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NASCAR 2017: Lineup, starting grid at Talladega Superspeedway

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is on the pole for Sunday’s Alabama 500, his final NASCAR race at Talladega Superspeedway.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Alabama 500 - Qualifying Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has declared "Dale Earnhardt Jr. Day" across the state on Sunday, and fittingly Earnhardt will lead the field to the green flag in the Alabama 500 after winning the pole in qualifying Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.

The pole was Earnhardt’s first at Talladega and comes in what is likely his final start at the 2.6-mile track where he’s won six times and routinely is in contention in front of a fervent fan base. NASCAR’s 14-time most popular announced in April he would retire at the end of the current season, which after this weekend has just five races remaining.

Earnhardt is seeking his first win of the 2017 season and to snap a winless stretch that extends to November 2015. His previous Talladega win occurred May 2015.

NBC will air the race, with the network’s coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET and the green flag waving at 2:20 p.m. Rick Allen will handle play-by-play duties and be joined in the broadcast booth by analysts Jeff Burton and Steve Letarte booth. Online streaming is available through and the NBC Sports app.

The complete Alabama 500 starting lineup is below.

Talladega starting lineup

Alabama 500

Position Driver Make Speed (mph)
Position Driver Make Speed (mph)
1 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Chevrolet 190.544
2 Chase Elliott Chevrolet 190.412
3 Joey Logano Ford 190.374
4 Kurt Busch Ford 190.268
5 Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Ford 190.17
6 Brad Keselowski Ford 190.151
7 Clint Bowyer Ford 189.778
8 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 189.774
9 Ryan Blaney Ford 189.669
10 Trevor Bayne Ford 189.658
11 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 189.62
12 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 189.242
13 Danica Patrick Ford 189.1
14 Daniel Suarez Toyota 188.958
15 Denny Hamlin Toyota 188.82
16 Kyle Busch Toyota 188.783
17 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 188.783
18 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 188.705
19 Matt Kenseth Toyota 188.664
20 Paul Menard Chevrolet 188.626
21 Martin Truex, Jr. Toyota 188.548
22 Kevin Harvick Ford 188.4
23 Erik Jones Toyota 188.27
24 A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 188.226
25 Ty Dillon Chevrolet 188.219
26 Aric Almirola Ford 188.015
27 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 187.923
28 Chris Buescher Chevrolet 187.89
29 Michael McDowell Chevrolet 187.618
30 Landon Cassill Ford 187.405
31 Justin Marks Chevrolet 187.394
32 Matt DiBenedetto Ford 187.148
33 David Ragan Ford 186.59
34 Jeffrey Earnhardt Chevrolet 186.18
35 Brendan Gaughan Chevrolet 185.395
36 Mark Thompson Chevrolet 184.911
37 Joey Gase Toyota 184.409
38 Cole Whitt Chevrolet 184.384
39 Gray Gaulding Toyota 182.821
40 D.J. Kennington Toyota 182.456

Talladega news

Scary Talladega looms as ominous hurdle in NASCAR playoffs

It is the playoff race drivers and crew chiefs view with a mix of apprehension and foreboding. The one race they feel like their championship fate is not dictated by their own doing, but at the mercy of those around them and beyond circumstances they have no control over.

Every year since the Cup Series went to a knockout playoff format in 2014, Talladega Superspeedway has been the race that has surprisingly and with unmerciful cruelty dashed championship hopes of expected title contenders. From Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch the first year under the new structure, to Earnhardt again the next year, to Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski last year, the restrictor-plate track doesn’t discriminate when it comes to inflicting heartbreak.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. isn’t lacking motivation to win in final Talladega start

“People want to see [this team] go to the front,” Earnhardt said. “Our fans want to see us take the lead as fast as we can possibly take it. They want to see us in the lead every lap. And I can see in the grandstands the reaction when we have taken the lead and come around Turn 4 on the front straightaway.

“I know that’s there, and that pushes me all day at these plate tracks to do as much as I can to get into the lead and stay there.”