Elliott to lead field to green at Atlanta

HAMPTON, Ga. – Chase Elliott will lead Sunday’s field to the green flag at Atlanta Motor Speedway as one of three Hendrick Motorsports drivers to start inside the top 10.

Kyle Larson will roll off in third position, Alex Bowman will take the grid in eighth, and William Byron will start 13th.

Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series qualifying session at Atlanta was rained out leading to the lineup being set by the metric formula used to determine the qualifying order.

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While Elliott is still in search of his maiden victory at Atlanta, he has finished well at the 1.54-mile track in the past. Elliott has six top-10 finishes in eight starts. His No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 led the field for 29 circuits in its sixth-place finish in March at the track.

Getting a win at his home track would mean a lot to the Dawsonville, Georgia, native.

“I would love to win here,” Elliott said. “That would be one of the best things to do to win at your home track. I’ve watched guys do that over the years and you can tell that means a lot to them. I think it would be very much the same. For me, it would be very meaningful to be able to check that box. “

Larson finds himself in a similar position to Elliott when it comes to Atlanta. With two runner-up finishes in his career, he has yet to taste victory in Georgia. The California native lead 269 laps in the spring 2021 race, but came up just short. The No. 5 HendrickCars.com team will look to break through for another victory and capitalize on their good track position to start the race.

As Atlanta’s most recent Cup Series winner, Byron comes into the weekend looking for a season sweep at the repaved, reprofiled track. With a victory, Byron would be the first driver since Jimmie Johnson in 2007 to sweep both races at the facility. But being the first to checkered flag will require mental strength the Charlotte, North Carolina, native noted in a Saturday media availability.

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“We know that this race is going to be its own beast and there’s going to be a lot that happens, and just try to mentally and physically prepare for that,” Byron said. “Make sure you’re studying the things that happened in the last race here because I do think it’ll be a similar race.”

Sporting a special Ally Milestone Initiative paint scheme this weekend, Bowman enters Atlanta looking to capitalize off of past success. With two top-five finishes and three top-10s in his last three starts here, the Tucson, Arizona native has run well of late at the Georgia track. The No. 48 Ally Racing team will also be happy to return to a 1.5-mile track as Bowman is the only driver to nab top-10 finishes in each of those four races this season.

Hendrick Motorsports will be looking to add to its Cup-best 15 wins at the Hampton, Georgia-located venue. That total stands as its fifth-most victorious track on the circuit.

Tune in for Sunday’s 400-mile main event from Atlanta at 3 pm ET on USA Network, PRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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