starting lineup breakdown for Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

NASCAR


HAMPTON, Ga. — Kyle Busch will start from the pole Sunday — or whenever the NASCAR Cup Series race is run at Atlanta Motor Speedway (2 p.m. ET, Fox).

With a 70 percent chance of rain forecast for Sunday, teams could face an old and worn-out racetrack with little rubber on it. They have 12 sets of tires for the race, including the set they qualified on that they will use to start the race.

Here’s how the field breaks down:

1. Kyle Busch: Did you know: This is his first Atlanta pole in 20 Cup starts.

2. Ryan Newman: He knows how to go fast at Atlanta, as this is his 11th front-row starting spot in 26 career Atlanta starts.

3. Kevin Harvick: Harvick led 292 laps at Atlanta last year but finished ninth.

4. Daniel Suarez: Who had Suarez as a top qualifier in their pool?

5. Brad Keselowski: He’s the defending champ of this race. And guess where he started a year ago? Fifth.

6. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: This wasn’t much of a surprise after he posted the top speed in practice Friday afternoon.

7. Kurt Busch: He has finished seventh or better in six of his past eight Atlanta races.

8. Kyle Larson: He started eighth last year too. And finished second.

9. Clint Bowyer: In his previous six Atlanta starts, his best starting spot was 12th. That’s good news for a driver who has never finished in the top five at Atlanta.

10. Erik Jones: Jones started 23rd and finished 14th in his lone career Atlanta start last season.

11. Aric Almirola: His best finish at Atlanta was four years ago, when he ended up ninth.

12. Denny Hamlin: He didn’t make a run in the final qualifying round, because he didn’t want to add more laps to his tires after having to go out three times in the opening round.

13. Jamie McMurray: He has started in the top 15 in his past six Atlanta starts.

14. Kasey Kahne: Kahne has three career victories at Atlanta; last year, he finished fourth.

15. Paul Menard: He has led just two laps in 16 career Atlanta starts.

16. Joey Logano: Believe it or not, this is four spots better than his average starting spot (20.6) at this track.

17. Michael McDowell: A great Daytona 500 has him sixth in the standings.

18. Alex Bowman: Bowman might not be thrilled with an 18th starting spot, but it’s the best of the Hendrick cars.

19. Darrell Wallace Jr.: If Wallace has a top-20 finish too, it really wouldn’t be all that bad a day.

20. Trevor Bayne: He has finished from 12th to 22nd in his four career Atlanta races.

21. AJ Allmendinger: He gas three top-10 finishes in 12 Atlanta starts.

22. Jimmie Johnson: It might be a longer race for Johnson than last week, but it could be just as frustrating.

23. William Byron: This might be one of those races in which he follows Johnson and learns.

24. Chris Buescher: His fifth-place finish in the Daytona 500 led a pair of top-10 finishes for JTG Daugherty Racing.

25. Austin Dillon: He won the Daytona 500. Do you think he really cares where he starts at Atlanta?

26 Ryan Blaney: This is one of three tracks where he has not posted a top-15 finish.

27. Chase Elliott: This is his home track. Where’s the love?

28. Ty Dillon: The best of the RCR alliance cars starts second (Ryan Newman) and ranges all the way to Dillon.

29. David Ragan: Ragan is making his 400th career NASCAR Cup Series start.

30. Matt DiBenedetto: He had a good run going at the Daytona 500 until a late crash.

31. Gray Gaulding: His 20th-place finish last week at Daytona earned BK Racing $450,000.

32. Cole Whitt: He is making his first start of the year in sharing the ride with Corey LaJoie.

33. Jeffrey Earnhardt: Looking for more speed.

34. Ross Chastain: Chastain will make his first start of the year in the No. 15 car, which was No. 7 last week for Danica Patrick.

35. Martin Truex Jr.: Technical inspection woes have him starting in the rear and without his car chief.

36. Harrison Rhodes: Rhodes is making his NASCAR Cup debut in a Rick Ware Racing car. He has 84 career Xfinity starts.



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