HAMPTON, GA – We don’t really know what to expect for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (2 p.m. ET/FOX/PRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). With a new rules package and really just two practice sessions to figure it out, there are still a lot of unknowns for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
But, if we do know anything, it’s that Clint Bowyer may be the favorite.
Bowyer, was fastest in practice on Friday. He was fastest in the first two rounds of qualifying later on in the afternoon. He’d end up qualifying third overall in his No. 14 Ford.
In final practice on Saturday, Bowyer was once again fastest. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver circled the 1.54-mile track with a speed of 179.104 mph. In five rounds this weekend, he was first in four of them and third in the other.
Kyle Busch was second in his No. 18 Toyota but he will now have to go to a backup car. Busch, spun and went rear end first in the Turn 2 SAFER barrier just minutes into final practice, so despite turning a lap of 178.873 mph, he will start in the back.
Austin Dillon (178.712 mph), Michael McDowell (178.672 mph) and Corey LaJoie (178.436 mph) rounded out the top five.
Erik Jones also had an incident in practice when his power steering went out on his No. 20 Toyota.
Brad Keselowski only turned a handful of laps in his No. 2 Ford because he woke up on Saturday morning with flu like symptoms. Austin Cindric took a bulk of the laps in practice this afternoon.