No win, but plenty of success for Harvick in Atlanta

Jeannette Daniel
March 7, 2017

Fellow Thursday Thunder alumni Austin Dillon and Daniel Hemric came in eighth and ninth, respectively, while Cole Custer rounded out the top 10.

His hopes were ruined by not one, but two speeding penalties on pit road.

"That's the kind of thing that makes the difference".

Sunday afternoon's NASCAR race started under cloudy skies, which helped quell the fear of heat-related tire blowouts.

The last part is the most puzzling for Harvick.

Harvick led more laps than anyone each of the last three years, a total of 442 in all, but was never ahead when it mattered. The common theme? None of those laps have been the last one.

(Busch) "You gotta have a top team".

"He's a great guy, very good friend", Suarez said. "But it's my own doing". "Here at Atlanta, I don't do a good enough job up top".

"I think it'll be corrected next week", Elliott said. Consequently, a lucky Kurt moved past Elliott and won. Joey Logano, one of Team Penske's current stars for Ford, was 12 and 14, respectively, when those accomplishments occurred.

With a helping hand from lapped cars, pole-winner Busch was able to hold off Brad Keselowski by 0.606 seconds. Kevin Harvick was, no question, the class of the field Sunday in Atlanta. AJ Allmendinger tested on the road course at Charlotte over the offseason, so we know it's something that's at least been thought of. I knew that he wasn't going to be easy to pass.

It's no secret that Roush Fenway Racing is down in recent years with multiple experienced drivers jumping ship in over the last several seasons. First up is qualifying day on Friday, with gates opening to fans at 11:30 a.m. and on-track activity from all three national NASCAR touring series.

If you don't see a Joe Gibbs Racing driver when visiting the NASCAR standings webpage, just keep scrolling down. Not the win he was looking for, but overall, not a bad points day for the No. 4 team.

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Denny Hamlin has 15/1 odds today, but I like those odds for a driver of his caliber. He led 99 of 130 laps to win the Active Pest Control 200.

Despite the issues for the program, Hamlin was confident in his auto prior to a mechanical issue sending him to the garage.

"I didn't think I was pushing it", Harvick told his crew over the radio.

Re-thinking the Atlanta repave?

SMI owns Texas Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway (site of Sunday's race), New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway and Sonoma Raceway. Coming from a dirt track background which helps tremendously here, look for Busch to run this race wide open and try to get his third win in Atlanta.

"I think we all appreciate tracks with so much character", Johnson said.

"I want to sign all the drivers up on the glue team to help us glue the track back together. You pair that up with Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, and the people at SHR, hopefully it's to the point where we have a base line, and we can start to grow it and get even better from here". The aging asphalt surface is bumpy and striped with fix marks.

Harvick ruined a dominating performance by speeding on his final pit stop, allowing Brad Keselowski to steal a NASCAR Monster Energy Cup victory Sunday.

"I love all the positive comments we've gotten [on the current surface]", Smith said. "After Kevin's misfortune, that would have put us in a really good spot". It's a racers race track, fast and slick. His average finish at the track is also 9.611. At the same time, he made it clear the track was in desperate need of a makeover.

"I hate when I lose that way", Keselowski said. We got maybe a few too many wreck at Daytona, but after some initial hesitance, stage racing has received a mostly positive response.

NFL: The San Francisco 49ers have agreed to a three-year contract extension with wide receiver Jeremy Kerley. New pavement will change that.

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