This past week, Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia hosted night races for all three NASCAR premier series. On Friday night the Camping World Truck Series held the Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 200. The Nationwide Series ran their NRA American Warrior 300 on Saturday night and the Sprint Cup Series’ AdvoCare 300 was featured on Sunday night.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Tony Stewart received a $3,400 check for winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the AdvoCare 500 with a lap of 186.121 mph. This is the No. 14 Chevrolet driver's 14th pole in 489 NSCS races. It is his first pole and ninth top-10 start in 2012. This is Stewart's first pole in 26 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He led eight laps, had handling problems most of the race and finished one lap down in 22nd place.
Did Not Qualify:
No. 98 Michael McDowell, No. 26 Josh Wise, No. 33 Stephen Leicht and No. 19 Mike Bliss.
Denny Hamlin won the AdvoCare 500, his 21st victory in 248 NSCS races. This is the No. 11 Toyota driver's fourth victory and 13th top-10 finish in 2012. It is his first victory and fifth top-10 finish in 13 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Hamlin, who also won the race at Bristol last week, leads all drivers in the series with four wins this season. He is seventh in the 2012 NSCS point standings.
- Denny Hamlin won the $5,400 3M Lap Leader Award for leading the most laps (105 of 327).
- Toyota Racing Development won the $5,000 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award (Hamlin’s No. 11).
- Denny Hamlin won the $5,000 American Ethanol Green Flag Restart award for recording the fastest average speed on restarts and finishing the race on the lead lap.
- Denny Hamlin’s crew chief, Darian Grubb, won the DIRECTV Crew Chief of the Race award. The $5,000 cash award is presented to the crew chief of the driver who demonstrates the best qualifying and race finish for each event. Hamlin started the No. 11 Toyota seventh in the lineup and won the race.
- Chad Johnston, crew chief on Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 56 Toyota, won the Moog Problem Solver of the Race award. The $5,500 award goes to the crew chief that improves the most from the first half of the race to the second half utilizing the 40 best lap times (improved 0.229 seconds). Truex started 28th in the lineup and finished fourth.
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the $5,000 USG Improving the Finish Award which goes to the driver who improves the most from start to finish. Earnhardt started 35th in the lineup and improved 28 places to finish in seventh place.
- Denny Hamlin won the $5,000 Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Race award given to the winner of the race or the next-highest finishing driver displaying the Mobil 1 decal.
Greg Biffle leads the point standings by 8 points over Dale Earnhardt Jr.
NSCS Top 12 (G/L):
(*) 1. Greg Biffle 0
(*) 2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. +1
(*) 3. Matt Kenseth +1
(*) 4. Jimmie Johnson -2
(*) 5. Martin Truex Jr. 0
(*) 6. Brad Keselowski +1
(*) 7. Denny Hamlin +1
(*) 8. Clint Bowyer -2
(*) 9. Kevin Harvick 0
10. Tony Stewart 0
11. Kasey Kahne 0
12. Kyle Busch +1
(*) Clinched a spot in the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Next NSCS Race:
Federated Auto Parts 400, Saturday (night), September 8th at Richmond International Raceway.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
NASCAR Nationwide Series
Sprint Cup driver Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award for the NRA American Warrior 300 with a lap of 176.280 mph. This is the No. 54 Toyota driver's 24th pole in 237 NNS races. It is his first pole and eighth top-10 start in 2012. This is Busch's third pole in nine NNS races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He led two laps and finished the race in seventh place.
Did Not Qualify:
No. 72 John Jackson.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the NRA American Warrior 300, his sixth victory in 97 NNS races. This is the No. 6 Ford driver's fourth victory and 18th top-10 finish in 2012. It is his first victory and third top-10 finish in three races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Rookie of the Race:
Austin Dillon, the No. 3 Chevrolet driver, started ninth and finished sixth. This was ahead of the rest of the 2012 Rookie of the Year contenders earning him the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award.
- Justin Allgaier makes the most improvement in the series since his fifth place finish was 25 places better than his last NNS finish. This earned the No. 31 Chevrolet driver a $2,600 check and the Featherlite Most Improved Driver award.
- Elliott Sadler won the $2,000 Mobil 1 Driver of the Race award given to the winner of the race or the next-highest finishing driver displaying the Mobil 1 decal. He started the No. 2 Chevrolet seventh in the lineup and finished fourth.
- Kevin Harvick won the $2,200 3M Lap Leader award as the eligible driver leading the most laps (157 of 195) in the No. 33 Chevrolet.
- Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines won the $2,100 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award. They built the engine in Harvick’s No. 33.
Elliott Sadler leads the point standings by 12 points over Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
NNS Top 10 (G/L): (no change this week)
1. Elliott Sadler 0
2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0
3. Sam Hornish Jr. 0
4. Austin Dillon 0
5. Justin Allgaier 0
6. Michael Annett 0
7. Cole Whitt 0
8. Mike Bliss 0
9. Brian Scott 0
10. Danica Patrick 0
Next NNS Race:
Virginia 529 College Savings 250, Friday (night), September 7th at Richmond International Raceway.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series:
Ty Dillon won the Keystone Light Pole Award for the Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 200 with a lap of 177.357 mph. This is the No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado driver's second pole in 17 NCWTS races. It is his second pole and 11th top-10 start in 2012. This is his first pole at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Did Not Qualify:
No. 37 Jeff Green, No. 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb and No. 57 Norm Benning.
Ty Dillon won the Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 200, his first victory in 17 NCWTS races. This is the No. 3 Chevrolet Silverado driver's 12th top-10 finish in 2012. It is his first victory and first top-10 finish in his first start at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
In addition to winning the race, Ty Dillon’s team won all contingency race awards. Dillon won $2,300 for the Keystone Light Pole Award, the $1,500 Mobil 1 Driver of the Race award and the Sunoco “Rookie of the Race" award. Dillon also won the $2,200 Featherlite “Most Improved Driver” award for finishing 20 places better than his last NCWTS race. Earnhardt Childress Racing Engines, supplier of the engine in the No. 3 Chevrolet, won the $1,900 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award.
Timothy Peters leads the standings by 6 points over James Buescher.
NCWTS Top 10 (G/L):
1. Timothy Peters 0
2. James Buescher 0
3. Ty Dillon 0
4. Parker Kligerman +1
5. Justin Lofton -1
6. Joey Coulter +1
7. Matt Crafton -1
9. Nelson Piquet Jr. +1
9. Ron Hornaday Jr. -1
10. Jason White 0
Next NCWTS Race:
American Ethanol 200, Saturday (night), September 15th at Iowa Speedway.