Hornaday, Bodine, Crafton and Buescher comment on their top-five finishes at Darlington.
The GarageCam gang tries to tackle a place that has been called 'The Track Too Tough to Tame .'
JGR teammate discusses challenges of being out of the car for an injury Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live HAMPTON, Ga. – Denny Hamlin says he has a pretty good idea of what Kyle Busch, his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, is going through these days. Busch, 29, suffered a compound fracture of his lower right leg and a mid-foot fracture of his left foot in a crash during the Feb. 21 NASCAR XFINITY Series race, the Alert Today Florida 300, at Daytona International Speedway. He has undergone surgeries on both injuries and is currently recuperating at home. It is not known when he will be able to return to competition. Hamlin missed four Sprint Cup Series races in 2013 when he suffered a back injury in a last-lap crash at Auto Club Speedway. "I talked to him this week," Hamlin said Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, site of Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (FOX, 1 p.m. ET). "A little bit after Daytona, just talking about our cars and what I thought we felt. Kind of keeping him up to date with where we're at. But I haven't talked to him this weekend. "My guess is he's on plenty of pain medication and that's making him feel pretty good." Hamlin said the difficult part for Busch would likely be rehabilitation as Busch's body continues to heal. That and dealing with the emotions of being sidelined for so long while unable to go about his normal daily routine. "I know that personally," Hamlin said. "When you break something or something like that, the initial days you're like 'this isn't so bad, I can survive that,' but the rehab and going through all that is really going to be a challenge for him. "The biggest thing is just fighting your emotions and not getting all torn up about not being able to do the things that you were normally able to do. I was in a wheelchair for just a couple of days, he's probably going to be there for awhile so … the mental challenge will probably be the toughest thing he'll have to overcome." Two-time NACAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton filled in for Busch in the season-opening Daytona 500, finishing 18th in the team's No. 18 Toyota. Earlier this week, JGR officials named David Ragan the team's interim driver for the next several weeks. Ragan, a two-time winner in the Sprint Cup Series, will start 17th in Sunday's race. Eighteen-year-old Erik Jones is filling in for Busch this weekend in the organization's No. 54 entry in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. Jones was originally slated to compete in 10 XFINITY events this year, with his next scheduled start coming at Auto Club Speedway. The series visits Las Vegas and Phoenix before the Auto Club stop, and JGR officials have not announced its driver plans for the No. 54 XFINITY Series team beyond this weekend. 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
No. 10 driver finished sixth at Atlanta in 2014, now ranks 18th in standings Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live HAMPTON, Ga. -- Danica Patrick, 21st a week ago in the season-opening Daytona 500, returns to the site of her best finish in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race this weekend as teams prepare for Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway (1 p.m. ET, FOX). Patrick, beginning her third season of full-time Sprint Cup competition, finished sixth here last August, one of four top-10 results since she debuted in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 10 Chevrolet. It's her fifth race with crew chief Daniel Knost after SHR made a crew chief swap late in the '14 season. Knost had previously worked with teammate Kurt Busch while Patrick's efforts had been under the direction of veteran Tony Gibson. "It went good the last time," Patrick said Friday of her last visit to the 1.54-mile track. "It probably sucked before that. That's just the way racing is -- sometimes you're good and sometimes you're not." Teams spent almost four hours on the track Thursday, testing the new 2015 rules package in two separate sessions. Patrick ended the first 18th on the board and was 14th in the final session. Patrick called Thursday's efforts "a good, steady day." "We found some things that were good and some ... that weren't as good," she said. "I feel like in a race weekend, if you can find one or two good changes to your race car that don't hurt it in ... any way but help it somewhere ... that you have a shot at a decent weekend and being competitive." Her first outing with Knost atop the pit box "was kind of a disaster," she said, referring to a 36th-place finish in the fall race at Texas last season. But the team closed the year with a 22nd-place result on the one-mile Phoenix layout and an 18th a week later in the season-ending stop at Homestead-Miami Speedway. She finished 28th in points, one spot below her 2013 results. At Daytona this year, where track position is often dictated by the whims of the draft, Patrick ran as high as the top 10 as well as outside the top 25. The same could be said for many of those competing in the season-opening event. She enters this weekend’s race 18th in the standings, with 83 career starts in the series. It's still a learning process, and the potential for continued improvement exists. "It is our unrealized potential that is exciting to me," she said. "It is my fourth year in stock cars (she ran a partial Sprint Cup schedule in '12 while competing fulltime in the XFINITY Series), and my third year in Cup. It's Daniel's sixth year in NASCAR and his second year as a crew chief. We don't have a ton of experience and you would think that there is only 'up' to go. "The potential of where we could end up and where we can get to is encouraging." 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
Matt Crafton took the lead on an early set of pitstops and was able to hold his ground to get his first win of 2015.
Keep tabs on the activity at Atlanta Motor Speedway This week brings the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series , the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series to Atlanta Motor Speedway . The Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 will be held on Sunday, March 1 at 1 p.m. ET with coverage on FOX. The XFINITY Series Hisense 250 is on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. ET with coverage on FOX Sports 1. The Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 is on Saturday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m. ET with coverage on FOX Sports 1. For more information on track times, press conferences and GarageCam, you can check out the full weekend schedule . We know you may not have the time to watch the race action without any interruptions, so if you're on the go, here's how to keep up at Atlanta. NASCAR.com's live Sprint Cup Series leaderboard , XFINITY Series leaderboard and Camping World Truck Series leaderboard update in real-time and offer constant text updates of lead changes, cautions, strategies, strong runs and everything in between. From the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series leaderboard, fans can also access live standings . On the go? Download the NASCAR Mobile app to follow the leaderboards live from your device. Lap-by-Lap will keep you caught up even if you can only take a peek here or there. Check in to read back through all the laps you've missed, or keep an eye on the feed for real-time race updates. We'll also send race updates via Twitter through the official @NASCAR and @NASCARStats handles. RaceBuddy will have enhanced views and coverage for the Sprint Cup Series and for most XFINITY Series races with 10 HD live race views, including six in-car cameras as well as a backstretch camera, pit road camera and more. Haven't tried RaceView yet? If you sign up, you'll get virtual video of cars on the track from various angles and hear what your favorite team is saying over the radio in both the Sprint Cup and select XFINITY Series races. Use it as a second screen or as your only screen. Just want to scan the radios? You can have that too with Scanner (formerly RaceView Audio). On a mobile device? Get RaceView Mobile here . If you want to be more involved in the on-track action, you can manage your fantasy team on NASCAR.com and follow your team's performance in NASCAR Fantasy Live . Mobile users can also download NASCAR Connect , a game from OneUp Sports that allows users to play other fans with race predictions for some off-track competition while drivers battle it out on the track. Live Press Pass video streams will keep the NASCAR action rolling even after the winner goes in and out of Victory Lane. Catch interviews with the top finishers and series champions immediately following the checkered flag for all three national series events, and stay tuned to NASCAR.com throughout the week for the latest news. FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
See what tough drivers make the list and what they did to get them there
The 1960s: Building tracks from Charlotte to Alabama
Veteran to drive for JGR starting with Atlanta Sprint Cup race Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live Joe Gibbs Racing announced Tuesday that David Ragan will serve as interim driver in place of injured Kyle Busch for the next several weeks beginning this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The team said in a statement that Ragan, a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran, will run JGR's No. 18 Toyota as Busch recovers from multiple lower-leg injuries suffered in a crash Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. Matt Crafton, champion in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series the last two seasons, finished 18th as a last-minute fill-in for the season-opening Daytona 500. Front Row Motorsports and sponsor CSX accommodated Ragan's move, according to JGR. Ragan is expected to return to the team later this season. A spokesperson for Front Row Motorsports said there was "no announcement yet" regarding their plans for the No. 34 Ford at Atlanta. Erik Jones will pilot the No. 54 Toyota at Atlanta in the NASCAR XFINITY Series for JGR. Busch was expected to compete in the XFINITY Series' Hisense 250 (Saturday, 2 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) at Atlanta in JGR's No. 54 Toyota. An announcement on who will drive the No. 54 following the Atlanta race will be made at a later date, according to the team. "We appreciate being able to work with Front Row Motorsports and CSX for David's (Ragan) availability," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We are fortunate to be able to have someone of David's caliber behind the wheel while Kyle recovers. Erik is a big part of our future at JGR and we will be increasing his schedule in the XFINITY Series beginning this weekend in Atlanta and seeking the earliest opportunity to provide him Cup experience. We appreciate all the support we have received from the NASCAR community including our fans and we look forward to getting Kyle back in the car as soon as possible." Kyle Busch's wife, Samantha, wished David Ragan luck on Twitter after the news was announced. Thx to David 4 filling in for Kyle. @JacquelynRagan is 1 of my best friends n they r the nicest ppl in the world,wishing them much success! — Samantha Busch (@SamanthaBusch) February 24, 2015 Ragan, 29, drove the Front Row Motorsports' No. 34 Ford in Sunday's Daytona 500 and has competed in the last three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series seasons, bringing the Statesville, North Carolina-based team its only premier series victory in May 2013 at Talladega Superspeedway. Before his tenure at Front Row, Ragan raced for Roush Fenway Racing from 2007-2011. Interesting enough, Ragan was teammates with current JGR drivers Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards as recently as the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season, while all three were at Roush Fenway. Jones, a three-time winner in Truck Series competition last year and a four-time winner in his career, was in consideration for the ride in Sunday's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (1 p.m. ET, FOX), which would have made him the first active NASCAR Next driver to make a Sprint Cup start. Ultimately, JGR went with Ragan, a driver with eight full seasons of top-division experience and home-state ties, having grown up in Unadilla, Georgia, roughly 100 miles south of the Atlanta track. Busch, also 29, was released from a Florida hospital Tuesday for further treatment at a facility near his North Carolina home. The move came three days after the NASCAR XFINITY Series opener at Daytona, where Busch suffered a compound fracture of his lower right leg and a broken left foot, indefinitely placing him on the sidelines. Ragan's transition to the Gibbs team marks an abrupt shift in manufacturers, as his 291 career starts in the Sprint Cup Series have all come in Fords. It also creates a domino-effect vacancy at the Bob Jenkins-owned Front Row organization, which expanded to three full-time teams in the offseason with David Gilliland and Cole Whitt filling the other two seats. Ragan finished 17th in Sunday's Daytona 500, placing him 16th and in the final spot in the provisional Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup postseason grid after the season's first race. Per NASCAR rules, if one driver switches teams during the 26-race regular season, the driver remains eligible for Chase consideration as long as he remains in the top 30 in points. Jones ranks second in the Camping World Truck Series points after his runner-up finish in the Daytona opener. He's scheduled to compete in the full truck season for Kyle Busch Motorsports, and was expected to race in 10 XFINITY events for Joe Gibbs Racing. NASCAR.com's Zack Albert contributed to this report 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
Looks to build on breakout win at Daytona