Daytona 500 winner and runner-up will line up 1-2 at Atlanta RELATED: Full race lineup " Photos of the full 43-car field HAMPTON, Ga. -- When you're hot, you're hot. Joey Logano, last week's Daytona 500 winner, didn't slow down one iota on Friday in the first competition of the year at an open-motor track. With a lap at 194.683 mph in the final round of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series knockout qualifying at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Logano put his No. 22 Team Penske Ford on the pole for Sunday's Fold of Honor QuikTrip 500 (1 p.m. ET on FOX). Logano toured the 1.54-mile intermediate speedway in 28.477 seconds, .131 seconds faster than the lap at 193.793 mph posted by reigning Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick. Jamie McMurray was third fastest at 193.623 mph. Denny Hamlin (193.400 mph) qualified fourth for the second race of the season, followed by new Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Carl Edwards (193.137 mph). Like Logano, Jeff Gordon was hot, but for a completely different reason. Gordon was one of 13 drivers whose car failed to clear inspection before time trials began, even though NASCAR delayed the start of qualifying for 15 minutes. Accordingly, Gordon was not allowed to make a qualifying attempt in the first round. The list of those who failed to pass pre-qualifying inspection included three other past champions: Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart. Logano and his team, on the other hand, did everything right. And he defied conventional wisdom on a track with old pavement that typically abrades tires. Logano posted his fastest lap of the session in the third and final round. "Our first run today in practice, we were faster on our second run on scuffs, so I knew that the grip would stay in the tires for at least two runs," said Logano, who won his first Coors Light Pole Award at Atlanta and the ninth of his career. "I didn't know about the third run, but apparently the third run also… "It was probably right at the limit, though. Probably the next run after that, it would have taken a pretty big jump down." Though Harvick qualified second, he believes he'll have a strong long-run car in Sunday’s race. Even so, Harvick felt he left some speed out on the race track. "I just did a bad job," he said. "In Round 1 I missed Turn 1, and in the last round, I missed Turn 1 again and just didn't get to the bottom like I needed to in order to get back in the throttle." Note: Mike Wallace, Matt DiBenedetto, Michael Annett and Reed Sorenson failed to qualify for Sunday's race. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today
Rachel Rupert catches up with Joey Logano after he captures his first Coors Light Pole Award of 2015, only a week after securing his first DAYTONA 500 victory.
Suarez involved in wreck during second group of first round in qualifying Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Related: Full qualifying results Austin Dillon won the Coors Light Pole Award at Daytona International Speedway for the NASCAR XFINITY Series season-opening Alert Today Florida 300. The 2013 XFINITY Series champion posted a lap of 190.251 mph in the final round of the three-round group qualifying session at Daytona. Justin Marks will join Dillon on the front row. Chad Boat and Brendan Gaughan will comprise Row 2, while Aric Almirola and Erik Jones will make up Row 3. A large crash occurred in the second group of the opening round with Daniel Suarez, Tanner Berryhill, Carlos Contreras, Harrison Rhodes, Landon Cassill and Blake Koch among the cars involved in the wreck. The No. 18 car of Suarez was pretty torn up and he had to go to a backup car. Seven cars did not make the race, including Rhodes, Contreras and Berryhill. Following the crash Kyle Busch, who is teammates with Suarez told FOX Sports 1 of the group qualifying, "This is not what it needs to be. Somehow, someway, this isn't right." Busch later added, "you don't want to see cars wrecking in qualifying. The show is the race." Shortly after the crash, qualifying was putting into a holding pattern due to some rain in the area. That delayed last about 40 minutes. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was not in the actual crash but in the group where it took place, had a slower time as a result and will start 40th, the last spot in the field. He got that spot as a result of his champions provisional in the series. Something he joked about on Twitter. Guess I'm gonna use that champions provisional today. #ThingsYouSayAt40 — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) February 21, 2015 The group qualifying procedure for Daytona, adjusted by NASCAR on Wednesday, saw the first round consist of four groups with each group alloted two minutes and 30 seconds to complete a lap. Once a vehicle started rolling off pit road, it couldn't stop and had to proceed to the track. The fastest 24 advanced to the second round with consisted of two groups, which the same time frame as the first round. The top 12 moved on to the third and final round. This same format was used in Friday's Keystone Light Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NextEra Energy Resources 250. The Alert Today Florida 300 will be Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET with TV coverage on FOX Sports 1. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Miss Coors Light catches up with Jeff Gordon after he secured the Coors Light Pole Award for the second time in the DAYTONA 500.
Brian Scott lines up second to Team Penske driver RELATED: Full lineup for the Hisense 250 Joey Logano won the Coors Light Pole Award on Saturday for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway (2 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). This is the Team Penske driver's first pole award at Atlanta and the 27th of his XFINITY Series career. Along with winning the Daytona 500 last week, Logano also grabbed the Coors Light Pole Award for Sunday's Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX). Lining up next to Logano on the front row will be Richard Childress Racing driver Brian Scott. Regan Smith, Kyle Larson and Matt Kenseth round out the top-five starters. Chase Elliott, reigning XFINITY Series champion, will line up ninth at his home track. The XFINITY Series will return to the track at 2 p.m. ET for the Hisense 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway with TV coverage on FOX Sports 1.
Get full lineup of NASCAR programming for the week RELATED: See the full weekend schedule All times ET Monday, March 2 5:30 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lane (re-air), FOX Sports 1 10 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Fields of Honor QuikTrip 500 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 2 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Fields of Honor QuikTrip 500 (re-air), FOX Sports 2 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBC Sports Network 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 8 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Tuesday, March 3 10:30 a.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 250 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 2:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 250 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 5:30 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBC Sports Network 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 7 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Wednesday, March 4 3 a.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 1 4 a.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 (re-air), FOX Sports 1 5:30 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBC Sports Network 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 7 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub (re-air), FOX Sports 2 Thursday, March 5 5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBC Sports Network 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1 6:30 p.m., NASCAR America: Celebrate the States 3 (re-air), NBC Sports Network Friday, March 6 2 p.m., A Perfect Storm: The 1979 DAYTONA 500, FOX Sports 1 3 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1 4:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, FOX Sports 1 5:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition, FOX Sports 1 6 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, FOX Sports 1 7:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1 Saturday, March 7 2 a.m., NASCAR America: Celebrate the States 3 (re-air), NBC Sports Network 2:30 a.m., NASCAR America: Celebrate the States 3 (re-air), NBC Sports Network 3 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice (re-air), FOX Sports 1 4:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), FOX Sports 1 10 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), FOX Sports 1 11:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 2 12:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 2 2 p.m., The 10: NASCAR's Greatest Races (re-air), FOX Sports 1 2:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, FOX Sports 1 3:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Day: XFINITY Series, FOX Sports 1 4 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Boyd Gaming 300, FOX Sports 1 Sunday, March 8 3 a.m., 1979 DAYTONA 500, FOX Sports 1 3:30 a.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series: Boyd Gaming 300, FOX Sports 1 2 p.m., NASCAR Race Day, FOX Sports 1 3 p.m., NASCAR Race Day: Las Vegas, FOX 3:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400, FOX 3:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400, FOX Deportes 1 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1 MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today
Get a breakdown of how the full 43-car field fared in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live 1. Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. Finding his way to clear air on the race's final restart, Johnson got all the encouragement he needed over the team's in-car radio: "Leg it, baby. Leg it." The six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion did, pulling away to his fourth victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the 71st of his career in NASCAR's top series. Sign up for Scanner today to hear in-car audio. " Sign up for Scanner today to hear in-car audio 2. Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. The defending Sprint Cup champion had to carve his way from the back of the field after suffering engine failure during Saturday practice, but was perched atop the leaderboard by the 87th lap in the 325-lap distance. Harvick wound up leading a race-high 116 laps in recording his second runner-up finish in two races thus far in 2015. " WATCH: Johnson holds off Harvick for the win 3. Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. Junior has opened the season by going 2-for-2 in posting third-place finishes despite sustaining front-end damage Sunday when he ran into a piece of debris in the late going. Though he consistently was near the front of the pack, Earnhardt led just one lap all afternoon. " WATCH: Dale Jr.: Crew chief Ives is 'a pretty good cheerleader' 4. Joey Logano, No. 22 Ford, Team Penske. The Daytona 500 champ continued his hot streak by winning the Coors Light Pole Award on Friday. Though he lacked the power to mount a challenge over the final green-flag run, Logano will enter next Sunday's Kobalt 400 (3:30 p.m. ET, FOX) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as the Sprint Cup points leader. " WATCH: Out Front with Miss Coors Light 5. Matt Kenseth, No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. The JGR driver -- who led 10 laps Sunday and lined up second for the final restart -- watched his losing skid stretch to 46 races (dating back to 2013) after a slight fade just before the checkered flag. 6. Martin Truex Jr., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing. The modest rejuvenation continues for Truex and the Colorado-based team owned by Barney Visser. The Furniture Row bunch registered just five top-10 finishes in all 36 races last year; two races into 2015, Truex and Co. already have a pair of single-digit results. " MORE: Truex looks to put 2014 woes behind him 7. AJ Allmendinger, No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG-Daugherty Racing. A strong finish on an intermediate track helped lift the spirits of the single-car organization, which qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoffs for the first time last year. After just two races, Allmendinger is slotted in a tie for eighth in the series standings. " MORE: Chase Grid after two races 8. Brett Moffitt, No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing. The former NASCAR Next driver needed to receive the free pass two times to do it, but Moffitt closed the deal on the lead lap on a day of firsts for his career-best finish in just his eighth Sprint Cup start. Brian Vickers is scheduled to return to MWR's No. 55 ride next weekend at Las Vegas. 9. Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Ford, Team Penske. The 2012 champion had hopes for a top-five finish, but his aspirations were also tempered with temporary resignation over what he thought could have been a subpar 15th-place result. "We were just kind of up and down and floating all day long," Keselowski said after settling for somewhere in the middle of his expectations in ninth place. 10. Ryan Newman, No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing. Newman appeared sunk after absorbing significant damage in a four-car crash on Lap 257, but hard work from his RCR crew in making repairs buoyed Newman to a surprising top-10. 11. Aric Almirola, No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports. After opening up 2014 with patchwork finishes of 39th, 15th, 25th, third and 43rd, Almirola has some consistency to crow about this season. "That's a big head start from last year!" Almirola tweeted after his second straight top-15 finish pushed him into a tie for eighth in Sprint Cup points. " MORE: Follow drivers on Social Drive 12. Carl Edwards, No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. Edwards was the beneficiary of the race's next-to-last yellow flag, helping him recover from a seemingly disastrous flat tire in the 274th lap for a lead-lap finish. 13. Paul Menard, No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing. The Wisconsin native couldn't shake the unluckiest of numbers, starting and finishing 13th as the final driver on the lead lap. 14. Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. The track that produced Kahne's last-ditch clincher into the Chase field last September wasn't so kind this time around. A pit-road penalty for a rolling-tire infraction in the 293rd lap forced the Hendrick Motorsports driver to make a pass-through on pit lane during green-flag conditions. 15. Casey Mears, No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing. Sunday's top-15 finish wasn't quite the windfall the Germain team received from Mears' sixth-place run in the Daytona 500, but the solid day kept its driver in the same position in Sprint Cup points -- sixth. 16. Danica Patrick, No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. Atlanta provided the backdrop for Patrick's career-best Sprint Cup finish of sixth place last season. While 16th place marked a slip in performance, the effort -- coupled with 21st place the previous week at Daytona -- launched Patrick into the final spot on the provisional Chase grid. 17. Regan Smith, No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. Smith's second start as a substitute for suspended Kurt Busch had nearly the same result as the first, just one spot lower than his 16th place in the Daytona 500. The degree of difficulty may have been greater at Atlanta, though, after Smith's No. 41 was crumpled in a multicar fracas 20 laps from the end. " WATCH: Big wreck brings out the red flag 18. David Ragan, No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. Ragan pushed the No. 18 car up into the top five in the early stages of his first start as a fill-in for injured Kyle Busch, but said he was "a little timid" in making needed adjustments as the 500-miler went on. "I felt like we had a good, solid top-10 car and things just didn't shake out," Ragan said. 19. Trevor Bayne, No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing. Bayne was at the head of the Roush Fenway class at Atlanta, but frustrated in finishing two laps down. The midpack result left him hoping to see the team's determination rewarded soon. "I see a lot of people trying to work together and that's where it starts," Bayne said. "We obviously haven't seen any results as far as speed is concerned." 20. Justin Allgaier, No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports. Allgaier made the most of his survival instinct after two instances of evasive action in the race's late stages. The second-year driver brushed the wall avoiding the Lap 257 pile-up that snared four cars, then dipped to the apron to dodge the Lap 305 snarl that grabbed seven more competitors. 21. Sam Hornish Jr., No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports. Inopportune timing put Hornish in the path of debris from Austin Dillon's blown tire in the 60th lap. Damage to the front end jolted the grille and left the RPM No. 9 crew fighting an uphill battle for most of the race; his own flat tire and a later brush with the wall only compounded the trouble. 22. David Gilliland, No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports. Gilliland pressed on after a bump from behind in the four-car crash on the 257th lap. He also stayed on the track during the race's fourth yellow flag to lead a lap for the first time at Atlanta since March 2010. 23. Alex Bowman, No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing. After failing to qualify for the season-opening Daytona 500, Bowman opened his season at Atlanta as one of the biggest movers in a race filled with them. The second-year Sprint Cup driver gained 19 spots from his starting position. 24. Clint Bowyer, No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing. Bowyer gained track position by staying on the track late in the race, but his day went from sour to downright acidic in a hurry. An engine issue developed with around 35 laps left, just before the race's final crash engulfed him with 20 to go. 25. Greg Biffle, No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing. The Biff fought an ill-handling car most of the day, but lost the most ground when he overcooked his entry into Turn 3 on the race's next-to-last restart, igniting the race's biggest crash. 26. Kyle Larson, No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing. The site of an eighth-place finish last season held much higher promise for 2014's Sunoco Rookie of the Year, but sustaining plenty of contact in the race's biggest crash near the finish prompted Larson to tweet afterward: "Such a frustrating race. Top 5 car but had no luck." " MORE: Follow drivers on Social Drive 27. Michael McDowell, No. 95 Ford, Leavine Family Racing. The small, family-owned team found some solace in McDowell's best result in five career starts at Atlanta, marking the first time he was running at the finish at the 1.54-mile venue. 28. Brendan Gaughan, No. 62 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. The Jay Robinson-owned start-up team recovered after failing to qualify for the Daytona 500 with Brian Scott. It marked the occasion of Gaughan's first Sprint Cup start since August 2013. 29. Michael Annett, No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport Racing. Annett and Co. struck an 11th-hour deal to jump in the Joe Falk-owned ride after his regular HScott Motorsports No. 46 ride missed out on Coors Light Pole Qualifying. The last-minute move kept his goal of a complete Sprint Cup season alive. 30. Tony Stewart, No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing. Stewart was one of several drivers who started near the back of the pack after issues clearing Friday's pre-qualifying inspection. Smoke grappled with handling woes for much of the race, but matters got worse with involvement in the event's final multicar crash. 31. Mike Bliss, No. 32 Ford, GoFAS Racing. The 49-year-old veteran stayed on the track during a pair of early caution periods to pace two laps, marking his first lap led in the Sprint Cup Series since March 4, 2012 (Phoenix). It also was the first time since August 27, 2005 (Bristol) that Bliss has led multiple laps in a Sprint Cup race. 32. Josh Wise, No. 98 Ford, Phil Parsons Racing. Wise was among the first bitten by the new pit road officiating system, incurring a Lap 28 penalty for crew members coming over the wall too soon. Though seven laps down, Wise managed his best finish in three career starts at Atlanta. 33. Joe Nemechek, No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports. The man with the Front Row nickname made his first appearance in Front Row Motorsports equipment, but contact from Greg Biffle's spin left his car and hopes dented for his first Sprint Cup event of the year. 34. JJ Yeley, No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing. Slight damage from debris early in the race slowed Yeley, who managed to improve upon the 40th-place result from the season-opening Daytona 500. 35. Jeb Burton, No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing. As the only rookie in the 43-car field, Burton made his Sprint Cup debut, forging on after a mid-race scrape with the wall. 36. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing. Stenhouse played the role of pinball in the race's biggest crash; though several cars were involved, the No. 17 was the only one unable to continue. 37. Cole Whitt, No. 35 Ford, Front Row Motorsports. An engine that would've made a 400-mile distance couldn't quite withstand the full 500, first dropping a cylinder before expiring altogether, dumping fluid on the track and causing the race's next-to-last caution period. 38. Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing. Hamlin led twice for 14 laps, but found himself sideways in the middle of the track when he lost control on a late-race restart. Three more cars piled in, prompting Hamlin to offer sympathies: "I apologize to all those cars involved, but it's tough." " WATCH: Hamlin spins and collects several drivers 39. Austin Dillon, No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing. A pair of rear tire troubles in rapid succession, both of which sprayed debris on the 1.54-mile track, derailed Dillon's day. The second instance, with the car already laboring from earlier damage, sent the RCR No. 3 off into the muddy infield and later behind the wall for extensive repairs. " WATCH: Dillon spins after cutting a tire 40. Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing. After starting third, Jamie Mac didn't have visions of finishing in the bottom five Sunday at Atlanta. The tangle that also thwarted three others when Denny Hamlin lost control took him by surprise: "I didn't see any of that coming," McMurray said. "That was kind of out of the blue." 41. Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. The four-time champion drew a Lap 24 tribute from the track with his car number blanketing the main scoring pylon early on, but enduring a crash for the second straight week has his final full Sprint Cup season off to a ragged start. Finishes of 33rd at Daytona and 41st at Atlanta have relegated Gordon to a tie for 35th place in the points standings. " WATCH: Big wreck brings out red flag 42. Ron Hornaday Jr., No. 30 Chevrolet, The Motorsports Group. After failing to qualify for the Daytona 500, the four-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion made his first Sprint Cup start since 2003 on Sunday. The Curtis Key-owned start-up team parked just past the halfway point at Atlanta with a rear gearing malfunction. 43. Landon Cassill, No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Smith Motorsports. Starting last, Cassill seemingly had nowhere to go but up at Atlanta. Instead, the 25-year-old driver stayed level as the race's first retiree for the second straight week, posting consecutive 43rd-place finishes after two engine failures to start the season. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Get caught up before Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX) Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live What: 56th annual Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 . Where : Atlanta Motor Speedway, 1.54-mile oval in Hampton, Georgia. When: Sunday, March 1 p.m. ET. TV/Radio: FOX, PRN. Distance: 325 laps; 500.5 miles . Pit road speed: 45 mph . Caution car speed: 55 mph. Fuel window: 50-55 laps. On the front row " Starting lineup 1. Joey Logano, Team Penske No. 22 Ford. 2. Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet. Fastest in practice First practice: Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet (192.989 mph). " Full results Final practice: Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet (191.054 mph). " Full results To the rear: Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet (engine change); Michael Annett, Circle Sport Racing No. 33 Chevrolet (driver change) Driver rating (Best driver rating average at Atlanta based on the past nine years, minimum 5 starts): Jeff Gordon, 106.0 Jimmie Johnson, 104.9 Last year's winner: Kasey Kahne, Hendrick Motorsports No. 5 Chevrolet. Strange things: Between Travis Kvapil's stolen -- and then found -- No. 44 Sprint Cup Series ride, Denny Hamlin's motorcoach backed into by a runaway llama SUV, Rodney Childers' tow vehicle being the victim of a hit-and-run and who knows what else, Atlanta has gotten off to a strange start. Considering this is the race that saw a cat and/or squirrel run in front of Kevin Harvick on the track, there's no telling what could happen in Sunday's event. On a roll to the pole: Joey Logano, your Daytona 500 winner, backed up his first victory in the Great American Race by coming out strong in qualifying at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Team Penske driver earned the Coors Light Pole Award for both the Sprint Cup Series and XFINITY Series races. AMS has given Logano headaches in the past, but it appears he finally has a handle on the 1.54-mile speedway. Qualifying … or not: Plenty of big name drivers will be working their way up through the field after they failed to make it through technical inspection ahead of Coors Light Pole Award qualifying. With Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart -- not to mention Kevin Harvick, who will start from the rear for an engine change -- we'll see some fast, intense racing from the get-go as drivers fight their way through the field. They said it I: "This is a very rare occasion. This is the first one I have ever had. The engine shop does a great job. I am just glad that it happened today. Our Jimmy John's/Budweiser team is doing a great job and the car is handling good. If we were going to have something happen, this is a good place to have it happen because you can pass. … It will just make for a better show." -- Kevin Harvick on his blown engine They said it II: "Hopefully, we'll finish where we start. It's been an amazing few weeks if you think about the Daytona 500 and everything that comes along with that, and then coming down here to Atlanta and starting first is special, especially for me here at this race track. I remember sitting in the corner and watching drivers up here talking about their qualifying run and racing Legends cars out front here for years, so there are a lot of memories here. You guys see the picture over there (in the Media Center) when you walk in with David (Ragan) and Reed (Sorenson) when we were young and racing here. Obviously, anything to be in Victory Lane here; it's a very special place for me. I don't know what's going on lately. Everything is going well and we're just trying to keep the old train rolling here. It's going great and we'll see what happens on Sunday." -- Joey Logano They said it III: "I don't think she is interested in being a celebrity. I think that she enjoyed the moments of celebrity that she has gotten. Who doesn't like some attention? I think that for her it's more of kids telling her at school. Being seven and eight years old that well you are not going to be on TV anymore after this year. I think that sort of took her back. But it's been a good life lesson trying to teach her how to handle those types of situations." -- Jeff Gordon on daughter Ella Sofia, who received a Bandolero car from AMS to share with her brother Leo Former Atlanta winners in the field: Jeff Gordon (5); Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Tony Stewart (3); Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick (1). MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Get the on-track times for everything at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY Series head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a doubleheader of NASCAR action, while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series takes the week off. Check out the full schedule below. All times are ET THURSDAY, MARCH 5: LIVE EVENT -- 9 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series hauler parade on Las Vegas Blvd. ( Watch live ) FRIDAY, MARCH 6: ON TRACK -- 3-4:25 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Follow live ) -- 4:30-5:25 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Follow live ) -- 6-7:25 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Follow live ) -- 7:45 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1 ( Follow live ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- Post-NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying GARAGECAM ( Watch live ) -- 2:30 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series -- 4 p.m. ET: NASCAR XFINITY Series SATURDAY, MARCH 7: ON TRACK -- 11:30 a.m.-12:25 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 2 ( Follow live ) -- 12:45 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 2 ( Follow live ) -- 2:30-3:25 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, FOX Sports 1 ( Follow live ) -- 4 p.m.: NASCAR XFINITY Series Boyd Gaming 300, FOX Sports 1 (200 laps, 300 miles) ( Follow live ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- Post-NASCAR XFINITY Series race SUNDAY, MARCH 8: ON TRACK --3:30 p.m.: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt Tools 400, FOX (267 laps, 400.5 miles) ( Follow live ) PRESS CONFERENCES ( Watch live ) -- Post-NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today
Sunday was first race on an intermediate track under new package Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live HAMPTON, Ga. -- The rules have changed, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. said the cars remain the same. "This car is the same ol' car, man," the Hendrick Motorsports driver said after finishing third in Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "The rules changed a little bit, but (the cars) drive the same and actually qualified faster than we did last year. … It's a good race car. The rules aren't going to be that big of a deal." Sunday's race at the 1.54-mile track was the first for teams with the new package designed to lessen horsepower, downforce and drag. Tapered spacers, similar to those already in use in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, cut horsepower from approximately 850 to 725 and a lower differential gear (targeting 9,000 rpm) is in use. The spoiler, which affects the amount of downforce generated on the rear of the car, has been trimmed from 8 to 6 inches, and the width of the radiator pan underneath the car is 5 inches smaller this year. The goal is to make the cars less aero dependent and put more of the onus on the drivers. Less overall downforce should also allow Goodyear to producer a softer tire which would wear more during the course of a green-flag run and make tire management more crucial. "I believe that after about 15 or 20 laps we were really racing," Carl Edwards said afterward, "because the tires were worn out." Edwards finished 12th in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. He said he still believes NASCAR needs to continue taking downforce away from the cars. "We've got way too much speed in the center of the corner," he said. "There's not a lot of change, not a lot of opportunity to go down in the corner and over-drive it or under-drive it because you’ve got such high corner speeds. "It's no problem to drive, the problem is it's too easy. We need to cut those spoilers down and get rid of those splitters." AMS has always been a track that produced high speeds and plenty of tire wear and this year's Sprint Cup race proved to be no different in spite of the rules changes. Joey Logano's winning speed en route to winning the Coors Light Pole Award was 194.683 mph, faster than Aric Almirola's leading 191.278 mph set in the first round of qualifying here last fall. On Monday NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell said it is "still really early in the process" with the package, but noted the charge of eventual race winner Jimmie Johnson, who started 37th, through the field as well as several others in Sunday’s race. "I think (we saw) some really solid finishes, so we liked what we saw. Certainly some learnings that we'll take out of Atlanta. We'll apply those to the upcoming test in Charlotte and continue to look at ways we can continuously improve the racing." Sprint Cup Series teams travel to Las Vegas, another 1.5-mile venue, for this week's race. A two-day test session is currently scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, March 10-11, at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Teams participating in the Goodyear portion of the test on Tuesday, March 10, include one each from Hendrick Motorsports, Furniture Row Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports and BK Racing. At other 1.5-mile tracks such as Las Vegas, Charlotte and Texas, tire fall-off won't be as pronounced, race-winning crew chief Chad Knaus said. "But I do think this type of package will help Jimmie," he said. "I think it will be better for him with the lack of grip. When we go to some of these other race tracks, it's going to be a different format." One race isn't enough to determine the fault or value of the package, Edwards said, "but I really believe if NASCAR keeps going in that direction, taking downforce away, the racing is going to get better and better." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule