NASCAR Atlanta: Joey Logano tops controversial qualifying day

Joey Logano followed up his Daytona 500 victory last weekend by taking pole position for the second NASCAR Sprint Cup round of the season at Atlanta

NASCAR Atlanta: Joey Logano tops controversial qualifying day

The Penske Ford driver edged reigning champion Kevin Harvick by 0.131s in the final segment of qualifying on Friday, while Jamie McMurray and Denny Hamlin completed the second row.

"In pratice we were faster on our second run, so I knew that the grip would stay in the tyres for at least two runs," said Logano.

"I didn't know about the third run, but apparently [the grip stayed] for the third run also.

"It was probably right at the limit, though. Probably the next run would have taken a pretty big jump down."

BIG NAMES FAIL TO RUN

The other major talking point of the session was the fact that 13 cars failed to clear technical inspection before qualifying, including Cup champions Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart.

With this weekend marking the first event running to the new 2015 technical regulations, several teams had to make multiple attempts at passing the new scrutineering process.

NASCAR officials delayed the start of qualifying by 15 minutes to try to allow teams a chance to pass the inspection process and still make it out for the first segment of qualifying, but in the end several missed the cut.

Cup series director Richard Buck said that some teams had to make several visits to inspection because they were "pushing it" on the technical side, but the saga did not go down well with some of the big name drivers to miss out.

"Yes we are pushing the limits, but something is wrong here," said four-time champion Gordon.

"I'm embarrassed for our series right now that this has happened."

Kenseth added that he had "a hard time believing it was the teams" at fault, while Stewart described the day as a "total waste".

"I don't know what to say," said Stewart. "We spent all of our practice working on qualifying, and we didn't even get a chance to make a lap.

"If we would have known this was going to happen, we could have worked on race set-up. It was a total waste of a day at the track."

While NASCAR's start rules mean that the high-profile drivers who missed out are guaranteed to be in the race, Mike Wallace, Matt DiBenedetto, Michael Annett and Reed Sorenson missed out on making the cut.

ATLANTA STARTING GRID

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 28.477s -
2 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 28.608s 0.131s
3 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 28.633s 0.156s
4 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 28.666s 0.189s
5 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 28.705s 0.228s
6 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 28.733s 0.256s
7 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 28.734s 0.257s
8 Sam Hornish Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 28.828s 0.351s
9 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 28.844s 0.367s
10 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 28.854s 0.377s
11 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 28.953s 0.476s
12 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 28.965s 0.488s
13 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 28.826s 0.349s
14 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet 28.828s 0.351s
15 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 28.853s 0.376s
16 Justin Allgaier HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 28.870s 0.393s
17 David Ragan Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 28.951s 0.474s
18 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 28.982s 0.505s
19 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 29.036s 0.559s
20 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 29.073s 0.596s
21 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet 29.079s 0.602s
22 Brett Moffitt Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 29.080s 0.603s
23 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 29.114s 0.637s
24 Michael McDowell Leavine Family Racing Ford 29.247s 0.770s
25 Clint Bowyer Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota 29.254s 0.777s
26 David Gilliland Front Row Motorsports Ford 29.257s 0.780s
27 Mike Bliss Go FAS Racing Ford 29.279s 0.802s
28 Joe Nemechek Front Row Motorsports Ford 29.305s 0.828s
29 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 29.348s 0.871s
30 J.J. Yeley BK Racing Toyota 29.460s 0.983s
31 Brendan Gaughan Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 29.471s 0.994s
32 Michael Annett Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 29.515s 1.038s
33 Josh Wise Phil Parsons Racing Ford 30.150s 1.673s
34 Ron Hornaday Jr. The Motorsports Group Chevrolet 30.605s 2.128s
35 Jeb Burton BK Racing Toyota - -
36 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet - -
37 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota - -
38 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet - -
39 Regan Smith Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet - -
40 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet - -
41 Cole Whitt Front Row Motorsports Ford - -
42 Alex Bowman Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet - -
43 Landon Cassill Hillman Smith Motorsports Chevrolet - -
44 Mike Wallace Premium Motorsports Chevrolet - -
45 Matt DiBenedetto BK Racing Toyota - -
46 Michael Annett HScott Motorsports Chevrolet - -
47 Reed Sorenson RAB Racing Toyota - -


shares
comments
David Ragan steps in for Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing after crash
Previous article

David Ragan steps in for Kyle Busch at Joe Gibbs Racing after crash

Next article

Atlanta NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson comes from back to victory

Atlanta NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson comes from back to victory
Load comments
How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory Plus

How Larson took the long way round to NASCAR Cup glory

From villain to hero, Kyle Larson’s journey to the 2021 NASCAR Cup title comes straight from the Hollywood blockbuster scripts. While Larson had to reach his lifelong goal the hard way and go through a very public shaming after a ban for using a racial slur, his talents shone long before his name grabbed the headlines for both the right and the wrong reasons

NASCAR
Nov 10, 2021
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Plus

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup Series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Plus

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Plus

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organisation - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR
Aug 31, 2021
The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin Plus

The F1 nearly-man winding back the clock in NASCAR’s European cousin

A multiple F3000 race winner, Marc Goossens was on the precipice of making Formula 1 in the 1990s - but a lack of budget left him without a path to the promised land. Turning to an illustrious racing career in sportscars, Goossens left the endurance circuit to try his hand at racing stock cars - and now calls the NASCAR Euro Series home

NASCAR
Jul 1, 2021
Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR Plus

Why a British prospect is trying to make it in NASCAR

There has never been a full-time British driver in the NASCAR Cup. But Alex Sedgwick, who is rising through the stock car ranks, wants that to change and could be a trailblazer for European talents to reach the top echelons of the NASCAR ladder

NASCAR
Feb 28, 2021
How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport Plus

How Earnhardt’s death changed American motorsport

It's 20 years since legendary driver Dale Earnhardt Sr died at the Daytona 500, but the legacy of his crash continues today through the pioneering safety work done by NASCAR

NASCAR
Feb 18, 2021
The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021 Plus

The NASCAR subplots to keep an eye on in 2021

This weekend's Daytona 500 kickstarts a NASCAR Cup season that promises plenty of intrigue courtesy of new owners and a refreshed calendar. Here's what you need to know ahead of the new season

NASCAR
Feb 12, 2021