HAMPTON, Ga. — The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series runs its first race of the season without a restrictor plate – what some call the true beginning of the season – with today’s Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Here are the particulars:
START: Maj. Dan Rooney, CEO and Founder of Folds of Honor Foundation will give the command for drivers to start their engines at 1:08 p.m. ET. The green flag is scheduled for 1:16 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 325 laps (500 miles) around the 1.5-mile oval.
COMPETITION CAUTION: Lap 25 because of the morning rain that washed the rubber off the track.
EXTRA SET OF TIRES: NASCAR has approved an extra set of tires for teams today, giving teams 13 sets for the race.
PRERACE SCHEDULE: The Sprint Cup garage opens at 8 a.m., and the drivers meeting is at 11 a.m. Driver intrdouctions begin at 12:30.
NATIONAL ANTHEM: It will be performed by Sgt Brent Whitaker, Air National Guard “Band of the South” at 1:01 p.m.
TV/RADIO: Fox will broadcast the race, starting with a prerace shot at 12:30. Performance Racing Network will broadcast the race on radio and GoPRN.com.
FORECAST: The wunderground.com site predicts 46 degrees at race time with a 20% chance of rain.
LAST TIME: Kasey Kahne cemented a Chase for the Sprint Cup berth, seizing the lead from Matt Kenseth on the second attempt at a green-white-checkered finish and leading the final two laps for his 17th career victory and first in more than a year.
NEW RIDES: David Ragan makes his debut in the N0. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota normally driven by Kyle Busch, who is out indefinitely after breaking his right leg and left foot in a crash last weekend at Daytona. Joe Nemechek takes over Ragan’s No. 34 ride for Front Row Motorsports this weekend.
Row 1: Joey Logano, Kevin Harivck*
Row 2: Jamie McMurray, Denny Hamlin
Row 3: Carl Edwards, Kyle Larson
Row 4: Ryan Newman, Sam Hornish Jr.
Row 5: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne
Row 6: AJ Allmendinger, Brad Keselowski
Row 7: Paul Menard, Martin Truex Jr.
Row 8: Austin Dillon, Justin Allgaier
Row 9: David Ragan, Danica Patrick
Row 10: Greg Biffle, Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Row 11: Casey Mears, Brett Moffitt
Row 12: Aric Almirola, Michael McDowell
Row 13: Clint Bowyer, David Gilliland
Row 14: Mike Bliss, Joe Nemechek
Row 15: Trevor Bayne, JJ Yeley
Row 16: Brendan Gaughan, Michael Annett**
Row 17: Josh Wise, Ron Hornaday Jr.
Row 18: Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth
Row 19: Jimmie Johnson, Regan Smith
Row 20: Tony Stewart, Jeb Burton
Row 21: Cole Whitt, Alex Bowman
Row 22: Landon Cassill
*– Will drop to rear for engine change
**–Will drop to rear because of driver change (Brian Scott qualified car)