Sat 8/30: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Great Clips 300, 7pm, PRN
Camping World Truck Series:
Sun 8/31: Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Chevrolet Silverado 250, 1pm, MRN
Sprint Cup Series:
Sun 8/31: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Oral-B USA 500, 6:30pm, PRN
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Monday: Fast Talk, 7-8pm
Tuesday: NASCAR Live, 7-8pm
Wednesday: The Pit Reporters, 7-8pm
Monday-Friday: NASCAR Today, 6:50pm
Monday-Friday: Garage Pass, 8:30pm
NASCAR News (all content provided by John Singler, MRN Radio)
STEWART RETURNS … Tony Stewart will return to competition this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time since his involvement in a fatal sprint car accident August 9th in New York State. Stewart has missed three races, in which his Number-14 Chevrolet has been driven by Regan Smith and Jeff Burton. He’s scheduled to address the media today at 1 p.m. (ET), ninety minutes before Cup practice opens at A-M-S.
ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY … is the site of the next-to-last race of the regular season, Sunday’s Oral-B USA 500. The twelve drivers with at least one win in 2014 are locked into the post-season Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup that opens next month at Chicagoland Speedway. That leaves four spots still available. Any driver who lands his first win of the season either Sunday at Atlanta or next week at Richmond International Raceway will automatically qualify for the Chase. The list of competitors who won last year but are without a points-paying victory in 2014 includes Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle, Kasey Kahne, Brian Vickers, Jamie McMurray, Martin Truex Junior and David Ragan. Based on the current standings, the top four non-winning drivers who would advance to the post-season are Kenseth, Newman, Clint Bowyer and Biffle – who would get the final berth by a comfortable twenty-six points over rookie Kyle Larson. Kahne is next, seven points further back, followed closely by Austin Dillon and Paul Menard.
THE NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES … is also at A-M-S, for Saturday night’s Great Clips 300. Junior Motorsports teammates Chase Elliott and Regan Smith are running one-two in the standings with ten races remaining. Elliott’s lead over Smith is thirteen points with rookie Ty Dillon, Elliott Sadler and Brian Scott completing the top five … THE CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES … goes road racing at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on Sunday with the second running of the Chevrolet Silverado 250. Last year’s inaugural race ended dramatically with a controversial finish. Chase Elliott pushed race leader Ty Dillon out of the way in the final turn of the final lap to claim victory. Elliott had pulled alongside Dillon on the final trip around the two-point-five-mile road course but was not able to make a clean pass. He then nosed to the inside of Dillon in the final turn and bumped the right-rear of the Number-3 Chevrolet, snapping it around and into the outside wall. The race ended under caution with Chad Hackenbracht grabbing second place. Dillon finished seventeenth.
► Coming off a twelfth-place finish last weekend at Bristol, Kyle Larson of Chip Ganassi Racing now enjoys a forty-eight-point lead over Austin Dillon in the Sunoco Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year standings. Dillon finished twenty-eighth in the IRWIN Tools Night Race. Justin Allgaier remains a distant third in the Cup Series rookie chase with Michael Annett and Cole Whitt now tied for fourth place.
► Chase Elliott of Junior Motorsports continues to carry a commanding lead over Ty Dillon in the Nationwide Series rookie standings heading into the final ten races of the season. He finished third at Bristol, one spot in front of Dillon, and has built a fifty-point advantage. Chris Buescher is a distant third with Dylan Kwasniewski and Ryan Reed rounding out the top five.
► Ben Kennedy’s lead over Mason Mingus stands at forty points in the Camping World Truck Series rookie chase. The Turner Scott Motorsports driver finished twenty-first in his last outing, at Bristol … one spot ahead of Mingus. Tyler Young is just two points out of second place with Tyler Reddick and Jimmy Weller the Third making up the rest of the top five.
TRACK INFORMATION: Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia, is a mile-and-a-half oval with twenty-four degrees of banking in the turns and five degrees on the straights. The length of the frontstretch is 2,332 feet, the backstretch eighteen hundred feet. Grandstand seating capacity is ninety-nine thousand.
55th RUNNING OF THE ORAL-B USA 500 SPRINT CUP SERIES RACE
AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY … Sunday, 7:45 p.m. (ET)
Last Year’s Race: Kyle Busch jumped away from the field on a late restart and led the final thirty-six laps, clinching a spot in the post-season Chase with his fourth victory of the year. Those thirty-six laps were the only ones Busch led all night in posting his twenty-eighth career win. He finished seven-tenths of a second ahead of runner-up Joey Logano, who led a race-high seventy-eight laps. Logano charged from his sixth-row starting spot into the lead in the first twenty-five laps of the race. But issues on pit road buried the Number-22 Team Penske Ford deep in the pack. Three loose lug nuts on one stop forced Logano to return to the pit lane. By mid-race, Clint Bowyer had moved to the front of the field before losing an engine and the lead eventually went back to a resurgent Logano. Fast work on pit road by Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing crew got the Number-18 Toyota back on the track first during the final round of stops and he kept it there the rest of the night.
Track Position at A-M-S: Eighty-four of the 106 Sprint Cup Series races run have been won from a starting position of tenth or better. Just nine winners have come from a starting position of twentieth or worse … Winning From the Pole in Hampton: Fourteen of 106 Cup Series races have been won from the pole position. The last driver to do it is Kasey Kahne in 2006 … Track Qualifying Record: Geoff Bodine (Ford) … 197.478 miles per hour … 28.074 seconds … November 1997 … Track Record, Race Speed: Bobby Labonte (Pontiac) … 159.904 mph … 3 hours, 7 minutes, 48 seconds … November 1997 … Practice Schedule: Friday from 2:30 to 4 p.m. (ET) … Saturday from 3 to 3:50 p.m. and 6 to 6:50 p.m. (ET) … Qualifying: TODAY at 7:10 p.m. (ET) … Ricky Stenhouse Junior won the pole last year and finished sixteenth in the race.
23rd RUNNING OF THE GREAT CLIPS 300 NATIONWIDE SERIES RACE
IN HAMPTON, GEORGIA … Saturday, 7:45 p.m. (ET)
Last Year’s Race: Kevin Harvick survived a down-to-the wire duel with pole sitter Kyle Busch on the final lap, posting his first Nationwide Series win of 2013 and the fortieth of his career. Harvick led a race-high 132 laps, including the final forty-five. The margin of victory was a half-second over Busch, who closed onto Harvick’s rear bumper on the final lap around the mile-and-a-half oval but was not able to slip past. Between them, Busch and Harvick combined to lead all but six of the 195 laps. Harvick started twentieth in the forty-car field. His victory marked the farthest back a race winner had qualified at A-M-S since Matt Kenseth won from the Number-28 spot in 2004.
Track Position in Hampton: Sixteen of the twenty-two Nationwide Series races run have been won from a starting position of tenth or better. The farthest back a race winner has started is twenty-eighth (Kenseth, 2004) … Winning From the Pole at A-M-S: Just four of twenty-two races have been won from the pole position, most recently by Carl Edwards in 2011 … Track Qualifying Record: Greg Biffle (Chevrolet) … 192.300 mph … 28.83 seconds … October 2003 … Track Record, Race Speed: Mark Martin (Ford) … 151.751 mph … 1 hour, 58 minutes, 55 seconds … March 1997 …Today’s Practice Schedule: From 4:10 to 5 p.m. and 5:30 to 6:50 p.m. (ET) … Qualifying: Saturday at 4:10 p.m. (ET).
Timothy Peters (Providence, North Carolina), who drives for Red Horse Racing in the Camping World Truck Series, is celebrating his 34th birthday today.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Sat 9/6: Richmond Int'l Raceway, Federated Auto Parts 400, 6:30pm, MRN
Sun 9/14: Chicagoland Speedway, Geico 400, 1pm, MRN
Sun 9/21: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Sylvania 300, 1pm, PRN
Sun 9/28: Dover Int'l Speedway, AAA 400, 1pm, MRN
Sun 10/5: Kansas Speedway, Hollywood Casino 400, 1pm, MRN
Sat 10/11: Charlotte Motor Speedway, Bank of America 500, 7pm, PRN
Sun 10/19: Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega 500, 1pm, MRN
Sun 10/26: Martinsville Speedway, Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 powered by Kroger, 12:30pm, MRN
Sun 11/2: Texas Motor Speedway, AAA Texas 500, 2pm, PRN
Sun 11/9: Phoenix Int'l Raceway, Sprint Cup 500, 2pm MRN
Sun 11/16: Homestead-Miami Speedway, Ford EcoBoost 400, 2pm, MRN
NASCAR Nationwide Series
Sat 9/13: Chicagoland Speedway, Nationwide 300, 3pm, MRN
Sat 9/20: Kentucky Speedway, Kentucky 300, 7pm, PRN
Sat 9/27: Dover Int'l Speedway, Nationwide 200, 3pm, MRN
Sat 10/4: Kansas Speedway, Nationwide 300, 3pm, MRN
Sat 11/1: Texas Motor Speedway, O'Reilly Challenge, 3pm, PRN
Sat 11/8: Phoenix Int'l Raceway, Nationwide 200, 3:30pm, MRN
Sat 11/15: Homestead-Miami Speedway, Ford EcoBoost 300, 4pm, MRN
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Sat 9/20: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, TBD, TBD, MRN
Sat 9/27: Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Smith's 350, 8pm, MRN
Sat 10/18: Talladega Superspeedway, Fred's 250 powered by Coca-Cola, 3:30pm, MRN
Sat 10/25: Martinsville Speedway, Kroger 200, 1pm, MRN
Indy Car Series