Saturday, September 3, 2011

The 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Race At Atlanta Motor Speedway Preview

Atlanta Motor Speedway (formerly Atlanta International Raceway) is a 1.54 miles quad- oval track with a seating capacity of over 125,000. The track opened in 1960 as a 1.5- mile standard oval. In 1997, the entire track was almost completely rebuilt. The front stretch and backstretch were swapped, and the configuration of the track was changed from oval to quad-oval. The project made the track one of the fastest NASCAR circuit. Saturday September 3rd, the NASCAR Nationwide series rolls into Atlanta Motor Speedway to start race 26 out of 34 on there season schedule. Saturday morning, the Nationwide drivers had two practice sessions and at about 3:30pm ET they qualified for Saturday’s night race. Going into the race Saturday night, there are a couple big new stories.
NASCAR has reinstated crew member Troy Hartman upon his successful completion of NASCAR’s Road to Recovery Program following his July 5,2011 suspension for violation the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy. NASCAR has also reinstated Denise Harmon-Mixon, a crew member in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, following her successful completion of NASCAR’s Road to Recovery Program.
Rodger Penske hopes to field two full time Nationwide programs in 2012, including one for former Indy Car and Indianapolis 500 Champion Sam Hornish Jr. Penske would like to run a second Nationwide team and split the driving duties between Brad Keselowki and Parker Kligerman.
Two- time NASCAR K@N Pro Series East Champion Ryan Truex will make his debut for Joe Gibbs Racing, driving the N0. 20 Toyota that finished second to Kyle Busch a week ago at Bristol. Truex is also scheduled to run Richmond, Chicago, Dover, Kansas and phoenix with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Jamie McMurray (2010 Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 Champion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ) will be racing in the #7 JR Motor Sports Chevy this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. McMurray is the defending race winner of the Great Clips 300.
In the first practice session Aric Almirola was the fastest with a lap time of 30.820 (179.883 MPH). Carl Edwards was second fastest, Kevin Harvick was third, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was fourth, and Kasey Kahne was fifth fastest. In the second and final practice session, rookie Ryan Truex was the fastest with a lap time of 31.545 (175.749 MPH). Penske Racing driver Brad Keselowski was second fastest, Jr motor sports driver Aric Almirola was third fastest, Mike Bliss was fourth fastest and Kyle Busch was fifth fastest.
In Qualifying it was Carl Edwards who grabbed the pole for Saturday nights Nationwide race at Atlanta. Brad Keselowski starts second, Kyle Busch starts third, Ryan Truex starts fourth. and Ricky Stenhouse Jr starts fifth.
You got to keep your eye on Joe Gibbs Racing, Roush fen way , Kevin Harvick Inc: Those are the team’s that have the best chance at getting the win Saturday night. You wont exactly know who is going to win, until you tune into ESPN2, 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday, and get ready to see great NASCAR Nationwide Series Racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway!

To see the complete results of practice one, click on the link below.

To see the complete results of practice two, click on the link below.

To see the complete results of qualifying, click on the link below.

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