Keselowski, Busch, Bell winners at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Brad Keselowski (Team Penske) wins the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the second round of the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. Keselowski scored his 22nd Cup Series win in a career and the first ever at Atlanta.
A day earlier, both Xfinity Series and Camping World Truck Series had their races at Atlanta’s 1.54-mile oval. Kyle Busch was celebrating two times, first as the winner of Rinnai 250 and then as the owner of Christopher Bell‘s winning car in the Active Pest Control 200 race.
Harvick lost a race in a pit road
Kevin Harvick started from pole and dominated for most of the race, taking both stage wins and leading for 292 of 325 laps. In the third stage, Harvick was in the lead until the sixth caution of the day, with 13 laps to go. After leaving a pit, he was penalized because of being too fast in a pit road. That puts him behind and promoted Kyle Larson into the lead.
Larson led just few laps before Brad Keselowski passed him on a low line with six laps to go. Keselowski crossed the finish line 0.565 seconds ahead of Larson, with Matt Kenseth following them in the third place. Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott completed the Top 5. Kevin Harvick finished in the ninth place.
87th Xfinity Series win for Kyle Busch
On Saturday, Kyle Busch scored his second consecutive win at Atlanta’s Xfinity Series race and his 87th overall victory in 329 Xfinity Series starts, extending his own series record. Busch started from pole for the sixth time at Atlanta and led for 26 laps before pulling away on final restart and beat Brad Keselowski. Kyle Larson finished third, ahead of Kevin Harvick, who led for most laps (64).
Elliot Sadler (#1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet) was the fifth overall and the best among regular Xfinity Series entries, finishing behind four Cup Series drivers who are not eligible to score points. After two races, Sadler leads the Xfinity standings by three points over rookie William Byron, who finished seventh at Atlanta, behind Darrell Wallace Jr.
Kyle Busch’s #18 Toyota failed post-race inspection for a height violation, according to NASCAR officials. The car will be taken back to the NASCAR Research &Development Center in Concord, North Carolina for final inspection and any penalties will be announced next week.
Third win for Christopher Bell
Christopher Bell, a driver of the #4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota, caused one more celebration for Kyle Busch on Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The 22-year-old driver from Oklahoma scored his third Truck Series win in a career in 32 starts. Bell was a dominating driver in a 130-lap race, leading for 99 laps, but he had to held off Matt Crafton in a final two-lap shootout to cross the finish line as the winner.
Before that final fight, Austin Cindric’s spun off on Lap 124, bringing out the eighth and final caution of the race. Defending Truck Series champion Johnny Sauter finished in the third place, ahead of Ben Rhodes and Chase Elliott.
Photos: Getty Images/nascar.com,