Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Kyle Busch gained two places in the standings after Richmond, climbing from sixth to fourth. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 31 points, is three points behind third-ranked Carl Edwards and leads fifth- ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. by one point.
TALLADEGA RECORD: 18 career starts, 1 win, 4 top-5s, 5 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: First in spring 2008. Finished 37th in this race last year and was fifth in the fall Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Busch, who turns 29 on Friday, has historically struggled at Talladega, which can be seen by his 37th-place finish in this race last year. However, dig deeper into the stats and he's finished second, third and fifth in three of his last four races there. Here's his thoughts on Sunday's race: "It's such a crapshoot there in the last 20, 30 or 40 laps that you never really know who is going to win, what's going to happen and where the wreck is going to come from. The key there is to somehow stay out of trouble. You stay where the pack is, generally, and we get up single file on the wall at times until it's time to go, and you can pretty much run wide open every single lap. ... If you can be a contender and stay in line on the bottom, you can make it a pretty easy and safe race. Normally, guys are not content doing that, so that's when it starts to get crazy."
LOOKING BACK: Busch failed to lead any laps at Richmond, but still had an outstanding race, finishing a close third to former teammates Joey Logano and Jeff Gordon.
ETC.: Busch has completed just 89.4 percent (3,062) of the 3,424 total laps contested in 18 career starts at Talladega. His average start there is 20.8 and average finish is an almost identical 21.9. He has five DNFs there.
88 DALE EARNHARDT JR., Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: Former points leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. fell one position in the standings after Richmond, from fourth to fifth. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 32 points, is one point behind fourth-ranked Kyle Busch and leads sixth-ranked Joey Logano by 17 points.
TALLADEGA RECORD: 28 career starts, 5 wins, 10 top-5s, 14 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: First in fall 2001, spring and fall 2002, spring 2003 and fall 2004. Finished 17th in this race last year and was runner-up in last fall's Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: After dominating at Talladega in the first half of the last decade with five wins in his first 10 starts there (his late father was a 10-time winner at 'Dega), Earnhardt has failed to return to victory lane in the subsequent 18 races there since. But after coming so close in last fall's race there, finishing second, his appetite is whetted to break that nearly 10-year winless drought. Here's his thoughts: "Talladega is really a special racetrack to the sport with the history of it and how it was conceived. The track eventually turned into one of the most impressive and unique, concerning speed, and how the style of racing that you have is so unique, it's just amazing what it has been able to deliver year after year. I enjoy going to Talladega. ... When I was young, out of all the tracks that I had the chance to go to, this was definitely one of my favorites to come to."
LOOKING BACK: Earnhardt led seven laps at Richmond but didn't quite have the race car to win it all, settling instead for seventh-place.
ETC.: Earnhardt has completed 92.9 percent (4,926) of the 5,304 total laps contested in 28 career starts at Talladega. His average start there is 15.2 and average finish is 14.6. He has five DNFs there.
22 JOEY LOGANO, Ford
Team: Penske Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: After falling four positions, from fourth to eighth, after Darlington, Joey Logano's win this past Saturday at Richmond allowed him to regain two of those lost positions and leave him in sixth-place heading into Talladega this weekend. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 49 points, is 17 points behind fifth-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. and leads seventh-ranked and Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski by five points.
TALLADEGA RECORD: 10 career starts, 0 wins, 2 top-5s, 4 top-10s, 1 poles. Best career finish: Third in fall 2009. Finished 35th in this race last year and was 16th in last fall's Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Logano has struggled in most of his last five starts at Talladega, with last fall's 16th-place finish his best since finishing fifth there three years earlier in the fall race. But coming off the momentum of his second win of the season, which all but assures him of making this year's revised Chase for the Sprint Cup format, Logano can now rest a little easier and maybe even experiment between now and the start of the Chase. Here's his thoughts on Sunday's race: "I think (Talladega) is a wild card race because there are a lot of times that your outcome is out of your hands. You might have a really fast car, but if you get stuck in the wrong lane or make one wrong move, you can drop back outside of the top 20. And if someone else makes a mistake, you can get swept up in it. But it's something that we've all come to deal with and understand. We just try and make the best of it as we are out there and try to keep ourselves in a good position to the end of the race. You want to win, but if you can come out of Talladega with the car in one piece and possibly a top-five or top-10 finish, it's a pretty successful weekend."
LOOKING BACK: Logano led 46 laps and joins Kevin Harvick as the second two-time winner in 2014 with Saturday's victory at Richmond. It was a big difference from the previous race, when he finished 35th at Darlington due to motor failure.
ETC.: Logano has completed 96.2 percent (1,833) of the 1,906 total laps contested in 10 career starts at Talladega. His average start there is 21.6 and average finish is 19.6. He has three DNFs there.
2 BRAD KESELOWSKI, Ford
Team: Penske Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Brad Keselowski remained in seventh place for the second consecutive week after Richmond. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 54 points, is five points behind sixth-ranked and Penske Racing teammate Joey Logano and leads eighth-ranked Jimmie Johnson by five points.
TALLADEGA RECORD: 10 career starts, 2 wins, 3 top-5s, 6 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: First in spring 2009 and spring 2012. Finished 15th in this race last year and was 29th in last fall's Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Keselowski took to Talladega right from the start, winning in his first Cup race there in 2009. While he's had rough finishes in his last two starts there, he's looking for a return to victory lane on Sunday. Here's his thoughts: "Talladega has been a great track for me. It has been the backdrop for a couple of self-defining moments. My first Cup victory comes to mind each time we head to Talladega. Our superspeedway program is strong and our Ford Fusions have speed. We came up just a little short at Daytona, so I am feeling particularly motivated this weekend. We will look to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves and do our best to be there at the end."