The NASCAR Xfinity Series takes on the new-look Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time Saturday afternoon.
In addition to getting its first repave since 1997, Atlanta’s 1.54-mile oval was reconfigured with steeper banking and a narrower overall racing surface.
Coming in hot are last week’s winner at Phoenix, Noah Gragson (see highlights above); Gragson’s teammate at JR Motorsports, Justin Allgaier; and Kaulig Racing’s A.J. Allmendinger. All three drivers have opened the season with four consecutive top-10 finishes.
Gragson has finished third, second, second and first. No driver has ever opened an Xfinity season with five consecutive top-three finishes.
Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Atlanta Motor Speedway
(All times Eastern)
START: Paul Whatley and Alex Torres of race sponsor Nalley Cars will give the command to start engines at 5:09 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 5:18 p.m.
PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 10 a.m. … Xfinity qualifying begins at 11:30 a.m. … Driver introductions are at 4:30 p.m. … Elliott Yancey, pastor of First Baptist Church Forest Park (Ga.), will give the invocation at 5 p.m. … The Union Grove High School Concert Choir (Henry County, Ga.) will perform “America the Beautiful” at 5:01 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 163 laps (251.02 miles) on the 1.54-mile speedway.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 40. Stage 2 ends at Lap 80.
TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 5 p.m. Pre-race coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. … Performance Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. and also will stream at GoPRN.com; SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.
FORECAST: The Weather Underground forecast calls for sunny skies, a high of 65 degrees and a 1% chance of rain at the start of the race.
STARTING LINEUP: Atlanta Xfinity starting lineup
LAST TIME: Kyle Busch completed a perfect 5-for-5 run last season in the Xfinity Series with his win last July at Atlanta. Busch took the lead on a restart with six laps to go after making contact with Daniel Hemric that sent the latter into the wall. On the subsequent restart in overtime, Busch held off Jeb Burton to take the checkered flag.