Wood Brothers set to reach key milestone at Talladega

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The Wood Brothers are one of the most legendary teams in NASCAR lore.

With 1,419 starts, 98 wins, 337 top-five and 522 top-10 finishes and 116 poles, the team’s 61-year history has been marked with success throughout.

But nowhere is that success more pronounced than on superspeedway tracks – those of two miles or more in length.

The Wood Brothers have won 36 times on superspeedways: 15 at Daytona, 11 at Michigan, twice at Pocono and three times at the now defunct Ontario Motor Speedway.

And then there’s Talladega Superspeedway, where the longtime Virginia-based family racing operation has compiled five wins.

Providing driver Trevor Bayne qualifies on speed, Sunday’s Geico 500 at ‘Dega will mark a significant milestone in Wood Bros. annals: its 400th superspeedway start.

“Getting to 400 superspeedway starts isn’t just another number,” Eddie Wood, one of the team’s current co-owners, said in a team media release. “It’s something we are proud of.

“It shows that our team has performed consistently well on those size tracks. We’ve always had more success on the bigger speedways. They just seem to suit us for some reason.”

Nine drivers have earned superspeedway wins for the Wood Bros. over the years: NASCAR Hall of Famers David Pearson (18) and Cale Yarborough (6), A.J. Foyt (4), the late Neil Bonnett (3), and one each by Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett, Tiny Lund, Donnie Allison, Buddy Baker and Bayne, who earned the team’s most recent superspeedway triumph in the 2011 Daytona 500.

Team founder Glen Wood and long-time crew chief Leonard Wood are both also in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

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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)