Rinnai 250

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Today’s Xfinity race at Atlanta: Start time, lineup and more

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The Xfinity Series kicks off a NASCAR doubleheader today at Atlanta Motor Speedway with the Rinnai 250.

Ross Chastain and Ryan Preece are the only Cup drivers in the field.

Here’s all the info you need ahead of the second race of the year, which is followed by a Gander Outdoors Truck Series race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given by Steve Bourdon of Hiller Plumbing at 2:08 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 2:16 p.m.

PRERACE CEREMONIES: Driver introductions begin at 1:30 p.m. The invocation will be given at 2 p.m. by U.S. Air Force Chaplin, Lt. Col. James Danford. The National Anthem will be at 2:01 p.m. and sung by Taryn Papa.

DISTANCE: The race is 163 laps (251.02 miles) around the 1.54-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 40, Stage 2 ends on Lap 80.

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race. Coverage begins at 2 p.m. The Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 1:30 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for cloudy skies with a high of 56 degrees and an 18 percent chance of rain at the start time.

LAST TIME: Kevin Harvick led 141 laps and beat Joey Logano and Christopher Bell.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for starting lineup

Kevin Harvick wins Xfinity race at Atlanta Motor Speedway

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Kevin Harvick dominated to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, earning his fifth series win at the track.

Driving the No. 98 Ford for Biagi DenBeste Racing, Harvick led 141 laps and won both stages of the 163-lap race after starting fifth.

Harvick led Joey Logano, Christopher Bell, John Hunter Nemechek and Elliott Sadler.

The win is Harvick’s 47th in the Xfinity Series and his 98th overall in NASCAR’s three national series. It snaps a 22-race winless streak for Harvick in the Xfinity Series.

“It’s just been a really good place for me, obviously getting my first Cup win here (in 2001) and being able to run good cars throughout the years,” Harvick told FS1. “The race track has stayed very similar to what’s it been for a number of years. I think if you look at the techniques and things that I do in the car and they give me what I want in the car as far as the field, it applies here.”

Nemechek’s top five comes in his first career Xfinity Series start driving the No. 42 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Chase Briscoe, also making his first Xfinity start, finished 15th in Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 60 Ford.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Kevin Harvick won after zooming from 10th to first in a one-lap shootout after pitting for four tires.

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kevin Harvick

MORE: Race results and point standings

WHO HAG A GOOD DAY: Joey Logano earned his third straight runner-up finish at Atlanta in Team Penske’s No. 22 Ford … Elliott Sadler is the only driver to have top-five finishes in the first two races of the year … Ryan Truex (ninth) and Ryan Reed (10th) earned their second straight top-10 finishes to begin the year.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Cole Custer wrecked out on Lap 11 when contact with a swerving John Hunter Nemechek sent his No. 00 Ford into the outside wall before the start-finish line. He finished 39th. … Kaz Grala finished 23rd after he lost power because of a battery problem during the Stage 2 break … Ty Dillon finished 13th, one lap down after receiving a pit penalty for his crew going over the wall too soon with 35 laps to go … Daytona winner Tyler Reddick finished 19th, two laps down after losing his right-rear tire with 25 laps to go.

NOTABLE: Harvick, 42, is the second-oldest driver to win at Atlanta in the Xfinity Series (Harry Gant, 54). … Harvick is the 14th different winner in the last 15 Xfinity races.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Kevin’s just really good at it. Doesn’t matter what car he’s driving or what. He’s really good at Atlanta, and apparently we’re second best to that.”- Joey Logano to FS1 after finishing second.

WHAT’S NEXT: Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at 4 p.m. ET on March 3 on FS1.

Kyle Busch wins Xfinity event at Atlanta, takes first step toward a tripleheader sweep

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It’s one down, two to go for Kyle Busch this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The younger Busch brother is one-third of the way to a weekend sweep, capturing Saturday’s Rinnai 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the 1.54-mile oval in Hampton, Georgia.

Shortly after celebrating in victory lane, Busch was scheduled to climb into a truck and go for a second win in the afternoon’s Active Pest Control 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.

MORE: Results of Xfinity Series race at Atlanta

MORE: Xfinity points standings after Atlanta, Elliott Sadler moves into lead

The 2015 NASCAR Cup champ then hopes to wrap things up with a third weekend win in Sunday’s main event, the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.

It was Busch’s 87th career victory in the Xfinity Series and his second consecutive win in NASCAR’s junior series at AMS, having earned his first Xfinity win at AMS last year.

“Pretty proud to put ourselves in Victory Lane here once again,” Busch said. “It took me so long to get here to begin with, and now we won two in a row. That feels really good. … What else can I say? We just keep knocking them out of the park here in the Xfinity Series. But we love it, and we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Brad Keselowski finished second in the Xfinity event, followed by Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick and Elliott Sadler.

Finishing sixth through 10th were Darrell Wallace Jr., rookie William Byron, Austin Dillon, Daniel Hemric and Cole Custer.

There were six lead changes and five cautions in the scheduled 163-lap event.

STAGE 1 (Laps 1-40) WINNER: Brad Keselowski

STAGE 2 (Laps 41-80) WINNER: Kevin Harvick

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Elliott Sadler was the highest-finishing Xfinity Series regular (fifth place). Other Xfinity regulars with good finishes were Darrell Wallace Jr. (sixth), who overcame early contact with the wall, and rookie William Byron (seventh).

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Blake Koch’s rough weekend came to an early end in last place after a Lap 2 crash. Kock piled into Ty Dillon, who appeared to lose a left-rear tire in the first turn. … Jordan Anderson also lasted just two laps before his day came to an abrupt end.

NOTABLE: Brendan Gaughan recovered from a late Stage 2 incident to finish 13th. On the other hand, Denny Hamlin was unable to recover much from a Stage 2 spin and finished 20th.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “To get second is (like) kissing your sister, but it is still better than nothing, I guess.” – Second-place finisher Brad Keselowski.

WHAT’S NEXT: March 11, Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Starting lineup for today’s Rinnai 250 Xfinity race at Atlanta

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Pole-sitter Kyle Busch will take the green flag for today’s Rinnai 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Rookie William Byron will be on the outside of the front row.

Click here for the starting lineup.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Kyle Busch grabs pole for today’s Rinnai 250 Xfinity race at Atlanta; to run 3 races in 24 hours

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Kyle Busch grabbed the pole position early Saturday for today Rinnai 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Busch will be competing in three races within roughly a 24-hour period at AMS this weekend: both today’s Xfinity (2 p.m. ET green flag) and Camping World Truck Series (4:30 p.m. ET green flag), as well as Sunday’s main event, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Folds Of Honor Quik Trip 500 (2:30 p.m. ET green flag).

Busch paced the 40-car Xfinity field with a speed of 183.862 mph, followed by rookie William Byron (183.777 mph), Brad Keselowski (183.661), Kyle Larson (183.327) and Denny Hamlin (183.103).

After qualifying, NASCAR announced that the No. 20 Toyota Camry of Denny Hamlin had a problem in prequalifying inspection, ruling the car had an improper splitter mounting structure. As a penalty, the car will lose pit selection for next weekend’s race at Las Vegas.

Click here for how Xfinity qualifying played out.

Follow @JerryBonkowski