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Daniel Suarez eligible to compete in the Clash at Daytona

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NASCAR has confirmed that Daniel Suarez is eligible to compete in the Advanced Auto Parts Clash on Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway.

Suarez is the replacement for Carl Edwards in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 19. He is eligible for the 75-lap exhibition race due to NASCAR citing the unique situation of JGR having prepared a car with sponsorship prior to Edwards’ surprise departure from the sport.

Edwards had qualified for the race through his career best six poles in 2016.

Clint Bowyer, who is replacing Tony Stewart in the No. 14, is not eligible for the event due to Stewart-Haas Racing knowing about Stewart’s retirement ahead of time and not preparing a car.

In December, Hendrick Motorsports announced Alex Bowman would drive the No. 88 in the Clash after he won the pole for the fall race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Greg Biffle is eligible for the event, but does not have a ride announced for 2017.

Drivers can become eligible for the Clash in four ways:

Winning a pole the previous season, being a previous Clash winner, being a past Daytona 500 pole-winner and qualifying for the previous season’s Chase.

Here are the drivers eligible for this year’s Clash.

2016 Coors Light Pole Awards winners (14)
Greg Biffle, Alex Bowman, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon, Carl Edwards (Daniel Suarez), Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr.

Former Clash Race Winners (2)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Tony Stewart (retired)

Former Daytona 500 Coors Light Pole Award winners (1)
Danica Patrick

2016 Chase drivers (3)
Chris Buescher, Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray

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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.