Atlanta winners and losers

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Stewart-Haas Racing: Last year’s dominant team placed all four cars in the top 10: Kevin Harvick was fourth, Clint Bowyer fifth, Aric Almirola eighth and Daniel Suarez 10th.

Chris Buescher: He finished ninth. He had only two top 10s last year (both Daytona races). You have to go back 42 races to Kansas in October 2017 for the last time he had a top-10 finish at a track other than Daytona before Sunday.

Intestinal fortitude: A day after he was so sick he lost about 6 pounds in a 10-hour period, Brad Keselowski came back to win Sunday’s race and become the winningest driver Penske driver. It wasn’t the first time he’s overcome adversity to win. He won at Pocono in August 2011 just days after breaking his ankle in a crash during a test at Road Atlanta.


Hendrick Motorsports: No car finished better than 15th, which was the No. 88 of Alex Bowman. Jimmie Johnson finished two laps down. Chase Elliott did run in the top 10 at times and fell back late after a two-tire change to stay on the lead lap. While it’s only one race, this organization has some work to do.

Ryan Preece and BJ McLeod: A week after he was lauded for driving through wrecks unscathed at Daytona, Ryan Preece ran into the back of McLeod’s car on pit road and spun McLeod’s car. Chris Buescher’s fueler, Anthony Pasut, was awake and alert and transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. Preece was headed for a strong finish before the incident.

Pit road speeders: Kyle Larson, Aric Almirola and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. were among those busted for speeding and lost track position at the front of the field. They had struggled in traffic and never were a factor after being penalized.

Ryan Preece’s day ends early after pit road crash with BJ McLeod

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Ryan Preece, who missed all of the incidents last week at Daytona en route to an impressive eighth-place finish, was victimized by his own error in Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

With 52 of 325 laps remaining, Preece had just exited his pit stall when he slammed into the rear of BJ McLeod.

McLeod was attempting to enter his pit stall – eight spots in front of Preece’s stall – when Preece’s No. 47 Chevrolet hit him from behind, spinning McLeod’s car around.

Preece suffered significant front end damage, ending his day. McLeod was able to continue.

Preece said on his team radio that he was looking down at his tachometer when the incident occurred, and that he simply didn’t see McLeod’s car.

“I was just trying to make sure I wasn’t speeding and when I looked up, he was coming into his pit,” Preece told Fox Sports. “It was a mistake. What are you going to do?”

Also caught up in the wreck was Anthony Pasut, fueler for Chris Buescher, Preece’s JTG Daugherty Racing teammate. Pasut was struck by McLeod’s spinning car. According to NASCAR, Pasut was awake and alert and was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.

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Cody Ware explains his side of bizarre pit-road crash in Daytona 500


There were many wrecked race cars at the end of Sunday’s Daytona 500, but some were damaged in an unusual place for a restrictor-plate race — the pits.

The five-car incident occurred with 41 laps left in the midst of green-flag stops, starting as Rick Ware Racing teammates Cody Ware and B.J. McLeod made contact near the entrance to pit road.

That set off a chain reaction that collected the cars of Jimmie Johnson, Tyler Reddick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Every car except Ware’s was able to continue.

Ware, who finished 39th, took to Twitter to explain Wednesday how the wreck unfolded from his perspective in the No. 52 Chevrolet. He blamed other teams for miscommunication.

Tommy Joe Martins returns to BJ McLeod Motorsports for 2019 Xfinity season

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B.J. McLeod Motorsports on Thursday announced that Tommy Joe Martins will return to the Xfinity Series team for a third season.

Martins joined the team in 2017. In 28 starts, his best finish with the team has been 11th at Iowa (in 2017).

“It is with great enthusiasm to have Tommy Joe Martins back with the team,” team co-owner Jessica McLeod said in a media release. “Martins has played a great part in helping us improve our on-track performance over the last two years and we are looking forward to what’s to come.”

The team, which recently moved into a new shop in Mooresville, North Carolina, will field three full-time cars in the Xfinity Series in 2019, its fourth year of operation.

Its two full-time drivers will be Vinnie Miller in the No. 78 and Matt Mills in the No. 8, while Martins will be part of a rotating cast of drivers in the No. 99 that will also include team co-owner B.J. McLeod, J.A. Avila Jr., and other drivers that may be added.

Click here to read the full press release.

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One Cup team, nine Xfinity teams docked practice time Friday at Texas

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FORT WORTH, Texas – Kyle Weatherman‘s Cup car will be penalized 15 minutes of practice and nine Xfinity teams will lose 15 minutes Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.

Weatherman will miss practice time for being late to post-qualifying/pre-race inspection last weekend at Martinsville.

Cup practice is from 2 – 2:55 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

In the Xfinity Series, the cars of BJ McLeod, Ryan Truex, Ryan Reed, John Hunter Nemechek, Josh Bilicki, Jeremy Clements, Bayley Currey, Bobby Earnhardt and Vinnie Miller will be docked 15 minutes.

The cars of McLeod, Bilicki, Currey, Earnhardt and Miller were penalized for being out of the garage late. The cars of Truex, Reed, Nemechek and Clements were penalized for failing inspection twice at Kansas.

The first Xfinity practice is from 3:05 – 3:50 p.m. ET today on the NBC Sports App.