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Marco Andretti interested in possible Xfinity race with JR Motorsports

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It’s been seven years since a member of the Andretti family competed in a NASCAR race.

Marco Andretti has again indicated he’s interested in giving stock car racing a try.

The son of Michael Andretti, the IndyCar veteran said on Twitter Thursday he’s had conversations with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kelley Earnhardt Miller, co-owners of JR Motorsports, about “maybe” competing in an Xfinity race.

Andretti was answering a fan question about a potential ride in NASCAR.

In April, the 30-year-old driver said he’d talked with Stewart-Haas Racing owner Tony Stewart about dipping his toes into NASCAR

“I don’t think I should jump right to Cup,” Andretti told the AP. “I think there’s probably some Xfinity stuff that could be a possibility. ‘Smoke’ hates restrictor plate races to begin with, so he’s not very high on me wanting to do it. But I think if we could put something together it would be fun.”

The topic was raised after SHR driver Kurt Busch, who drove for Andretti Autosport in the 2014 Indianapolis 500, said he wanted to see Andretti race in the Daytona 500.

“I think that would be a huge event for him, for our sport,” Busch said. “I think Marco would do real well at a Daytona-style track because he loves the draft and he loves to be around other cars. That’s what I would think would work the best.”

Andretti recently finished his 12th season in IndyCar. He has two wins in 200 starts.

If he were to show up on a Xfinity starting grid, he’d be the first Andretti in NASCAR since his cousin John Andretti competed in the 2010 Daytona 500.

A winner of the 1997 Pepsi 400 at Daytona, John Andretti earned two wins in 393 Cup starts beginning in 1993 and made 37 Xfinity starts.

But the Andretti name in NASCAR goes back to Marco’s grandfather, Mario Andretti.

The elder Andretti made 14 Cup starts from 1966-69. His lone win came in the 1967 Daytona 500. Two years later he earned the Andretti family’s only victory in the Indianapolis 500.

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.