kurt Busch (P) 1 Chip Ganassi Racing
3 Martin Truex Jr. (P) 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
4 Alex Bowman (P) 88 Hendrick Motorsports
5 Kevin Harvick (P) 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
6 Kyle Busch (P) 18 Joe Gibbs Racing
7 Brad Keselowski (P) 2 Team Penske
8 Joey Logano (P) 22 Team Penske
9 Clint Bowyer (P) 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
10 Chase Elliott (P) 9 Hendrick Motorsports
11 Aric Almirola (P) 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
12 Austin Dillon (P) 3 Richard Childress Racing
13 Matt DiBenedetto 21 Wood Brothers Racing
14 Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske
15 Chris Buescher 17 Roush Fenway Racing
16 Erik Jones 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
17 Jimmie Johnson 48 Hendrick Motorsports
18 Cole Custer 41 Stewart-Haas Racing
19 Ryan Newman 6 Roush Fenway Racing
20 Matt Kenseth 42 Chip Ganassi Racing
21 William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports
22 Christopher Bell 95 Leavine Family Racing
23 John Hunter Nemechek 38 Front Row Motorsports
24 Michael McDowell 34 Front Row Motorsports
25 Ryan Preece 37 JTG Daugherty Racing
26 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
27 Bubba Wallace 43 Richard Petty Motorsports
28 Ty Dillon 13 Germain Racing
29 Corey LaJoie 32 Go Fas Racing
30 Tyler Reddick 8 Richard Childress Racing
31 Daniel Suarez 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing
32 Brennan Poole 15 Premium Motorsports
33 Quin Houff 00 StarCom Racing
34 JJ Yeley 27 Rick Ware Racing
35 Justin Haley 77 Spire Motorsports
36 Joey Gase 51 Petty Ware Racing
37 Timmy Hill 66 Motorsports Business Management
38 James Davison 53 Rick Ware Racing
39 Brendan Gaughan 62 Beard Motorsports

(P) Playoff driver.