monster energy nascar cup series

HAMPTON, GA - FEBRUARY 28:  Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Chevrolet, leads the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 28, 2016 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

NASCAR entry lists for Atlanta Motor Speedway

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Speedweeks is finally over and all three of NASCAR’s national series will once again be in action this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

It will be the last time the Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series will be at the same track until May.

Kyle Busch will start in all three races.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for all three events, beginning with the Cup Series’ Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500.

There are 38 cars entered into the Cup race. A full field would be 40 cars.

The trip to the 1.5-mile track will be the first start of the season for Derrike Cope, Timmy Hill, rookie Gray Gaulding and Reed Sorenson.

Last year, Jimmie Johnson won his first race of the season after short pitting and leading the final 45 laps for his fifth Atlanta win.

Click here for the full entry list.

Xfinity Series – Rinnai 250

A full field of 40 cars are entered into the Xfinity Series race.

There are eight Cup drivers in the field: Kyle Busch, Ty and Austin Dillon, Aric Almirola, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Daniel Suarez, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson.

Last year, Busch led 119 of 163 laps to win the Atlanta race, the first of three straight wins for Busch.

Click here for the full entry list.

Truck Series – Active Pest Control 200

There are 34 trucks entered into the second truck race of the year.

A full field in the Truck series is 32 trucks. Chase Elliott and Kyle Busch are the only Cup drivers entered into the race.

Alex Bowman will drive the No. 24 truck for GMS Racing in place of Justin Haley, who isn’t old enough to run on tracks 1.5-miles or larger.

Last year, John Hunter Nemechek won the race after leading the last eight laps, including the final two in an overtime finish.

Click here for the full entry list.

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Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones have a need for speed: close to 700 mph

Photo courtesy Daytona International Speedway
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“Flying around Daytona” took on a whole new meaning Tuesday for a pair of NASCAR’s young guns — or in this case, top guns: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney.

The two drivers went for as Jones called it “the flight of my life” with the Air Force Thunderbirds, flying over Daytona International Speedway and the surrounding area.

They both definitely satisfied their need for speed, for sure: While they’ll drive in Sunday’s Daytona 500 at speeds approaching 200 mph, Blaney and Jones were slated to hit speeds approaching 700 mph in-flight.

Jones reportedly had wanted to fly with the Thunderbirds for his whole life, in a sense channeling one of his favorite movies — the Tom Cruise epic “Top Gun” — which was released 10 years before Jones, 20, was even born.

Bubba Wallace told NASCAR Talk last week that he’s slated to go up into the wild blue yonder with the Thunderbirds as well on Wednesday.

Here’s a number of social media posts from Jones, Furniture Row Racing, Daytona International Speedway and Team Penske on the drivers’ exploits:


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NASCAR Cup Series qualifying for July Pocono race to be held on Sunday

LONG POND, PA - AUGUST 02:  Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Crispy Toyota, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John's/Budweiser Chevrolet, lead the field at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Windows 10 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 2, 2015 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
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Pocono Raceway has announced that qualifying for its July 30 NASCAR Cup Series race will be held on Sunday, shortly before the Pennsylvania 400.

The qualifying session is set to begin at 12:05 p.m. ET – three hours before the scheduled start time for the race.

Qualifying for the Cup Series’ June 11 Pocono 400 remains on Friday.

Pocono is the first track to announce a two-day weekend this season for the Cup Series. TV coverage of the race weekend will be on NBCSN.

For the July weekend, Cup Series teams will not practice until Saturday. On Friday, the track will host a Fan Fest and practice for the Camping World Truck Series. The ARCA Racing Series will have practice, qualifying and a race on Friday.

Saturday will have both Cup Series practice sessions and the Truck Series race.

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What drivers said after the Advance Auto Parts Clash

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 19:  Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 DOW Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Toyota, lead a pack of cars during the weather delayed Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Advance Auto Parts Clash at Daytona International Speedway on February 19, 2017 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
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Joey Logano swooped in to win the Advance Auto Parts Clash after his teammate Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin collided on the last lap while Hamlin led.

The win is Logano’s first in the exhibition race and Ford’s first since 2004.

Here’s what most of the 17 drivers in the field had to say after the race.

Joey Logano, winner – “The Toyotas are so selfless, I guess is the way to look at it. They are able to work together and think of one car of winning, and they’re really good at that. We had to think the same way as Ford and with Stewart-Haas and the Penske cars and we were able to get a good enough,  run to work together enough to break them up and make the passes and then there at the end was kind of a mess. Everything was going really fast. Everything was going on and I was just in the right place at the right time.”

Kyle Busch, second place – “When (Joey Logano) got so far out in front that he was a lone duck and I feel like if we both could have worked together then we could have tracked them back down and then the three of us could have gone for the win instead of just automatically giving it to the 22. Just trying to see what (Alex Bowman‘s) mindset was with it all and figure out what got him to that decision. Overall, good day and I need to eliminate some mistakes here for myself on this M&M’s team – the guys did a great job, the guys executed really well.”

Alex Bowman, third place – “It’s easy; hindsight is 20/20, right? It’s hard to see. I was on the top with all that stuff happened getting into Turn 1 and I didn’t know (Joey Logano) was out there by himself. So, he’s (Kyle Busch) probably right. We probably could have caught the No. 22 and had a shot to win it, but at the same time, he didn’t work with me much all day, either. A lot of guys hung us out every chance they got. So, to come home third shows what a great race car Hendrick Motorsports brings to the track.”

Danica Patrick, finished fourth – “If you’re gonna have one track where I’ve had good races, you kind of hope Daytona is one of them or maybe the one. It would be great to get a 500 win, but it’s great to run up front. We start off with the biggest race of the year. … The way that the cars are handling in the heat of the day more. It’s a nice, sunny day. We’ve got plenty of humidity out there from all the rain, but it’s good practice for the 500, more so than it would have been if we would have run at night by all means.”

Kevin Harvick, fifth place –  “It went really well. For us, we were very fortunate that the race wound up in the day, a lot like the 500 is going to be, just because we didn’t really know what we needed and where our balance was going to be, so we were really loose to start the first 25 laps and were able to get that fixed. Speed is not an issue. Circumstances just needed to work out a little bit differently, but, all in all, I’m excited for the week.”

Brad Keselowski, sixth place – “Once you make contact the banking kind of wedges you two together. It’s unfortunate. I had to make the move. I know all the other drivers are back watching and they know not to make that block on me again … I think I’ve been in position to win it three or four times – in second or third in like the last two laps and it kind of falls apart with something, but you’ve just got to keep knocking on the door.”

Daniel Suarez, finished eighth – “I really felt like I went to school. I went to school with this race, racing with all of these guys and learning about the aero of the car and how the tires fall off. The fall off is not even close to the Xfinity cars and I learned that today. And how the car works – it works really, really different. There’s nothing similar in a race like this with 75 laps in a pack of 17 cars that I can practice. I think my team did an amazing job. They put me in the front and gave me the opportunity to finish in the top five and we just came a little short I guess.”

Jamie McMurray, finished 10th – “It was okay. Drafting is hard when you get to the rear if there are not 30 cars or so on the track. Especially when the bottom lane got lined up because you just couldn’t get enough cars on the outside. It was pretty good. I kind of liked running in the day versus the night. I thought that was good. Handling wasn’t a big issue. I thought it was going to be a bigger concern because it is pretty warm right now. But it is early in the week and it seems like as the Trucks run, the Xfinity cars, it gets slicker by Sunday, but overall it was a pretty good time. We didn’t scratch our car, which is awesome to survive a plate race.”

Austin Dillon, finished 12th – “It’s hard to be the Lone Ranger out there. If you look at the race, the top five were all team cars and I didn’t have a teammate in the race or anybody to work with. I am really proud that I was able to run up there with those cars knowing how important it is to have help. I was involved in the wreck at the end so I ended up cutting the right-front tire and that caused us to limp home to a 12th-place finish. Overall, though, it was a good run. I learned a lot and I thought I drafted pretty well.”

Denny Hamlin, finished 13th – “There’s really not much I can do differently at the end. Perhaps staying in the middle lane there through one and two and trying to side draft. (Brad Keselowski) had help from the 22 (Joey Logano). I was in a bad spot there. He was just coming so much faster than what I was. There’s not much that I could have done to defend. We lined up so well as Toyota teammates throughout the race that once those guys started breaking that up and leapfrogging, (Keselowski) had commitment from (Logano) and the 4 (Kevin Harvick) and when they were able to back up there that really put us at a speed differential.”

Kyle Larson, finished 14th (garage after penalty) – “It is an odd way to be done I guess. But this race doesn’t matter for points. … I think it will just take a few incidents like we had to remind everyone of the rules, or explain what the rules mean. It seems like the teams were a little confused after the driver’s meeting.”

Martin Truex Jr., finished 15th (crash) – “I was having trouble with my mirror all day. I just flat cut in front of (Kyle) Larson and spun myself out so it was our own mistake. We didn’t get the mirrors quite right in the car before the race and then just trying to fit in the hole I wasn’t sure I could fit in and trying to get track position towards the end of the race. Completely my fault but glad we didn’t tear up a lot of race cars there.”

Jimmie Johnson, finished 16th (crash) – “It’s bizarre because it drove really good everywhere else, then off of (Turn) 4 the first time I had a handling problem was when it broke free and I got into the No. 41 (Kurt Busch) and then after that it was really loose. After that caution and the last long stretch before I crashed again. Just off of Turn 4. The sun certainly sits on that edge of the track a little bit harder than anywhere else. We will take some notes and learn from those mistakes and apply that to the (Daytona) 500 car.”

Kurt Busch, finished 17th (crash) – “I was just minding my own business in the low groove and we got tagged in the right-rear. It’s kind of a shame – all of the hard work and the effort everybody puts into the off-season – Doug Yates and his engines and everybody from Ford and everybody at Stewart-Haas, all of the effort put towards building a car and we didn’t even make it to the first pit stop, so it’s kind of a bummer.”

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series primary paint schemes for 2017

Joey Logano's Facebook page
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The racing season is here and with it comes a brand new batch of paint schemes for most teams in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Luckily we’ve got a guide for you keep track of who is driving what colors this year. Here are the different paint schemes Cup drivers will be sporting throughout the season. We’ll update the list as more paint schemes are announced.

Jamie McMurray – No. 1, Chip Ganassi Racing




Brad Keselowski – No. 2, Team Penske





Austin Dillon – No. 3, Richard Childress Racing




Kevin Harvick – No. 4, Stewart-Haas Racing



Kasey Kahne – No. 5, Hendrick Motorsports




Trevor Bayne – No. 6, Roush Fenway Racing



Danica Patrick – No. 10, Stewart-Haas Racing



Denny Hamlin – No. 11, Joe Gibbs Racing


Ty Dillon – No. 13, Germain Racing


Clint Bowyer – No. 14, Stewart-Haas Racing


Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – No. 17, Roush Fenway Racing



Kyle Busch – No. 18, Joe Gibbs Racing


Daniel Suarez – No. 19, Joe Gibbs Racing

Source: MRN Radio on Twitter


Matt Kenseth – No. 20, Joe Gibbs Racing



Ryan Blaney – No. 21, Wood Brothers Racing


Joey Logano – No. 22, Team Penske





Gray Gaulding – No. 23, BK Racing



Chase Elliott – No. 24, Hendrick Motorsports

Source: NAPA Racing on Twitter




Paul Menard – No. 27, Richard Childress Racing


Ryan Newman – No. 31, Richard Childress Racing



Matt DiBenedetto – No. 32,  Go Fas Racing


Landon Cassill – No. 34, Front Row Motorsports


Chris Buescher – No. 37, JTG Daugherty Racing




David Ragan – No. 38, Front Row Motorsports



Kurt Busch – No. 41, Stewart Haas Racing

Kyle Larson – No. 42, Chip Ganassi Racing


Aric Almirola – No. 43, Richard Petty Motorsports





A.J. Allmendinger – No. 47, JTG Daugherty Racing

Source: JTG Daugherty Racing Facebook page

Jimmie Johnson – No. 48, Hendrick Motorsports



Cole Whitt – No. 72, TriStar Motorsports


Erik Jones – No. 77, Furniture Row Racing


Martin Truex Jr. – No. 78, Furniture Row Racing







Dale Earnhardt Jr. – No. 88, Hendrick Motorsports