After the wild ride that was the Daytona 500, the Monster Energy Cup Series moves to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.

Even before the race has begun the drama has started. NASCAR penalized drivers who cannot make it through the inspection process in a timely manner. But also in the rule book it states that any team who cannot pass inspection after the third try will also loose a crew member.

After failing pre-qualifying inspection three times, the number 78 car driven by Monster Energy Cup Series Champion Martin Truex Jr will run the race without his car chief and will have to start the race at the back of the field because he was not allowed to make a qualifying run. Harrison Rhodes also did not make a qualifying run and will start the race from the back of the field.

NASCAR and FOX announced a time change for the race in order to try and beat the inclement weather that was expected; however mother nature had other plans and came earlier and the start of the race has been delayed while NASCAR dries the track.

Only 36 teams brought cars to Atlanta this week for the race; the lowest number of cars in a Monster Energy Cup Series race since 1996.

After three rounds of qualifying that put several top drivers in the back of the field, Kyle Busch puts his number 18 M&Ms/Snickers car on the pole.

The starting lineup for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500:
Kyle Busch
Ryan Newman
Kevin Harvick
Daniel Suarez
Brad Keselowski
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Kurt Busch
Kyle Larson
Clint Bowyer
Erik Jones
Aric Almirola
Denny Hamlin
Jamie McMurray
Kasey Kahne
Paul Menard
Joey Logano
Michael McDowell
Alex Bowman
Darrell Wallace Jr
Trevor Bayne
AJ Allmendinger
Jimmie Johnson
William Byron
Chris Buescher
Austin Dillon – moved to the back of the field for a gear change
Ryan Blaney
Chase Elliott
Ty Dillon
David Ragan
Matt DiBenedetto
Gray Gaulding
Cole Whitt
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Ross Chastain
Martin Truex Jr
Harrison Rhodes

NASCAR has announced a competition caution for lap 30. NASCAR considers it a complete race after they have reached the end of stage two.

Stages one and two of the race will be 85 laps each with stage three lasting 155 laps for a total of 325 laps around the mile and a half track.

After a rain delay of a little over two hours, the track is dry and the drivers are ready to race.

After winning his first Atlanta pole, Kyle Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of the race but it is Ryan Newman who gets out in front for to lead the first lap.

Lap three and Ryan Newman has pulled out to a lead of three quarters of a second.

Lap six Ryan Newman continues to lead the race by three quarters of a second over Kyle Busch with Daniel Suarez in third, Brad Keselowski in fourth, and Kurt Busch in fifth.

Lap nine Ryan Newman holds on to his three quarters of a second lead over Kyle Busch.

After starting at the back of the field, Austin Dillon has moved up to 21st place in 13 laps and Martin Truex Jr has moved up to 15th.

Lap 14 Ryan Newman has increased his lead to over a second on Kyle Busch; Daniel Suarez is in third, with Kevin Harvick in fourth.

Lap 19 Kyle Busch passes Ryan Newman for the lead.

Lap 21 Kevin Harvick passes Kyle Busch for the lead with Ryan Newman in third, Kurt Busch in fourth, and Daniel Suarez in fifth. Ryan Truex Jr is in the top 10 in eighth place. Austin Dillon is in eighteenth.

Lap 23 Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a lead of a second on Kyle Busch.

Chase Elliott is reporting a brake vibration.

Lap 25 Kevin Harvick has increased his lead to nearly two seconds on Kyle Busch.

Lap 27 there are 33 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 28 Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a lead of over three seconds as the teams on pit road prepare for the upcoming pit stops.

Jeffrey Earnhardt brings his car down pit road with a flat tire.

The competition caution flag flies at the end of lap 30, erasing a Kevin Harvick lead of over two seconds.

The flat tire from Jeffrey Earnhardt’s car was shredded.

With a pit stop of 14.9 seconds Kevin Harvick wins the race off of pit road with Kyle Busch right behind him after a 15 second pit stop.

After Harrison Rhodes got the “lucky dog” only Jeffrey Earnhardt and Gray Gaulding are laps down.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 36 and holds on to the lead of the race with Ryan Newman in second, Martin Truex Jr in third, and Joey Logano in fourth.

Lap 37 Kevin Harvick has already pulled out to a half second lead over Ryan Newman.

Lap 39 Kevin Harvick’s lead is a half second over Ryan Neman with Martin Truex Jr in third, Joey Logano in fourth, and Kurth Busch in fifth. Pole sitter Kyle Busch is in seventh.

Lap 42 Martin Truex Jr passes Ryan Newman for second place with Kevin Harvick continuing to lead the race.

Lap 46 Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a lead of a second and a half over Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 50 Kevin Harvick has increased his lead to over two seconds on Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman is in third, Kyle Busch is fourth and Kurt Busch is in fifth.

Lap 57 Kevin Harvick continues to dominate at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a two and a half second lead on Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 58 all four the of the Stewart-Hass Racing cars are in the top 10 – 1st, fourth, fifth, and ninth.

Lap 60 Kevin Harvick now has a three second lead on Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 63 Kevin Harvick leads Martin Truex Jr by three seconds with 30 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 64 Kevin Harvick has increased his lead to nearly four seconds on Martin Truex Jr.

Fifteen laps remaining in stage one and the top five are Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, and Kurt Busch.

Kevin Harvick is running away with the race, he has a lead of nearly five seconds on Martin Truex Jr.

Eleven laps remaining in stage one, Kevin Harvick has a lead of over four and a half seconds on team mate Clint Bowyer with Martin Truex Jr in third, Kyle Busch in fourth, and Brad Keselowski in fifth. There are 23 cars on the lead lap.

Joey Logano is reporting a vibration.

Seven laps remaining in stage one and Kevin Harvick’s lead is down to three and a half seconds over Clint Bowyer.

Lap 80 Ryan Newman brings his car down pit road after hitting the wall.

Kevin Harvick’s lead is back over four seconds on Clint Bowyer. There are 19 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 82 Kevin Harvick’s lead is now over five seconds with only 18 cars on the lead lap. Harvick has now put half the field a lap down.

Kevin Harvick wins stage one by over six seconds.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Kevin Harvick
Clint Bowyer
Bread Keselowski
Martin Truex Jr
Aric Almirola
Kyle Busch
Kyle Larson
Kurt Busch
Denny Hamlin
Joey Logano

After Erik Jones misses being lapped by inches, Jimmie Johnson is the “lucky dog”.

Brad Keselowski wins the race off of pit road. Kevin Harvick came out in sixth place.

Ryan Blaney was charged with a crew member coming over the wall too soon, Erik Jones ran over an air hose, and Alex Bowman was caught speeding on pit road.

Kevin Harvick’s team has an issue with the air gun.

Kevin Harvick has to restart the race the last car on the lead lap in 19th after having to make a second trip down pit road to ensure all the lug nuts were tight.

Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 94 and pulls out in front of Martin Truex Jr for the lead.

Kyle Busch has a track bar issue and cannot make adjustments from within his car.

Lap 98 Brad Keselowski is getting challenged by Kurt Busch who is only a tenth of a second behind in second.

Kevin Harvick is in 15th place as he begins to move through the field after the restart.

Lap 101 Kurt Busch passes Brad Keselowski for the lead.

Lap 109 Kurt Busch has a second and a half lead over Brad Keselowski. Kevin Harvick has moved up to eighth place.

Lap 113 Kurt Busch has a lead of nearly a second on Brad Keselowski. Kevin Harvick is now in seventh place.

Lap 120 Kurt Busch has a half second lead on Brad Keselowski. Kevin Harvick is now in third place less than two seconds behind.

Lap 125 Kurt Busch’s lead is down to less than half a second on Brad Keselowski with Brad Keselowski in second and Kevin Harvick in third.

Lap 125 drivers get three wide for the lead with Kurt Busch holding on to the lead.

Lap 126 Kevin Harvick passes Kurt Busch to retake the lead of the race.

Kyle Larson brings his car down pit road with a tight condition.

Martin Truex Jr also brings his car down pit road for service beginning a cycle of green flag pit stops.

Several teams are reporting handling issues.

Lap 127 Kevin Harvick has already pulled out to a lead of three quarters of a second over Brad Keselowski.

Lap 131 Kyle Busch is the only car on the lead lap because he was the only driver who has yet to pit.

Once Kyle Busch pits, Kevin Harvick will resume the lead of the race.

Lap 137 Kevin Harvick has a one second lead on Brad Keselowski with Kurt Busch in third, Kyle Larson in fourth, and Martin Truex Jr in fifth. There are 19 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 140 Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a lead of a second and a half on Brad Keselowski.

With 26 laps remaining in stage two, Jimmie Johnson goes a lap down in 19th place.

Lap 145 Kevin Harvick is leading by two seconds.

Lap 153 Kevin Harvick leads by over two and half seconds and continues to lap cars – there are only 17 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 155 Kevin Harvick leads by nearly three seconds with Brad Keselowski in second, Kurt Busch in third, Denny Hamlin in fourth, and Kyle Larson in fifth. There are 16 cars on the lead lap.

Jimmie Johnson brings the caution flag out on 159 when he spins out after a possible tire issue.

With the end of the stage less than 20 laps away, drivers bring their cars down pit road for service.

Brad Keselowski wins the race off of pit road.

During his pit stop, Martin Truex Jr’s team had an issue with getting the lug nuts tight. The team is reporting an air gun issue.

Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart with only seven laps remaining in stage two. After a bad restart, Kevin Harvick falls back to fifth place.

Lap 165 Brad Keselowski has a one second lead on Kurth Busch with Kyle Busch in third, Joey Logano in fourth, and Kevin Harvick in fifth.

Brad Keselowski wins stage two.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Brad Keselowski
Kurt Busch
Kyle Busch
Joey Logano
Kevin Harvick
Denny Hamlin
Kyle Larson
Aric Almirola
Clint Bowyer
Daniel Suarez

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for fresh tires and service.

Kurt Busch wins the race off of pit road.

Kurt Busch brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 178 and holds on to the lead. Kevin Harvick restarts the race in fifth place.

After getting the “lucky dog”, Alex Bowman had to make a green flag pit stop with a tire issue

Lap 182 Kurt Busch holds on to the lead with Brad Keselowski in second one second behind.

Lap 184 Kurt Busch holds on to the lead but Kevin Harvick has moved up to third place.

Lap 188 Kurt Busch has a one second lead on Brad Keselowski.

Teams have been told that there is more rain on the way and they are racing the weather – anywhere from a few minutes to half an hour.

With 131 laps to go Kurt Busch is being challenged by Brad Keselowski for the lead. Kevin Harvick is in third.

With 127 to go Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski battle it back and forth for the lead with Kevin Harvick a third of a second behind.

With 124 to go, Kevin Harvick passes Kurt Busch for second and is only half a second behind leader Brad Keselowski.

Spotters are chattering about rain drops, but so far nothing on the track.

One hundred and twenty to go, Brad Keselowski holds on to the lead with Kevin Harvick in second, Kurt Busch in third, Kyle Busch in fourth, and Clint Bowyer in fifth.

With 116 laps remaining in the race, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick briefly swapped the lead but Keselowski holds on to the lead of the race by a narrow margin.

There are 114 laps remaining in the race, drivers begin making green flag pit stops.

With 108 laps to go, Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano are the only drivers who have not made a pit stop.

Denny Hamlin leads the race with Joey Logano in second, Kevin Harvick in third, Brad Keselowski in fourth, and Kyle Busch in fifth.

When Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano finally made their pit stop, Kevin Harvick had pulled within eight seconds of the leaders.

Kevin Harvick takes over the lead of the race with 99 laps remaining in the race when Hamlin and Logano come down pit road.

With 92 laps remaining in the race Kevin Harvick has his number four Ford out in front of the field.

With 85 laps to go, Kevin Harvick has a seven second lead on Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch is in third, Clint Bowyer in fourth, and Kurt Busch in fifth.

After their pit stops Denny Hamlin is up to eighth place and Joey Logano is in eleventh.

Eighty to go and Kevin Harvick had a lead of nearly eight seconds on Brad Keselowski. There are only eleven cars on the lead lap.

Only 76 laps to go, Kyle Larson is the first driver to make a green flag pit stop as he begins the next cycle of pit stops.

When Kevin Harvick makes his pit stop, Denny Hamlin takes over the lead of the race.

There are 66 laps remaining in the race with 10 cars on the lead lap. Kevin Harvick returns to the track in third place behind Hamlin and Joey Logano. Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

With 62 laps to go, Denny Hamlin has a lead of less than three seconds over Kevin Harvick.

With 60 laps to go Kevin Harvick has closed the lead to less than a second and passes Denny Hamlin to take over the lead of the race.

One lap later, Kevin Harvick has pulled out ot a lead of over a second.

With 58 laps remaining in the race Kevin Harvick’s lead is now two and a half seconds over Denny Hamlin with Brad Keselowski in third, Joey Logano in fourth, and Kyle Busch in fifth.

With 56 to go, Kevin Harvick’s lead is not up to three and a half seconds over Denny Hamlin.

With 51 laps to go Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano bring their cars down pit road for service.

Kevin Harvick has a lead of over 10 seconds on Brad Keselowski with Clint Bowyer in third, and Kyle Busch in fourth.

There are only eight cars on the lead lap.

There are 46 laps to go, Kevin Harvick has a 10 second lead on Brad Keselowski with Clint Bowyer in third, Kyle Busch in fourth, and Kyle Larson in fifth with six cars on the lead lap.

Forty two to go, Kevin Harvick’s lead is nearly eleven seconds with five cars on the lead lap.

Forty to go, fifth place driver Kyle Larson makes a pit stop to begin the next cycle of green flag pit stops.

Kevin Harvick’s lead is now over 12 seconds.

Thirty eight to go, Kevin Harvick makes his green flag pit stop. Denny Hamlin resumes the lead less than three seconds ahead of Harvick.

AJ Allmendinger brings his car down pit road with a flat tire.

With 35 laps to go, Kevin Harvick passes Denny Hamlin for the lead and quickly pulls out to a lead of over a second.

There are nine cars on the lead lap.

Trevor Bayne brings out the caution flag when his engine blows up with only 29 laps remaining in the race. Trevor Bayne left a massive amount of smoke when his engine blew.

Bubba Wallace’s car also has some significant damage to his car when he makes contact with Ricky Stenhouse Jr after getting caught up in the smoke from Bayne’s car.

With 26 laps to go the drivers comes down pit road for service. There are only nine cars on the lead lap

Kevin Harvick wins the race off of pit road.

Kevin Harvick brings the field down for the green flag restart with only 21 laps remaining in the race. Kevin Harvick gets out in front of the field while drivers are getting three and four wide behind him.

Twenty laps to go and Kevin Harvick has a half second lead on Brad Keselowski.

Eighteen to go and Harvick’s lead is over a second on Keselowski.

Fifteen to go, Harvick’s lead is over a second and a half.

There are 14 cars on the lead lap.

Ten to go, Harvick has pulled out to a lead of nearly two seconds.

Eight to go, Harvick has a lead of nearly three seconds on Brad Keselowski.

Five to go, Kevin Harvick has a lead of two and a half seconds over Brad Keselowski.

Three to go and Kevin Harvick has a three second lead on Brad Keselowski with 13 cars on the lead lap.

Kevin Harvick takes the white flag.

In a win that hasn’t happened since he began driving in the Monster Energy Cup Series, Kevin Harvick wins the race for his second win at Atlanta.

Making his victory lap, Kevin Harvick gave a salute to Dale Earnhardt Sr. In 2001 Richard Childress asked Harvick to take over driving duties in what became the 29 car after the death of Dale Earnhardt Sr at Daytona. Harvick went on to a very emotional win in Atlanta for his first Cup win. While he has dominated a number of races, Harvick has not won a race in Atlanta until today.

The unofficial results of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500:
Kevin Harvick
Brad Keselowski
Clint Bowyer
Denny Hamlin
Martin Truex Jr
Joey Logano
Kyle Busch
Kurt Busch
Kyle Larson
Chase Elliott
Erik Jones
Ryan Blaney
Aric Almirola
Austin Dillon
Daniel Suarez
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Paul Menard
William Byron
Jamie McMurray
Aex Bowman
Kasey Kahne
Ryan Newman
David Ragan
Michael McDowell
Chris Buescher
Ty Dillon
Jimmie Johnson
Cole Whitt
AJ Allmendinger
Ross Chastain
Matt DiBenedetto
Darrell Wallace Jr
Harrison Rhodes
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Trevor Bayne
Gray Gaulding

And the rains came down…

Advertisements