Alright everyone we get our first look at the “high drag” package today in Atlanta. Keep in mind the cars are not running the air ducts today. Next week in Las Vegas will be the debut of the complete “draft” package. Today we have 550 HP, 8 inch spoilers, and 2 inch front splitters. No clue what we’ll see today.
*this is a live blog so hit that refresh button every few laps*
Lap 1: Almirola and Stenhouse bring us to the green flag. Three years ago that would have been an absurd sentence. Stenhouse leads lap 1 from the high side.
Lap 4: Hamlin killed Bowyer’s momentum which killed Larson’s and man does it kill speed. No throttle response means those guys fell back and now have to build that up again.
Lap 9: Cars are running three and four wide at times still. NASCAR wanted this with this package and so far it’s working. Runs off the high side have been huge so far.
Lap 23: Almirola still leads. Larson pressuring Stenhouse hard for second. Truex making moves in the #19 car but seems to have stalled out a bit.
Lap 29: McDowell has fallen all the way to 20th after starting 12th. Appears FRM didn’t build much downforce into the car which hurts them during the race. But in qualifying he’s money.
Lap 32: Larson still trying to get by Stenhouse. Truex getting by Hamlin for 4th. Passing has been a struggle for some people at this point.
Lap 35: CAUTION: competition caution after rain passed through the area last night. Almirola still leads.
Lap 38: Larson wins the race of pit road. HUGE for him on the restart. Almirola will take the outside which is a huge disadvantage.
Lap 41: Green Flag, Larson leads and it’s two by two behind him. Harvick alongside Hamlin for third
Lap 48: Here’s something you don’t see often. Kyle Busch falling. He restarted 5th and he’s back to 12th.
Lap 53: Larson is out to a 1.7 lead which feels like a 5 second lead with this package.
Lap 61: Harvick up to third. Larson leads by 3.2 seconds now. We’re back into the old Atlanta groove. Spread out, everyone fighting tire fall off.
Lap 69: nice. Also Harvick moves into second around Almirola. He’s 4.5 seconds behind Larson
Lap 85: Kyle Larson wins stage 1. Harvick second, once he got around Almirola he couldn’t really gain on Larson which was interesting.
Lap 88: Harvick dominated Larson on pit road. The #4 will be the leader, Larson will be stuck on the outside. Almirola too fast on pit road.
Lap 93: Kurt Busch takes Larson and Harvick three wide on the
Lap 96: Things have settled down, Harvick leads Truex and Larson
Lap 111: Harvick leads by half a second over larson. Blaney up to 4th.
Lap 112: Larson takes the lead as Havick bobbles.
Lap 121: Logano says if Bowman pits legally again and blocks him in then Joey is going to “knock him off the jack” which is wildly dangerous and absurd since the #88 is making legal pit stops. Also that’s frustration talking but it’s a legal pit stop. The #22 needs to stop shorter in his box.
Lap 126: Larson dives to pit road. He’s the first of the lead cars on and he’s triggered a mass dive to the pits.
Lap 130: Larson leads by 2 seconds after pit stops. Kyle Busch missed pit road, he’s 15th now.
Lap 140: Jimmie Johnson, still not right. Larson laps the #48 who is absolutely flailing today.
Lap 153: Larson and Harvick are swapping the lead now. Larson regains control.
Lap 163: Harvick takes the lead after Larson got dead sideways.
Lap 170: Harvick wins Stage 2. Larson second, Turex third, Blaney fourth, Hamlin fifth.
Lap 177: Harvick and Larson bring us back to green. Larson hangs strong on the outside. Blaney blocks Bowyer who wasn’t pumped and Larson takes the lead.
Lap 179: Kyle Busch is up to 3rd. Ok then.
Lap 214: Not much has changed. Larson leads Truex and Harvick.
Lap 222: Truex is now side by side with the #42 for the lead.
Lap 222: CAUTION. Kyle Busch is smoking, right rear flat.
Kyle Larson won the race off pit road but he was hit with a speeding penalty.
Lap 227: Harvick takes us back to green and leads over Blaney and Truex.
Lap 232: Blaney to the lead. Harvick says he’s tight and has dropped to 4th. Sad. Haha.
Lap 272: CAUTION: Preece slams BJ McLeod on pit road.
Lap 280: NASCAR is still trying to figure out the running order.
Lap 282: Green, Kurt and Logano side by side wuth a little advantage to kurt. Brad K making big moves
Lap 289: Penske 1-2 now with Logano leading. Mike Joy is still mad at BJ McLeod.
Lap 291: Brad K slams the back of Logano down the back stretch. And they’re side by side.
Lap 292: Brad K to the lead.
Lap 304: Logano to pit road for a loose tire. Truex to second.
Lap 309: Hemric comes to pit road for a flat tire. He was running P5. Bummer
Lap 314: Blaney pits with a left front that was coming apart. Same thing for Hemric. The last 10 laps could be marred by tire issues.
Lap 325: Brad K wins the race. Truex second.