Chris Fontaine Inc.-84-CWT

Chris Fontaine Inc.-84-CWT

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Date:

Kevin Harvick blew an engine in Saturday’s practice for the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500. He will be forced to the back of the pack when the team makes an engine change. He will give up his outside pole start. Prior to blowing, Harvick had the fastest single lap of practice at 191.054 mph.

Under normal circumstances that might be a huge deficit, but with Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, and Tony Stewart failing to post a qualification lap, there will be a lot of drivers coming from the back.
Feb 28 - 12:33 PM

Sprint Cup regular Joey Logano will not only start Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race on the pole but he also won the Coors Light Pole Award for today's XFINITY Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

His lap of 184.162 mph in the No. 22 Discount Tire Ford Mustang earned him his 27th pole in 136 NASCAR XFINITY Series races. It is his first pole in five XFINITY Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Feb 28 - 11:58 AM

In 21 previous starts at Atlanta, Biffle has scored 10 top-10s and another four top-15s, but he rarely finds the very front of the pack. Biffle has only three top-fives, the best of which was a third in 2005.

Biffle should only be used by fantasy players if he fits a specific niche on their roster. Otherwise save him for Kansas, Bristol, or Michigan where he has his three-best career-average finishes.
Feb 28 - 11:54 AM

Paul Menard has finished on the lead lap three times in four previous Atlanta attempts with Richard Childress Racing. His best result with this team was an eighth in 2012.

Menard can find the front of the pack on occasion because he also has a seventh with Dale Earnhardt Inc. in his inaugural attempt and a fifth with Richard Petty Motorsports in 2010. His career average is 20.5, which makes this his seventh-best track in that regard.
Feb 28 - 11:15 AM

On Sunday, Regan Smith will make his first start at Atlanta since the 2012 season. He finished 14th that afternoon racing for Barney Visser.

Notably, Smith lost his ride with Visser to make room for Kurt Busch. Now Smith is subbing for the suspended Busch and probably wants to make a statement. Intangibles such as that are hard to quantify, but they are real and powerful.
Feb 28 - 11:04 AM

Since joining Michael Waltrip Racing in 2012, Clint Bowyer has consistently struggled at Atlanta. His career-best finish with this team was a 27th in 2012 and his last two efforts ended in the high 30s.

Bowyer has not gotten off to a much stronger start this week with a 25th-best effort in qualification. That position would probably have been worse if not for 13 cars that failed to clear the inspection line, so Bowyer is probably best left in the garage. His all-time career best on this track is sixth, which he earned four times. The most recent occasion was back in 2009.
Feb 28 - 10:57 AM

Trevor Bayne has made 22 previous starts on NASCAR’s similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks and has one top-10 to show for his effort. That strong run came Las Vegas in 2012 when he finished ninth after starting 25th.

This week, Bayne starts a little deeper in the field in 29th and it is his first attempt with Roush-Fenway Racing. There are several drivers at his level and below who are more predictable, so it might be prudent for fantasy players to wait a week. NASCAR visits Las Vegas after Atlanta.
Feb 28 - 10:50 AM

Michael Annett will replace Brian Scott in the No. 33 this week, according to a tweet from the track.

Annett is attempting to run the entire schedule while Scott is not and he was one of the 13 drivers who failed to clear inspection yesterday. He will take his sponsor to the No. 33 and add some resources to the lightly-funded team. Annett will have to start at the back of the pack due to the driver change, but his starting position will officially be listed as 32nd and games that offer place differential points will be based on that.
Feb 28 - 10:44 AM

The No. 44 that Travis Kvapil was scheduled to drive this weekend at Atlanta has been recovered, according to tweets from the team’s account. The car was jettisoned without any damage, but the thieves apparently kept the trailer, spare engine, and parts.

The car was probably the most difficult piece to sell, but it was also the most expensive. Team 44 has plans to be in Las Vegas next week for the Kobalt 400.
Feb 28 - 10:30 AM

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will concentrate on finishing better than 20th this week at Atlanta. In 22 previous starts on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks, he has finished worse than he qualified in nearly 75 percent of his attempts.

In his two previous Atlanta starts, he has fared better. Stenhouse won the pole in 2013 and finished a more-than-respectable 16th. Last year, he improved from 26th to 20th and that grid position might have been a more likely result in qualification this week if not for the large number of cars that failed to clear inspection.
Feb 27 - 10:09 PM

Danica Patrick returns to the track where she recorded a career-best finish last year. After starting 27th in the Oral-B USA 500, she fell off the lead lap for a time, but managed to get her car right in the closing laps and finish sixth.

This week, she earned her best qualification position at Atlanta and rolls off the grid 18th. If she can stay on the lead lap all day and keep up on the adjustments, it is not out of the question that she might earn her first career top-five.
Feb 27 - 10:03 PM

Austin Dillon qualified 15th for the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500. It is the second consecutive Atlanta Cup race for which he qualified among the top 15.

In his third start on this track, Dillon is still seeking his first lead lap finish. He was 19th in 2013 and 24th last year, but one lap off the pace each time. With track position, he could achieve that goal if the cautions wave at the right time
Feb 27 - 9:58 PM

When Tony Stewart failed to clear inspection Friday afternoon, it forced him to take a position based on owner points. He will roll off the grid 39th, which is the worst he has ever started at Atlanta.

His next-worst start came in 2001 when he rolled off the grid 35th. He blew an engine five laps from the end and finished 27th. Stewart also finished second once after starting 32nd, so all hope is not lost.
Feb 27 - 9:53 PM

Aric Almirola recorded two top-10s on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks last year with Richard Petty Motorsports.

Almirola’s best finish came at Kansas in the 5-Hour Energy 400, but he also finished in the top 10 at Atlanta with a ninth. He is far from a sure thing, however, because Almirola finished outside the top 20 in his last four attempts on this track type.
Feb 27 - 9:52 PM

Matt Crafton has the best 10-lap consecutive average speed in final practice for the Camping World Truck Series Hyundai Construction Equipment 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The average speed of 176.268 mph in the No. 88 Toyota Tundra was best of the eight trucks that ran 10 consecutive laps on the track for this session. No. 05 John Wes Townley, No. 19 Tyler Reddick, No. 29 Brad Keselowski, No. 23 Spencer Gallagher, No. 11 Ben Kennedy, No. 86 Brandon Brown and No. 08 Korbin Forrister are the rest on this list.
Feb 27 - 7:12 PM


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