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Folds of Honor 500 in Atlanta

Posted by Amy in NASCAR

(Photo Source: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

It seems like yesterday that I was cruising through January impatiently counting down the days until Daytona and now we are already done with the second race of the season. The Folds of Honor 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway showcased good side-by-side racing and some pit strategy. This new “aero package” that they are using seems to keep the cars sporty around with each other.

There was some great racing early on between Harvick and Logano keeping it interesting for the lead. Then the end of the race between Keselowski and Truex- I loved Brad’s strategy whether intentional or not- running different lines during the last three laps, I think Truex wasn’t able to figure out where to zig because he didn’t know where Brad was going to be zagging. It was a fun race to watch.

Stewart-Haas drivers started off the weekend strong, with the driver of the 10 Smithfield Ford, Aric Almirola, winning the pole and then Clint Bowyer ending up fastest in last practice. The went in strong, and the team would finish strong: with all four drivers finishing in the top 10 and two of them finishing in the top 5. An excellent showing for the team running the new Ford Mustang package. Who won? Well, that would be fellow Ford driver Brad Keselowski, who won after battling the stomach flu all weekend. That is amazing to me. When out of the car, the first people thanked by Brad were his wife (who was also ill) and the staff at the infield care center for taking such good care of him all weekend. Brad was feeling so poorly on Saturday that he actually missed part of final practice. And won the race. Wow, talk about perseverance.

(Photo Source: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

It seems that while there were a lot of issues in the pits this race. Alex Bowman crowded Joey Logano on the first two pit stops, with Joey Logano threatening to knock him off the jack if it happened again. Then on the next round of pit stops Alex Bowman stopped deeper into his pit box and anticipating the last two issues, Joey’s crew short pitted in him the stall, which in turn blocked Martin Truex Jr in his pit box. And ironically Martin Truex Jr ended up threatening the exact same thing that Logano threatened Bowman with- knocking him off the jack. You just have to kind of chuckle.

Then later in the race Ryan Preece slammed into the back on BJ McLeod on pit road. That was an accident caused by inexperience and could have been even more devastating. Preece left his pit, and meanwhile, BJ McLeod seems to get lost on pit road and slows way down, and Preece rear-ends him and sends him spinning into the pit, eventually coming to a rest against the pit wall backward. The national broadcast mentioned that a gas man was pinned by McLeod’s car but was able to get out from between the car and the wall himself and wanted to “walk it off” but was golf carted to the infield care center. I am not even sure whose gasman it was because McCleod was still five pits away from his box still. I haven’t heard anything more about his condition. They are lucky that more crew members didn’t get injured or contact. Seems Preece was looking down at his digital dashboard trying to pay attention to his speed and looked up too late to notice that McLeod had slowed to a complete stop.

 

Update 2/25:  Anthony Pasut, fueler assigned to JTG Daugherty Racing (No. 37 team), suffered a broken fibula, torn ACL and other injuries to his right leg during a pit road incident Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

That said it is time for me to start to get excited for race weekend in Vegas. Keep track of my at-track activity on my twitter: @AmyKayRocks.

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