Bowyer Tops First Atlanta Practice

The first official practice with the new package surprisingly saw essentially no drafting. With the advantage it will have in qualifying later on Friday, it now seems that the qualifying session will be the first time we see these cars running together under the current setups.

The two Stewart-Haas Racing Fords of Clint Bowyer and Aric Almirola topped the speed charts. Bowyer finished 3rd at Atlanta a year ago, his only Top-5 finish here in his career that spans 18 starts at the 1.5-mile oval. He’s coming off of a disappointing day at Daytona where he caused one of the several “Big One’s” towards the end of the day when he attempted to cut in front of Michael McDowell. Almirola has generally done well at Atlanta. During his time with Richard Petty Motorsports, Almirola once tallied four straight Top-20 finishes here. In his first Atlanta start with Stewart-Haas Racing, Almirola finished 13th.

The rest of the Top-5 were the 3 drivers that hold the last 4 Daytona 500 victories; Austin Dillon, Kurt Busch, and 2019 Daytona 500 Champion Denny Hamlin. Hamlin is just one week removed from winning the biggest race of his career for a second time, but far more meaningful this time around. Not only did he have two of his teammates right behind him finishing 2nd and 3rd, but in January, J.D. Gibbs, the son of car owner Joe Gibbs and a dear friend of Denny Hamlin, passed away. He would have turned 50 on Thursday.

114Clint BowyerFord30.774180.152
210Aric AlmirolaFord30.802179.988
33Austin DillonChevy30.839179.772
41Kurt BuschChevy30.902179.406
511Denny HamlinToyota30.984178.931
619Martin Truex Jr.Toyota30.992178.885
720Erik JonesToyota31.007178.798
818Kyle BuschToyota31.010178.781
922Joey LoganoFord31.019178.729
1041Daniel SuarezFord31.019178.729
1142Kyle LarsonChevy31.023178.706
1213Ty DillonChevy31.079178.384
1388Alex BowmanChevy31.084178.355
146Ryan NewmanFord31.096178.287
1517Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Ford31.116178.172
168Daniel HemricChevy31.121178.143
1721Paul MenardFord31.139178.040
1837Chris BuescherChevy31.140178.035
1995Matt DiBenedettoToyota31.160177.920
2034Michael McDowellFord31.181177.801
2148Jimmie JohnsonChevy31.188177.761
2238David RaganFord31.188177.761
239Chase ElliottChevy31.253177.391
2447Ryan PreeceChevy31.270177.295
252Brad KeselowskiFord31.292177.170
2624William ByronChevy21.294177.159
2712Ryan BlaneyFord21.297177.142
2843Bubba WallaceChevy31.371176.724
294Kevin HarvickFord31.444176.313
3032Corey LaJoieFord31.558175.677
3136Matt TifftFord31.583175.537
3296*Parker KligermanToyota31.601175.437
3300Landon CassillChevy31.653175.149
3415Ross Chastain (i)Chevy31.732174.713
3552BJ McLeod (i)Chevy32.169172.340
3651Cody WareFord34.383161.242
3777Garrett Smithley (i)Chevy0.0000.000

Author: Tom Bailey

Tom Bailey (@TomBaileyScoop) grew up in the backyard of Chicagoland Speedway, making a passion for all motorsports inevitable. Tom is entering his first full year of racing coverage in 2020 as the owner and founder of You can contact him at [email protected]

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