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Kyle Busch applauds Christopher Bell’s Chili Bowl win

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It’s no secret Kyle Busch loves winning races.

The next best thing is when one of his drivers takes a checkered flag.

The 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion is celebrating in a big way after one of his drivers, Christopher Bell, won the legendary Chili Bowl Midget Nationals Saturday night in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Bell drives in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports – co-owned by Kyle and wife Samantha – including finishing third in the Truck standings this past season.

And while he’s won two Truck races in his young career, the 22-year-old Bell has always hoped to win the Chili Bowl.

Not only is it arguably the most prestigious midget car race in the sport, the Chili Bowl is also held in Oklahoma, Bell’s home state.

While the Chili Bowl takes place on a unique indoor track in Tulsa, Bell is a native of Norman, about 115 miles southwest, just south of Oklahoma City. He’s been going to the annual mid-January classic for most of his life, first as a spectator and in recent years as a competitor.

The younger Busch brother took to Twitter following his young protégé’s big win Saturday night. Here’s a couple of the more interesting tweets.

Saturday was Bell’s fourth time in the Chili Bowl’s A-Feature main event. Now that he is a Chili Bowl champion, he plans to return for next year’s 32nd edition to try for back-to-back wins, much like Rico Abreu did in 2015 and 2016.

And even though Busch hasn’t said anything, one might wonder that now with Bell having the highly coveted Golden Driller trophy for winning Saturday night, might his NASCAR Trucks team owner start thinking about climbing behind the wheel and potentially joining Bell in the Chili Bowl fun next year?

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Kyle Busch wins pole for Truck Series race at Atlanta

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Kyle Busch won the pole for Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, his second Truck Series pole at the track.

Driving his No 4. Toyota, Busch put down a top speed of 179.743 mph.

Matt Crafton qualified second with a speed of 179.220 mph.

“My lap was pretty good, certainly felt more stuck (to the track) the first time around than the second time around,” Busch told Fox Sports 1. “We even picked up a little bit of time on that second one. … We were really, really tight here last year and made some good changes to it through the offseason with notes and things and coming back here better prepared.”

The top five is completed by Noah Gragson (179.214), Spencer Davis (178.862) and Justin Haley (178.775).

Gragson and Davis give Kyle Busch Motorsports three of the first four starting spots.

Johnny Sauter, who won last week at Daytona, will start ninth.

Busch’s pole is his second of the weekend. He also won the pole for Sunday’s Cup Series race.

The Active Pest Control 200 begins at 4:30 p.m. ET on FS1.

Click here for the starting lineup.

Christopher Bell on Xfinity pole at Atlanta

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HAMPTON, Georgia — Rookie Christopher Bell qualified first for Saturday’s Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway with a 181.176-mph lap in his No. 20 Toyota.

it’s the second pole in 10 starts for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.

Joey Logano was second in his No. 22 Ford, followed by John Hunter Nemechek, Cole Custer and Kevin Harvick.

Click here for the Xfinity Series qualifying results and click here for the Xfinity lineup by row.

The Xfinity race will start at 2:16 p.m. ET, starting a doubleheader with the truck series at Atlanta.

Sunday’s Atlanta race moved to 1:06 p.m. ET start with threat of weather

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HAMPTON, Georgia – The threat of inclement weather has moved up the start of Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway by an hour.

NASCAR announced Saturday morning that the green flag will fall on the second race of the 2018 season at 1:06 p.m. ET.

Races become official after the second stage. The second stage of Sunday’s 500-mile race will end on Lap 170 of 325.

The wunderground.com site calls for an 80 percent chance of rain Sunday with the forecast worsening from 10 a.m.

Martin Truex Jr., Jimmie Johnson top list of drivers docked practice

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HAMPTON, Georgia — Martin Truex Jr. and Jimmie Johnson both will be held during the final Cup Series practice Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Because his No. 78 Toyota failed to clear prequalifying inspection three times Friday, Truex will miss the final 30 minutes of the 80-minute session that will begin at noon ET. Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet will be out for the last 15 minutes because it failed the new Optical Scanning Station twice.

Harrison Rhodes also will miss 15 minutes for failing inspection twice. Jeffrey Earnhardt, Gray Gaulding Jr., Michael McDowell and Cole Whitt each will miss 15 minutes because they were late to qualifying inspection.

NASCAR changed its policy on how practice holds will be conducted this season. Instead of serving the penalty in the pits at the start of the session, drivers will park their cars for the length of the penalty up until the end of the session.