Race Weekend Update
Keselowski wins at Atlanta:
#2-Brad Keselowski won the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway for his 1st win of the season, 1st win at Atlanta and 22nd career win. He led 21 of the 325 laps. Keselowski took the race lead with 60 laps to go, but had to pit a second time under caution after a wheel was left loose. He rebounded to pass Larson for the lead with 6 to go and held on to win by just over a half second.
#42-Larson finished 2nd, followed by #20-Kenseth, #5-Kahne, #24-Elliott, #22-Logano, #41-Busch, #78-Truex, Jr., #4-Harvick, and #1-McMurray.
Polesitter #4-Harvick dominated the race. He led 82 of the first 85 laps and was the leader at the end of stage one. He then led 72 of the next 85 laps and led at the end of stage 2. He ran up from during the second half of the race but was caught speeding on pit road during the final pit stop with 14 laps to go. He led 293 of the 325 laps.
There were 10 lead changes among 6 drivers and 6 cautions for 32 yellow flag laps.
Las Vegas Motor Speedway to get 2nd Cup race?
Las Vegas is close to getting a second top-tier NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board of directors scheduled a special meeting Wednesday to consider an annual $2.5 million sponsorship agreement with NASCAR that would include the addition of a fall race at the speedway.
Since 1998, NASCAR has had a Las Vegas race, usually in March. This year's race, the Kobalt 400, a part of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race series, is March 12.
NASCAR issued a statement from Jim Cassidy, senior vice president of Racing Operations and NASCAR Event Management, that said: "We are constantly working with promoters to discuss and develop NASCAR schedules. We have not finalized any schedules for 2018 or beyond, but will announce them as they become final."
Atlanta will reconsider track repave
Speedway Motorsports Inc. chairman Marcus Smith said a planned repaving of Atlanta, which is set to begin soon after the race weekend, could be put on hold. Drivers in all three of NASCAR's national series have made comments this weekend asking the track not to repave in order to preserve the high-quality racing it currently produces.
NEXT RACE: This weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway; TV live on FOX at 12:30 p.m. OT
NEXT RACE: The Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. March 16-19.
STEWART PICKS JAY HOWARD TO DRIVE INDY 500
Tony Stewart has chosen Jay Howard to drive for Stewart's foundation in the Indianapolis 500. Stewart last month announced the formation of TEAM ONE CURE, which is a primary program of The Tony Stewart Foundation. The foundation will sponsor a car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, and Howard will drive the No. 77. The duo made a video that can be seen here.
Howard won the 2005 U.S. Formula Ford Zetec Championship and rookie of the year award in his first year racing in the United States. The British driver won the Indy Lights title in 2006 driving for Schmidt. He qualified for his first Indy 500 in 2011. Howard has 12 career IndyCar starts, none since 2011, and finished 30th in his only Indianapolis 500.
FIRST RACE: This weekend on the Streets of St. Petersburg, March 10-12. TV live on ABC at 9 a.m. PT.
- Wednesday Night Drags and Sonoma Drift kick off next week! Details: sonomaraceway.com/track/you-can-race/
Toyota unveiled its first autonomous test vehicle in Sonoma last week: www.autofan.com/news-277-first-autonomous-test-vehicle-developed-entirely-by-toyota-research-institute-displayed-at-prius-challenge-event-at-sonoma-raceway.html