NASCAR America: How Joe Gibbs built a racing empire; also fan questions

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Joe Gibbs was our special guest on Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America.

The show, which originated from the NASCAR Hall of Fame, took Gibbs through a walk down memory lane during the one-hour episode.

Sure, Gibbs won three Super Bowls as a legendary Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach with the Washington Redskins, but Wednesday’s appearance wasn’t about football.

Rather, one of the biggest — and most key aspects of his career — was how Gibbs reflected back on how Joe Gibbs Racing was built.

It’s not commonly known, but Gibbs grew up a gear head. He was drag racing in his teens — while also sowing the seeds for his legendary football career. When he decided to go NASCAR racing in 1991, he started small. To the point where he not only never envisioned his company becoming as large or as successful as it has become in 26 years, but even if it would survive financially in the first few years.

Another thing about Gibbs not too many people know: when he dipped his feet into the NASCAR world, he also owned a NHRA drag racing team that had both a Top Fuel dragster and Funny Car for several years before deciding to focus all his motoring oversight on his quickly growing NASCAR operation.

Gibbs has influenced a number of drivers that have driven for him over the years, not to mention the hundreds of individuals that have worked for him — including many who are still with Joe Gibbs Racing since its origination.

One of those that Gibbs had a most profound impact upon was NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett, who related the high esteem he holds his former boss in.

“(Gibbs) and my dad are the two most influential people I’ve ever met in my life,” Dale Jarrett said.

See that excerpt in the video above.

Also, Gibbs revealed during Wednesday’s episode what some of his greatest achievements have been in NASCAR, how he manages completely opposite personalities, from Kyle Busch to Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth to Daniel Suarez.

Check out that particular segment in the video below.

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 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.