Old track at Atlanta hurt NASCAR's young drivers - Kevin Harvick

Kevin Harvick says his NASCAR Cup dominance at Atlanta was down to greater experience of an older track that caused the series' younger talent to struggle

Old track at Atlanta hurt NASCAR's young drivers - Kevin Harvick

Only nine drivers were in the leading pack on the final lap at Atlanta and Chip Ganassi Racing's 25-year-old Kyle Larson was the only one of them aged under 30.

Just two drivers considered part of NASCAR's new generation, Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney, managed to finish on the lead lap as they took 10th and 12th.

NASCAR drivers had previously rejected the idea of the series repairing the abrasive track surface at Atlanta, meaning it has not been fully repaved in 20 years and favours those with experience of it.

"This is a racetrack that takes a lot of experience, and there's a lot of things that you have to know about your car and know about the racetrack to get the car around the racetrack," said Harvick.

Harvick expects the younger drivers to be more competitive at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.

"There will be a lot of young guys in the mix [at Vegas] with a racetrack that's a little calmer with things that you don't have to have in your memory bank," he said.

"But we're in a great spot in our sport because we have these young guys that are fired up and can drive the car fast and have great stories and have ties to great family heritage of our sport, and you have guys that you've never heard of. That's what you have to have."

Third-placed Atlanta finisher Clint Bowyer also believes the less conservative approach needed at Las Vegas will help young drivers.

"It's [Atlanta] just an old school racetrack," he said.

"This is the way most of the tracks were, and how you learned from the guys that we were learning from, the Jeff Gordons and all those guys.

"This is just the way it used to be when you had a lot of horsepower and you could spin the tyres a lot.

"Then it seems like you get on these tracks like we'll be at next weekend and it's qualifying laps every single lap, and those kids will show back up.

"If you can figure out a way to wear these things [tracks] out again, I'd appreciate it!"

shares
comments
NASCAR investigating failures of new pitguns after Atlanta

Previous article

NASCAR investigating failures of new pitguns after Atlanta

Next article

NASCAR Cup leader Joey Logano sceptical about Ford's 2018 start

NASCAR Cup leader Joey Logano sceptical about Ford's 2018 start
Load comments

About this article

Series NASCAR
Author Tom Errington
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
How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career Plus

How a second-chance NASCAR ace is rebuilding his career

From a disgraced NASCAR exile, Kyle Larson has been given a shot at redemption by the powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports squad. Replacing seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is no easy billing, but Larson has every intention of repaying the team's faith

NASCAR
Feb 11, 2021
Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines Plus

Autosport's top 5 NASCAR machines

The American stock car scene is more famous for its close racing and occasional punch-ups, but there have been some fantastic machines too. As part of Autosport's 70th anniversary celebrations in 2020, we picked out five of its best

NASCAR
Jan 3, 2021
Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started Plus

Why NASCAR's latest second-generation champion is just getting started

Chase Elliott's late charge to the 2020 NASCAR Cup title defied predictions that it would be a Kevin Harvick versus Denny Hamlin showdown. While the two veterans are showing no signs of slowing down, Elliott's triumph was a window into NASCAR's future

NASCAR
Nov 17, 2020
Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy Plus

Why Johnson’s playoff failure won’t tarnish his legacy

The last season of a retiring NASCAR great has shown promise, and may have resulted in another playoff push without small issues outside his control. 2020 won't be the year Jimmie Johnson would have wanted, but it won't be what he is remembered for

NASCAR
Sep 3, 2020
Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR Plus

Why a Le Mans winner is heading into the “unknown world” of NASCAR

Comparing Porsche's 919 HYBRID LMP1 to NASCAR is motorsport's equivalent of apples and oranges, but this weekend one of Weissach's top works aces will pit his skills against the regulars and revive the tradition of the 'road-course ringer'

NASCAR
Aug 13, 2020