Tony Stewart returns to Talladega one year after snarky, “Figure 8” comments (VIDEO)

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Tony Stewart made headlines in Talladega last year for two reasons.

In April, his legendary snark and wiseacre nature came to the forefront when he said, “We didn’t crash enough cars” and suggested the race should be run on a “Figure 8” course. See the above video for more.

In October, he single-handedly attempted to rectify those sarcastic comments when he made contact with Michael Waltrip, and started the traditional “Big One” that took out more than a dozen cars.

As this is the first Gen-6 race at Talladega, and after a mild Daytona 500 but one where Stewart was involved with an accident, it will be interesting to see what headlines the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion will generate this time around.

Ideally, he’ll be hoping it will be for surviving the inevitable carnage. Stewart is off to a slow start in 2013, ranking only 22nd in the points standings with one top-10 finish in the first nine races.

Indy 500 qualifying: Today’s schedule, TV times, how the 33-car field is set

Indy 500 qualifying schedule
Doug Mathews/IndyCar
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The 33-car field of the 104th Indianapolis 500 will be set through the two-day Indy 500 qualifying schedule Saturday and Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Today’s session will determine the nine cars that will compete for the pole position and starting positions 10-30.

On Sunday, the pole position then will be determined in a Fast Nine Shootout (the top nine qualifiers also received NTT IndyCar Series points).

All on-track activity will be on NBC Sports Gold’s IndyCar pass (click here for streaming Saturday and here for Sunday), and Indy 500 qualifying will be on NBC from 3-5 p.m. ET Saturday and Indy 500 pole qualifying from 1-3 p.m. ET on NBC.

Last year, Simon Pagenaud captured the pole position on the way to winning last year’s Indy 500.

Qualifying speeds at Indianapolis Motor Speedway are determined by a four-lap average around the 2.5-mile track.

Here is the Indy 500 qualifying schedule and how to watch on TV:

Saturday, Aug. 15

5:30 a.m. – Garage opens

6 a.m. – Tech inspection

8:30-9:30 a.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice (NBC Sports Gold)

11 a.m.-5 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 qualifying (NBC Sports Gold; NBC coverage from 3-5 p.m.; NBCSN 5-6 p.m.)

7:30 p.m. – Garage closes

Sunday, Aug. 16

8 a.m. – Garage opens

9 a.m. — Tech inspection

11-11:30 a.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice (NBC Sports Gold)

1:15-2:15 p.m. – Fast Nine pole qualifying (NBC begins at 1 p.m., NBC Sports Gold)

3:30-6 p.m. – Indianapolis 500 practice (NBCSN, NBC Sports Gold)