Joey Logano On The Pole In Atlanta, While 13 Cars Miss Qualifying

Joey Logano On The Pole In Atlanta, While 13 Cars Miss Qualifying

by February 27, 2015 0 comments

Photo Credit: Wayne Thomas

By: Hunter Thomas
Twitter: @HunterThomas08

HAMPTON, Ga. – Joey Logano will bring the field to the green flag on Sunday for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway after running a 28.477 second lap at 194.683 mph to sit on the Coors Light Pole during Drive Sober Qualifying Day.

Coming off of his Daytona 500 win, Joey Logano kept the momentum rolling as he led both practice sessions in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and then followed the efforts up with the pole run in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Logano’s pole on Friday marks the first of his career at the speedway in nine attempts.

“Hopefully, we’ll finish where we start,” Logano said. “It’s been an amazing few weeks if you think about the Daytona 500 and everything that comes along with that, and then coming down here to Atlanta and starting first is special, especially for me here at this race track. I remember sitting in the corner and watching drivers up here talking about their qualifying run and racing Legends cars out front here for years, so there are a lot of memories here.”

Kevin Harvick will start second on Sunday. He’s coming off of a runner-up finish in the Daytona 500. Harvick’s second place effort in qualifying marks his 12th top-10 start in 25 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

“I just did a bad job,” Harvick said. “Obviously, In Round 1 I missed Turn 1 and in the last round, I missed Turn 1 again and just didn’t get to the bottom like I needed to in order to get back in the throttle. I’m just really proud of everybody on our Jimmy John’s/Budweiser Chevrolet for everything that they’ve done. We have a fast car. The No. 22 (Joey Logano) has probably been the fastest in a single car run, but I feel really good about our car on the long haul and that’s what matters.”

Jamie McMurray will start third in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 on Sunday. He’s coming off of a 27th place finish in the Daytona 500. Friday’s qualifying effort is McMurray’s third top-10 start at the speedway.

“I thought we were really good in race trim and okay in Q trim,” McMurray said. “To be third is great because it is a challenging place because tires fall off fast here and we kept going faster every time we went out which is unheard of. With this rules package, the entry speed is quite a bit slower so that makes it a little bit easier. It’s been pretty cold all day, but it did cool down quite a bit more in the last hour. But the track had a lot of grip from the time we unloaded. It has been so cool, the sun hasn’t really affected it.”

However, the biggest storyline on Friday was how many cars that didn’t attempt a qualifying lap. During the first round of qualifying, 13 cars failed pre-qualifying tech at least once, some on several occasions. NASCAR says it’s because the teams are trying to figure out how to push the cars to limit and still stay within the new rules package.

“I think what we can say is that we saw areas where they’re looking for mechanical grip, for every last little bit the teams are pushing, and obviously they’ve given up downforce with the new package, and this place, the history of it, we all know how it is on tires, so the teams, that’s their job,” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director, Richard Buck said. “Their job is to push it to that very limit. Our job is to treat everybody fairly and give them an opportunity, everybody an opportunity to come through that inspection room, but their responsibility is to come through there right but to the limit, and so it’s — I think that’s what you saw today was everybody pushing the limits.”

Drivers who didn’t clock a lap in qualifying include the following: No. 26 Jeb Burton, No. 66 Mike Wallace, No. 24 Jeff Gordon, No. 20 Matt Kenseth, No. 48 Jimmie Johnson, No. 41 Regan Smith, No. 14 Tony Stewart, No. 35 Cole Whitt, No. 7 Alex Bowman, No. 40 Landon Cassill, No. 83 Matt DiBenedetto, No. 46 Michael Annett and No. 29 Reed Sorenson

Due to not making a lap, No. 66 Mike Wallace, No. 83 Matt DiBenedetto, No. 46 Michael Annett and No. 29 Reed Sorenson didn’t qualify for Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.

The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 will be live on FOX at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday.

Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Starting Lineup:
1.) #22 Joey Logano
2.) #4 Kevin Harvick
3.) #1 Jamie McMurray
4.) #11 Denny Hamlin
5.) #19 Carl Edwards
6.) #42 Kyle Larson
7.) #31 Ryan Newman
8.) #9 Sam Hornish Jr.
9.) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
10.) #5 Kasey Kahne
11.) #47 AJ Allmendinger
12.) #2 Brad Keselowski
13.) #27 Paul Menard
14.) #78 Martin Truex Jr.
15.) #3 Austin Dillon
16.) #51 Justin Allgaier
17.) #18 David Ragan
18.) #10 Danica Patrick
19.) #16 Greg Biffle
20.) #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
21.) #13 Casey Mears
22.) #55 Brett Moffitt
23.) #43 Aric Almirola
24.) #95 Michael McDowell
25.) #15 Clint Bowyer
26.) #38 David Gilliland
27.) #32 Mike Bliss
28.) #34 Joe Nemechek
29.) #6 Trevor Bayne
30.) #23 JJ Yeley
31.) #62 Brendan Gaughan
32.) #33 Brian Scott
33.) #98 Josh Wise
34.) #30 Ron Hornaday Jr.
35.) #24 Jeff Gordon
36.) #20 Matt Kenseth
37.) #48 Jimmie Johnson
38.) #41 Regan Smith
39.) #14 Tony Stewart
40.) #26 Jeb Burton
41.) #35 Cole Whitt
42.) #7 Alex Bowman
43.) #40 Landon Cassill

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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