What drivers said at Atlanta


Here is what drivers said following Sunday afternoon’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, won by Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott – WINNER: “Obviously, I knew (LaJoie) was going to have a big run (on the final lap). I didn’t really want to give him the bottom, and I tried to give it one real good aggressive block. I felt like I had enough room to kind of give it a second one, and he was just right there on the right side of my back bumper, so was far enough to the backside of the bumper to launch me forward. I hate I tore up some cars, but I don’t know what you do.. either go for the win or don’t. I’m going to choose option A every day of the week.”

Ross Chastain – Finished 2nd: “I hate that I took the best car here and I tore it up a couple of times. Hats off to Chevrolet and Trackhouse Racing for bringing this fast of a Jockey Chevrolet. Our road crew and our pit crew did an awesome job to rebound through all of the damage repair. We had a shot and I got inside of the No. 9 (Chase Elliott) coming off of (Turn) 2 coming to the checkered and the caution came out. I hope everyone is alright back there. Awesome job to Corey LaJoie and Spire Motorsports. I really thought into (turn) one when we took the white that I was going to push him to the win. They all just fought for the top and almost gave it to us.”

Austin Cindric – Finished 3rd: “It came to life. We had to do a little CPR there early. We were struggling pretty bad. We were pretty loose to start the race and I’m just proud of the effort from the guys on the 2 car, being able to make the right adjustments and get us out of a hole there. We went from not being able to go full throttle by myself on the racetrack to being able to run close behind other guys wide-open, so I’m proud of that effort and proud of a top-three finish. I felt like we deserved to be up there by the end of the race after we established track position. It was a solid day. I wish we could have gotten the Quaker State Ford in victory lane in the Quaker State 400, but a top-three is pretty good.”

Erik Jones – Finished 4th: “I thought our day was good. Our No. 43 FOCUSfactor Chevy was quick. We needed a tick more speed. I think we had to do some things for handling that slowed us down a little bit. We were up there, but I couldn’t really break out and do much. When I got in the lead there, I wasn’t really quick enough to hold it myself. We were close. It feels good to just have a good race. We’ve had a rough month, so it’s nice to get a top-five and get some points.”

Ryan Blaney – Finished 5th: “It was a pretty good day. We got back in traffic there a little bit and it was just hard to make it back up. You just can’t go anywhere. It gets two-wide and you’re just stuck and you can’t really go anywhere, unless you were the 9 and you were the fastest car out there by a mile. It was pretty easy for him to go wherever he wanted. That looked fun, but, I’m just happy to end up decent. This race is just like a survival race pretty much. That’s what you’re gonna get when you’re speedway racing on a mile-and-a-half, so luckily we were able to survive it and get out of here with an OK finish.”

Justin Haley – Finished 7th: “It was a good day again here in Atlanta. I feel like this No. 31 LeafFilter Chevrolet team has succeeded in finding a good, fast, stable setup for the new Atlanta track. So overall it was a good day and just a little bit better than where we were in the spring.”

Aric Almirola – Finished 8th: “We just didn’t have the speed we needed to go up and compete. That one restart where I was leading the bottom lane we didn’t have what we needed to keep up. Our car was pretty good. We got it driving good there at the end, but we couldn’t muster up the speed we needed to go hang with those Chevrolets. The Chevrolets were really, really fast.”

Cole Custer – Finished 9th: “We got the car way better. The guys worked really hard and made great adjustments throughout the day. By the end, I thought we were just as good as anybody. We could have had a shot to win there. I think we were running in the top five on the last lap, but somebody wrecked in front of us and we got knocked back a little bit, but overall it was a good day of hopefully finding a direction and I think it was nice to go up there and run with those guys and show that we can have some speed.”

Kevin Harvick – Finished 12th: “I just couldn’t do anything in traffic. The car was really tight in traffic, which made it hard to race close to anybody. When they were side-by-side I would lose the nose really bad. We hung around and finished the race. Sometimes that’s what you’ve got to do at these places.”

Chase Briscoe – Finished 16th: “I felt like balance was definitely more of an issue than the first race, for sure, with the hotter temperatures. I felt like we got it to where we were pretty decent and I was able to start working the wall a little more than a couple other guys. I went to pass the 10 and as soon as I did I guess I just got too high and got to where it was dirty still and killed the right-rear quarter panel and everything else so that kind of affected the rest of our day. I’m happy we were able to somewhat salvage a 16th, but I felt like if we didn’t have the damage, it would have been a lot better day. We’ll go on to New Hampshire next week and see if we can improve on it.”

Corey LaJoie – Finished 21st: “I was going to school. That was the first time I’d been leading a restart at one of these superspeedway-style race tracks. How much you have to drag back, time your runs, cover the lanes – it’s all new to me. So when I get myself in that position again, I’ll be a little more prepared and hopefully, we can do a little better job and be the one to control the blocks as opposed to the one that’s trying to make that late-race move, because that guy usually is in the catbird’s seat. I just had some fun, I know that. Hopefully, we can have that 7 car up front more often.”

Denny Hamlin – Finished 25th: “We were in really good position and we were about to be clear of the 1 (Ross Chastain) and be in third in the outside line. I was really happy with where I was at for sure. I think the 1 probably sensed that we were about to clear him so he chased us up there and got into us.”

Tyler Reddick – Finished 29th: “We had a great Alsco Chevrolet today at Atlanta Motor Speedway, so it’s a shame that we weren’t able to capitalize on it. The day was going well. We were running up front and competitive. We made a mistake in Stage 3 when I overshot my pit box. That hurt a lot because we didn’t have a lot of time to recover, and it put us far enough back to get caught up in a wreck. We had nowhere to go, but that is the situation I put ourselves in. It’s pretty frustrating because it was very obvious that we had a fantastic car. We’ll head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway to try and rebound.”

William Byron – Finished 30th: “The racing was fine. I thought the track had a little bit less grip. Our No. 24 Axalta Chevy was good out front. We could hang around the top-five. We struggled a little bit there on the pit stop sequence. We took four tires and we started way back, and we just got into someone else’s mess. We were eighth to finish the stage. Thinking that in the final stage some guys would stay out, we just seemed to net out further back than we thought we would. We ended up like 18th or 19th and had to restart there, and that’s where the wreck happened. It was just unfortunate that we were back there. I don’t know if there is anything we could have really done because we had taken right side tires before then and our tires were pretty old. We kind of hovered around the top-eight all day and unfortunately we’re out. Thank you to Axalta, Chevrolet and everybody at Hendrick Motorsports. We’ll keep working hard and it will change soon.”

Alex Bowman – Finished 32nd: “I don’t think we had a tire go down in March. Fortunately, I was one of the guys that didn’t have an issue. But it sounds like I’m the one guy that had an issue today. No warning, we were just cruising around. We had a phenomenal race car. Really proud of Greg (Ives, Crew Chief) and the No. 48 team. We struggled pretty bad back here in March and our Chevy was really, really good today. (The) No. 48 Ally Milestone Chevy was getting up through the field pretty good there. Bummer that it ended like that, but at least we had a fast race car.”

Chris Buescher – Finished 33rd: “It’s a different racetrack. It’s not the Atlanta that I grew up loving, but BJ came over and apologized already. I think coming off of Turn 2, it flattens out a little bit and it took off on him. While we all checked up and spun out we made just a little bit of contact with him while we were sliding and it sounds like it may have been enough to bend a right-front component and ultimately ended up blowing a tire.”

Noah Gragson – Finished 34th: “We had an early end to our day in the No. 16 Gold Fish Casino Slots Camaro. We were on track to have a really solid day and showed some speed. Unfortunately, we couldn’t avoid a wreck in front of us that caused heavy damage to the right front. We had nowhere to go, but I hate it for everyone at Kaulig Racing who have been working hard on these cars.”

Austin Dillon – Finished 35th: “Man, I’m so bummed out for this entire Bass Pro Shops / TRACKER Off Road team. We had a fast Chevy today – just ended up a victim of someone else’s mess. Our Chevy was really tight on the first run, then loose on the second run. After that, we were really good and coming. We just had nowhere to go. Thank the Good Lord above that we were okay. The hit looked bad, but the impact wasn’t as bad as it looked. I told myself that we were going to race hard all day rather than riding in the back, but when you got guys out there wrecking half the field, you might as well pick a different strategy. These Next Gen cars are hard to drive, and you’ve got to make them drive better when it’s hot outside. I thought we did a good job making my car get to the bottom. We were making a lot of headway in the race before we got caught up in someone else’s mess. We’re going to keep on keeping on, and work each week to get to Victory Lane. I want to thank Johnny Morris and all of the guys at Bass Pro Shops and TRACKER Off Road, along with everyone at RCR and ECR. We will get there.”

Xfinity starting lineup at Portland: Sheldon Creed wins pole


Sheldon Creed scored his first career Xfinity Series pole by taking the top spot for Saturday’s race at Portland International Raceway.

Creed, making his 50th career series start, earned the pole with a lap of 95.694 mph on the 1.97-mile road course.

MORE: Portland Xfinity starting lineup

Cole Custer will start second with a lap of 95.398 mph. He is followed by Josh Berry (94.242 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (95.127) and Charlotte winner Justin Allgaier (94.897). Road racing specialist Jordan Taylor, driving for Kaulig Racing, qualified sixth at 94.772 mph.

The green flag is scheduled to wave 4:46 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.

Sunday Cup race at WWT Raceway: Start time, TV info, weather


Twelve races remain until the playoffs begin in early September. Ten drivers have won races. The pressure to secure a playoff spot builds as the Cup Series heads into the summer months.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at WWT Raceway

(All times Eastern)

START: Six-time Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee will give the command to start engines at 3:32 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting is at 2:40 p.m. … Driver intros are at 2:55 p.m. … Tim Bounds, pastor at The Crossing Church St. Louis, will give the invocation at 3:24 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by Bebe Winans and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra at 3:25 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 240 laps (300 miles) on the 1.25-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 45. Stage 2 ends at Lap 140.

STARTING LINEUP: Cup starting lineup

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. … Coverage begins at 2 p.m. … Motor Racing Network coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and also will stream at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground — Partly cloudy with a high of 90 degrees and a 15% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST YEAR: Joey Logano won the inaugural Cup race at this track. Kyle Busch was second. Kurt Busch placed third.


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Drivers to watch at World Wide Technology Raceway

Cup starting lineup at World Wide Technology Raceway


Kyle Busch will lead the Cup starting lineup to the green flag in Sunday’s Cup race at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois.

Busch will be joined on the front row by Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney.

MORE: Cup starting lineup

The second row will have Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. The third row has Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano.

Corey LaJoie, driving the No. 9 car in place of the suspended Chase Elliott, qualified 30th after hitting the wall on his lap.

The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m. ET Sunday on FS1.

Kyle Busch wins Cup pole at WWT Raceway


Kyle Busch collected his first Cup pole of the season and will lead the field to the green flag in Sunday’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

Busch last won a Cup pole at Phoenix in November 2019. He earned his 33rd career Cup pole Saturday with a lap of 137.187 mph on the 1.25-mile speedway.

MORE: Cup starting lineup

“Being able to get a pole here with Richard Childress Racing, Team Chevy and everybody on this No. 8 team is good for us and just try to get some momentum rolling,” Busch said. “Our short track stuff hasn’t been the greatest this year so far, but this isn’t the short track aero package here this weekend, so that might pay dividends hopefully for us to just have a better day than what we anticipated. Just excited to have the guys pumped up and raring to go, and knowing that their hard work is paying off.”

Busch will be joined on the front row by Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney, who qualified at 137.153 mph. Blaney’s car failed inspection twice before qualifying. He will lose his pit selection for Sunday’s race. His car chief also was ejected. Brad Keselowski‘s car also failed inspection twice before qualifying. He loses pit selection and had the team’s car chief ejected. Keselowski qualified 19th with a lap of 135.743 mph.

Denny Hamlin (136.903 mph) starts third and is followed by Kevin Harvick (136.766) and Martin Truex Jr. (136.360). Harvick has two top-five starts this season and both have come in the last two events.

“I think we have a little bit of work to do on our car in race trim, but a lot of it is just getting into a rhythm I think – more than anything,” Harvick said. “Qualifying, we were just a little bit tight through Turns 1 and 2, and the car was good in 3 and 4. So, we have to have a better balance, and that’s what probably cost us a little bit of speed to get the pole. But, still a good day and a good starting spot.”

Corey LaJoie, subbing for the suspended Chase Elliott, will start 30th after hitting the wall on his qualifying lap. He qualified at 134.561 mph. Carson Hocevar, making in his Cup debut in LaJoie’s car, qualified 26th with a lap of 135.220 mph.

Green flag for Sunday’s race is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m. ET on FS1.