Ryan Newman leads final practice at Atlanta

The Rocketman appears to be back at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Ryan Newman leads final practice at Atlanta
Joey Logano, Team Penske Ford Fusion and Ryan Newman, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota
Brandon Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Menards Jeld-Wen Toyota Camry
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

After barely losing out on the pole, Ryan Newman posted the fastest lap (184.868mph) in Happy hour in the opening moments of final practice.

What’s the secret to his speed at the worn out 1.5-mile track?

“They haven’t changed it for the last 20 years,” said Newman, who completed 49 laps in five runs. “I just enjoy the racetrack. We’ve got a good racecar with our Liberty National Life Insurance Chevrolet. Obviously, the Camaro is strong out of the box, but wish we could have got that pole for them as well as us.

“Just in general look forward to this weekend. I think the drivers fought really hard last year to make sure this place didn’t get repaved and I think we are going to put up the same battle again this year.”

Martin Truex Jr., who failed the Optical Scanning System station during pre-qualifying inspection and missed time trials on Friday, was second-quick with a lap of 184.597mph. Both drivers completed nine laps on their initial runs.

Paul Menard was third-fastest in the first 15-minutes and also held his spot over the course of the one hour, 20-minute session.

“It’s a great surface,” Menard said. “I know they will have to repave it at some point, but I hope I’m retired when they do.”

Denny Hamlin ran fourth followed by Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson, who went on a six-mile run with Ryan Dungey prior to Happy Hour.

“Jimmie’s been a good friend to me throughout my career,” Dungey said during a FOXSports interview. “Just a quality person.”

Chris Buescher was seventh on the board followed by Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer and Bubba Wallace.

“It’s been so low key, it’s been great,” Wallace said after his media blitz in Daytona. “I got to look back on last weekend and really enjoy it. This place is so different from Xfinity…We’re just taking it all in.”

The top 10 remained the same after the first 30-minutes. Bowyer’s 40 laps were the most completed. AJ Allmendinger, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Daniel Saurez, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Alex Bowman, Erik Jones, Kyle Larson and Aric Almirola rounded out the top 20 speeds.

Halfway through the 80-minute session, all 36 cars had posted laps. Michael McDowell’s 42 laps remained the most completed. Hendrick Motorsports had Byron, Bowman and Elliott work on pit road speeds. 

Logano’s 74 laps were the most completed in final practice.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 49 29.989     184.868
2 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 38 30.033 0.044 0.044 184.597
3 21 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 66 30.038 0.049 0.005 184.566
4 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 56 30.202 0.213 0.164 183.564
5 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 74 30.245 0.256 0.043 183.303
6 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 42 30.361 0.372 0.116 182.603
7 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 38 30.421 0.432 0.060 182.243
8 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 53 30.453 0.464 0.032 182.051
9 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 62 30.512 0.523 0.059 181.699
10 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 48 30.617 0.628 0.105 181.076
11 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 54 30.623 0.634 0.006 181.040
12 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 55 30.661 0.672 0.038 180.816
13 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 56 30.698 0.709 0.037 180.598
14 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 63 30.703 0.714 0.005 180.569
15 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 60 30.737 0.748 0.034 180.369
16 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 39 30.817 0.828 0.080 179.901
17 88 united_states Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 64 30.914 0.925 0.097 179.336
18 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 43 30.950 0.961 0.036 179.128
19 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 71 31.035 1.046 0.085 178.637
20 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 63 31.058 1.069 0.023 178.505
21 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 64 31.068 1.079 0.010 178.447
22 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 64 31.105 1.116 0.037 178.235
23 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 59 31.153 1.164 0.048 177.960
24 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 71 31.213 1.224 0.060 177.618
25 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 54 31.218 1.229 0.005 177.590
26 24 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 49 31.219 1.230 0.001 177.584
27 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 56 31.223 1.234 0.004 177.561
28 9 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 56 31.326 1.337 0.103 176.978
29 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 60 31.407 1.418 0.081 176.521
30 34 united_states Michael McDowell  Ford 46 31.582 1.593 0.175 175.543
31 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 35 31.621 1.632 0.039 175.327
32 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 28 31.715 1.726 0.094 174.807
33 15 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 22 31.727 1.738 0.012 174.741
34 23 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 12 33.120 3.131 1.393 167.391
35 51 united_states Harrison Rhodes  Chevrolet 20 33.208 3.219 0.088 166.948
36 00 united_states Jeffrey Earnhardt  Chevrolet 24 33.263 3.274 0.055 166.672

 

shares
comments
Truex's car chief ejected from Atlanta after inspection issues

Previous article

Truex's car chief ejected from Atlanta after inspection issues

Next article

NASCAR Cup Atlanta starting lineup in pictures

NASCAR Cup Atlanta starting lineup in pictures
Load comments
How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022 Prime

How NASCAR is gearing up for its "biggest change" in 2022

It’s not just Formula 1 that’s set for upheaval in 2022, as the NASCAR Cup series adopts its Next Gen cars that will cast any in-built advantages aside and require teams to adopt a totally new way of operating. Far more than just a change of machinery, the new cars amount to a shift in NASCAR's core philosophy

NASCAR Cup
Oct 12, 2021
Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR Prime

Why Bubba Wallace’s Talladega win is such a big moment for NASCAR

Bubba Wallace claimed his maiden NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega on Monday to become the first Black victor in the category since Wendell Scott in 1963. Both Wallace and Scott had faced obstacles and racism in their paths to their breakthrough wins, and NASCAR is trying to put it right with its range of diversity programmes

NASCAR Cup
Oct 5, 2021
Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI Prime

Why NASCAR's most resilient driver has landed on his feet at 23XI

In a career that has had many ups and downs, Kurt Busch has been written off many times before. But facing career uncertainty after the sale of Chip Ganassi's NASCAR team, the 2004 Cup champion has found a new berth at Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan's 23XI organization - which underlines his enduring value

NASCAR Cup
Aug 31, 2021
From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview Prime

From the archive: Dale Earnhardt’s final Autosport interview

The death of Dale Earnhardt in the 2001 Daytona 500 shocked NASCAR to the core. At the Daytona 24 Hours, two weeks before his fatal accident, ‘The Intimidator’ shared his expectations of challenging for an eighth Cup title with JONATHAN INGRAM, in an article first published in the 15 February 2001 issue of Autosport magazine. Little did we know then what tragedy would unfold…

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death Prime

The lasting NASCAR legacy after Dale Earnhardt’s death

On February 18, 2001, seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt – the fearless ‘Intimidator’ – was in his element at Daytona International Speedway. While his own DEI team’s cars ran 1-2 towards the finish line, his famed #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Monte Carlo was playing rear gunner to block any late runs from the chasing pack. As the cars tore through Turns 3 and 4 on that fateful final lap, Earnhardt maintained the strongarm tactics that encapsulated his persona… but his actions in those moments sadly proved to be his last.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 18, 2021
Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR Prime

Inspired by Pitbull, the “revolution” sweeping through NASCAR

The NASCAR Cup Series is changing. Whether it be the gradual morphing out the seasoned drivers of yesterday as the next generation step up, a radical calendar shake-up featuring more road courses than ever before and the prospect of an all-new car on the horizon, stock car racing’s highest level is nearing the end of a huge facelift.

NASCAR Cup
Feb 16, 2021
The NASCAR storylines to watch out for in 2021 Prime

The NASCAR storylines to watch out for 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 Cup
Feb 13, 2021
Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption Prime

Why Kyle Larson can't blow his big shot at redemption

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

NASCAR Cup
Feb 11, 2021