After an incredible Sunday of racing on the Streets of Chicago, NASCAR will hope to build on the momentum with another exciting race in the Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
For the first time in 60 years, a driver in their first NASCAR Cup start found their way to victory lane. Shane van Gisbergen – a New Zealand native driving for the part-time Project91 team at Trackhouse wheeled his way to an unlikely victory. Justin Haley finished runner-up unable to hold off the hard-charging SVG late in the race.
From an incredibly unique racing experience in NASCAR’s first street circuit, the Cup Series returns to the oval circuits most commonly found on the schedule. Atlanta, unlike many of the other 1.5-mile ovals on the schedule, runs much more like a superspeedway since its reconfiguration.
When NASCAR ran on AMS back in the Spring, Joey Logano dominated the race from start to finish – qualifying on pole before claiming victory. I’d expect the Penske Fords to run near the front again. Keep an eye on Corey LaJoie as well. The driver of the #7 has run in the top five twice in the three Atlanta races since reconfiguration. Check out the full entry list for Atlanta below.
As much as I think the race could set up an exciting finish on Sunday, spring showed us that it reconfigured Atlanta makes for difficulty passing. The NextGen car simply doesn’t handle superspeedway-style racing well and Atlanta Motor Speedway is no exception. I’m hoping for excitement come Sunday but outside of the last couple of laps, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Check out the full Quaker State 400 weekend schedule below. While the Cup and Xfinity Series take on Atlanta Motor Speedway, ARCA and the Craftsman Truck Series find themselves at Mid-Ohio making for a nice contrast in racing.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Qualifying (Mid-Ohio) – 3:30 p.m. CT on FS1
Zinsser SmartCoat 150 (ARCA Menards Series – Mid-Ohio) – 5:00 p.m. CT on FS1
O’Reilly Auto Parts 150 (NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series – Mid-Ohio) – 12:30 p.m. CT on FS1
NASCAR Xfinity Series Qualifying (Atlanta) – 3:05 p.m. CT on USA
NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying (Atlanta) – 4:35 p.m. CT on USA
Alsco Uniforms 250 (NASCAR Xfinity Series – Atlanta) – 7:00 p.m. CT on USA
Quaker State 400 (NASCAR Cup Series – Atlanta) – 6:00 p.m. CT on USA