Chase Elliott overcomes Daytona 500 blues; Tops MECS Atlanta Practice

07 March, 2017, 00:41 | Author: Lorraine Moran

While the racing at AMS tends to be fast and exciting, it's hard to match the intensity and excitement generated by last week's season-opening Daytona 500.

Kevin Harvick easily dominated all day long, winning the first two Stages and leading 292 laps.

- The biggest stars in NASCAR are racing to Georgia right now, as Atlanta Motor Speedway hosts the second stop on the 2017 season. This track is so fast.

The last time Atlanta Motor Speedway's track was paved was 1997. The Bakersfield, CA native had no problems keeping the rest of the field at bay.

"He's a great guy, very good friend", Suarez said.

NASCAR race cars don't have speedometers, but tachometers on the cars' digital dashes allow drivers to judge speeds along pit road.

And that's exactly what happened. Fellow Thursday Thunder alumni Austin Dillon and Daniel Hemric came in eighth and ninth, respectively, while Cole Custer rounded out the top 10. However, a staggering 11 pit road speeding penalties forced many drivers to face tough decisions and adversity throughout the race, including sure-winner Kevin Harvick during a late-race yellow. But on that final trip down pit road, the bad-luck snake struck, and Harvick was caught speeding on pit road.

Larson would go on to finish second, with Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott rounding out the top five.

If you watch the above highlight from about the 2:06 mark, you'll see the man slowly wander in from screen left, and set himself up perfectly in the shot behind Brad Keselowski's celebration, before being asked to move in the final seconds of the interview. Photo by Zach Darrow. Ryan Blaney in 8th and Trevor Bayne in 10th show Ford's dominance after the first two races. "You can get all sorts of momentum or you can get all sorts of momentum taken away from you".

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Elliott on the speeding penalties: "I think I know why, but I really don't want to share why".

"I'm so sorry guys", Harvick told his team over the radio. Despite two polls and three consecutive top-10 finishes, Harvick has been shut out of Victory Lane in one way or another in all four attempts.

"This place is so much fun, just the slipping and sliding" Crafton said.

JIMMIE'S WOES: Johnson, the seven-time Cup champion, was trying to become the first driver to win the Atlanta race three years in a row. That's why I try to commit myself to the bottom throughout the race.

"I thought our vehicle was as good as Kevin's auto was", Elliott said.

"It's really a fine line if you're running right at that miles per hour (limit)", Kasey Kahne said.

The only thing that might give Harvick a bit of comfort on a devastating day is that he was far from alone in the pit-road parade of pedaling too fast.

Before the green flag falls for today's Folds of Honor QuickTrip 500. "I can't thank everybody at the shop enough for building great race cars, and Hendrick engines for supplying us with some great engines".


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