Everything You Need to Know About Geico 500

April 25, 2022
Mnea Minogue

  • feature image geico 500

The Geico 500 Talladega race is one of the most dangerous tracks on the NASCAR calendar.

It housed the fastest ever average speed of the calendar at 188.3 Miles per hour. Helping it make that speed was the fact that this race had no caution periods, allowing the racers to go at full pace without interruptions. It also housed one of the biggest crashes of the calendar, hence its placement in the danger tier. The fans even believe that the track is cursed.

So, let us dive into the most fearsome track and the one that claimed four lives in just ten races within its bounds.

How long is the Geico 500?

At 2.66 miles a lap, the Talladega Superspeedway gathers the 500-mile mark at 188 laps. It runs in three stages: the first two are sixty laps each, and the final stage is sixty-eight.

The race pace at Talladega is higher than usual, so it will take around 3 to 4 hours to conquer all the five hundred miles.

How many stages are in the Geico 500?

The Geico 500 is a three-round event: sixty laps for the first two stages and sixty-eight laps for the final stretch.

Unlike F1, where the points are given based on the driver’s finishing position, NASCAR is a three-stage game.

The drivers who make it into the top 10 at the end of each of the first two stages earn points, and the victor of the first two stages gets 11 points (10 plus 1 playoff point.), and the rest descend by a point per place until there are no more points to hand out.

The victor of the final stage gains 45 points (40 plus 5 playoff points), the second gets 35 points, trickling down until 35th place, earning 2 points. Each driver who ends up being 36 and below makes one point.

How many cars are in Geico 500?

Nowadays, NASCAR races run 40 cars a race.

During the race of 1973, the race outdid itself with sixty drivers on the grid. Shortly after, an incident proved it was not the wisest of choices.

One car spilled oil after its engine suffered a catastrophic failure during the race. Said spilled oil then caused mayhem on the track. The wreck was so massive that the smoke it kicked made the scene invisible. That wreck fest harvested twenty-three cars. After the smoke settled, the view was like a movie. Wrecked cars were scattered all across the back straight.

At the end of the race, only 17 out of 60 cars were able to finish the race. This forces NASCAR to reduce the field in the next year to 50. In the next years, the numbers kept dropping all the way to 43 and then 40 in 2016.

Who is the top driver of the Geico 500?

Dale Earnhardt takes the cake with ten wins at the Talladega 500. He is said to be the greatest driver in the Talladega 500 history.

His very first win was in 1983. On that day, in 2 hours, 55 minutes, and 52 seconds, Earnhardt crossed the finish line in his Ford (number 15.) He won nine more races in 1984, twice in 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, twice in 1999, and a final one in 2000.

  • Top fives (23)
  • Top 10s (27)
  • Top 20s (29).

Sadly, he died on the final lap of 2001 Daytona 500. Being brought to the hospital right away, he still passed away due to head injury.

What is the fastest Talladega 500 ever run?

Bill Elliot won the 1985 Talladega 500 at an average speed of 186.288 mph, setting the record that would only be broken in 1997 by Mark Martin (188.354 mph.) Bill qualified for the 1985 race at 209 mph. And two years later, in 1987, he qualified at 212.809 mph, the fastest qualifying lap at Talladega ever. This record still stands because of the restrictor plates rule.


This 2022 Geico 500 ended with Ross Chastain winning the checkered flag. He is driving for Trackhouse Racing Team, and it is his second win in 2022.

After the race, he said “I’m always the one going to the top too early, making the mistake. There at the end it was like eight to go, I was like, I’m not going up there again. I did that a couple times today. I was like, I’ll just ride on the bottom.”

Talladega Superspeedway has seen a lot of changes throughout its history, but one thing remains constant: it is still the most fearsome track on the NASCAR calendar.