Hendrick Motorsports

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne head to Texas with updated ‘Justice League’ paint schemes

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Hendrick Motorsports has revealed special Justice League paint schemes for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne in this weekend’s Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. The movie will be released on Nov. 17.

Earnhardt’s scheme for the No. 88 Chevrolet includes Batman on the hood and Kahne’s No. 5 Chevrolet has Wonder Woman on its hood.

But the schemes the drivers will have this weekend are revisions to initial designs that were announced early Tuesday afternoon that had not been approved by NASCAR.

Updated Kasey Kahne scheme. Via: Hendrick Motorsports

Hendrick’s original Justice League cars, shown below, violated a rule that paint schemes must be identical on each side.

The team and NASCAR worked together closely to get approved designs in place before the cars left for Texas.

Kahne’s car originally had an all red design for The Flash on the driver side and a blue design for Superman on the left.

Earnhardt’s car had a green-and-yellow design for Aquaman on the driver side and a gray-and-red look on the right side for Cyborg.

New images released by Hendrick just show the right sides of the cars.

But both cars are now mostly black on the front half.

Original schemes

Source: Lionel Racing

Here’s what the rulebook says:

“Both (left-hand side) and (right-hand side) of the vehicle must emulate each other in all colors, markings and graphics. Vehicles with a longitudinal centerline split in appearance extending from front bumper to rear bumper will not be permitted.”

The rule got attention in 2014 at Talladega. In his final Cup start, Terry Labonte was meant to have a scheme that paid tribute to two of his old cars. NASCAR forced the team to change it, citing safety issues with potential confusion among drivers and spotters.

Earnhardt made note of the rule in a brief video on Twitter not long after the schemes were initially announced.

“It has two different sides, which is not allowed by NASCAR,” Earnhardt said. “I saw the car for the first time Friday and when I saw it I said, ‘Hmmm, it has two different sides. I didn’t think that was allowed in NASCAR.’ So it’s going to be fun to see how this plays out.”

The change in paint schemes won’t impact anyone who pre-ordered diecasts. A representative of Lionel Racing told NBC Sports the diecasts have not been manufactured yet.

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.