One week after the Daytona 500, the Sprint Cup continues rolling along into Atlanta. The most recent 500 champion picks up right where he left off on the pole for the second race of the season.
Joey Logano, the 24-year-old phenom for Team Penske, will pace the field in Atlanta after torching them on Friday evening. After winning five races and finishing fourth in points last season, it appears Logano is clearly gunning for more in 2015.
Now that Logano has a spot virtually secured for the Chase, a myriad of other notable names will be gunning for their berth on Sunday. Before the green flag waves, here's a look at the full race information and drivers to watch for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.
Where: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Georgia
When: Sunday, March 1
Start Time: 1 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Fox Sports Go
Radio: Performance Racing Network
Drivers to Watch
Joey Logano, Team Penske
Carrying momentum into qualifying was one thing. Bringing that to Victory Lane for a second straight week, on the other hand, is slightly more difficult. It's so rare, in fact, that only five drivers have ever accomplished the feat.
The most recent racers to take the first two checkered flags were Matt Kenseth in 2009 and Jeff Gordon way back in 1997. Looking to make his name synonymous with some of the legends in the sport, Logano has a chance to accomplish just that on Sunday.
As for where he already ranks in terms of current drivers, Nate Ryan of NBC Sports passed along his thoughts on the reaction following the Daytona 500:
Nate Ryan @nateryan
Postrace reax shows @joeylogano win extremely popular with peers (see @TonyStewart). Some of it stems from overcoming adversity ... #nascar2015-2-23 14:10:05
Nate Ryan @nateryan
...but much is pure respect for Daytona 500 performance. @joeylogano didn't have best car, but best driver Sunday won race. He was flawless.2015-2-23 14:11:23
In his short career, Logano has taken nine wins, none of which have come in Atlanta. Sitting on the pole for the second race of the year, it seems feasible that Logano might just earn that elusive victory—as he did the Sunday prior in the biggest win of his career.
Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports
If any driver knows how to overcome adversity, it's Gordon.
After the qualifying debacle he endured on Friday, Gordon starts 35th in Atlanta thanks to earning a provisional spot. Gordon offered his take of the disastrous qualifying round after he failed inspection:
Jeff Gordon @JeffGordonWeb
Wish crew chiefs that had issues getting thru inspection had opportunity to be in the media center to give their side. #agreetodisagree2015-2-28 01:24:01
During his career, Gordon has started 20th or worse in nine Atlanta races. Of those, the 43-year-old driver has earned four top 10s—three of those saw him in third or better.
In his final full-time season, Gordon will be looking for a sixth win at a track where he won early and often. Though he'll have to charge from the back to do so, it's clear Gordon is more than capable of driving to Victory Lane.
Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing
The first win in Kevin Harvick's illustrious career took place in Atlanta back in 2001. Since that point, he's captured 27 more wins and won the 2014 championship.
One thing he hasn't done since, however, is take a checkered flag in Atlanta at the Sprint Cup level.
Clearly at the top of his game, Harvick obviously hopes to earn a spot in the Chase early like he did last season. After all, he did complete the first leg of his sweep in Phoenix last year in the second race of 2014.
Look for Harvick up front throughout the afternoon, with a second burnout in Atlanta finally taking place.
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