Wednesday, Aug 10

Ford Performance NASCAR: Blaney Battling for Regular Season Championship at Cup Series Returns to Atlanta

FORD PERFORMANCE NASCAR: MID-OHIO/ATLANTA 2 NOTES

Atlanta Motor Speedway will host the NASCAR XFINITY and NASCAR Cup Series this weekend for the second time in 2022 while the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Mid-Ohio for the first time.  Here’s a look at where Ford drivers stand in all three series.

 

This Week’s Schedule:

Saturday, July 9 – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series @ Mid-Ohio, 1:30 p.m. (FS1)

Saturday, July 9 – NASCAR XFINITY Series @ Atlanta, 5 p.m. (USA)

Sunday, July 10 – NASCAR Cup Series @ Atlanta, 3 p.m. (USA)

 

FORD IN THE NASCAR CUP SERIES AT AMS

  • Ford has 35 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins at AMS.
  • Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Blaney have Ford wins at the track.
  • Georgia native Bill Elliott is Ford’s all-time leader at AMS with five wins.

 

FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT AMS

  • Ford has 10 NASCAR XFINITY Series wins at AMS, all but two by RFK Racing.
  • Kevin Harvick leads all drivers with five series wins.
  • Mark Martin has the most Ford wins with three while Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards have two each.

 

FORD IN THE CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES AT MID-OHIO

  • This weekend marks the inaugural event for the series at Mid-Ohio.

 

BLANEY EYEING REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONSHIP

Ryan Blaney may still be looking for his first points win of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season, but he’s right in the thick of the regular season championship battle with only eight races remaining.  This year’s All-Star Race winner currently sits second in the standings, 33 points behind leader Chase Elliott going into Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.  Blaney, who had a streak of three straight top-10 finishes end after an 11th-place run at Road America, is tied for the most stage wins among all drivers with five.

 

TOP 10 RUNS BECOMING THE NORM

Four Ford drivers have been on a variety of top 10 runs over the past few months, led by Michael McDowell, whose eighth-place finish at Road America marked his sixth in the last 10 races.  Kevin Harvick, who is currently outside of the playoff field, has been knocking out top 10 finishes at a rate of seven in the last nine while Chris Buescher has posted a second at Sonoma and sixth at Road America in his last three starts.  Currently, Austin Cindric has a streak of three straight top 10s after running fifth at Sonoma and seventh the past two weeks at Nashville and Road America.

 

HERBST CLIMBING IN THE NXS STANDINGS

Riley Herbst has been steadily moving up in the NASCAR XFINITY Series standings, entering this weekend’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in ninth place.  Herbst had been as low as 12th following the road course race at Circuit of the Americas, but in the 10 races since then he has registered eight top 10 finishes, including three in the top five.  As a result, he has a 136-point cushion above the cut line with 10 races remaining in the regular season before the 12-driver playoff field is set.

 

SMITH TAKES TRUCK SERIES POINTS LEAD

Zane Smith’s second-place finish two weeks ago at Nashville Superspeedway enabled him to take the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points lead with only two races remaining in the regular season.  As the Front Row Motorsports driver heads to Mid-Ohio for Saturday’s inaugural race, Smith holds a 21-point lead over second-place John Hunter Nemechek and leads all drivers in top 10s (12), top 5s (8), wins (3) and laps led (339).

 

NASCAR CUP SERIES ATLANTA HIGHLIGHTS

 

KESELOWSKI GETS FIRST CUP WIN FOR MUSTANG

Brad Keselowski gave Mustang its first NASCAR Cup Series victory as he held off Martin Truex Jr. at the finish to win the Folds of Honor 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2019.  Keselowski, who was battling an illness all weekend and had Austin Cindric standing by in case he needed relief, led the final 33 laps to post his 28th career victory.  In all, Ford led 177 of the 325 laps and won for the third straight year at the 1.5-mile track.

 

HARVICK SWEEPS 2018 WEEKEND

Kevin Harvick led eight times for a race-high 181 laps in winning the Fold’s of Honor 500 in 2018 and completing a sweep of the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY races.  After winning all three stages the day before in his Ford Mustang, Harvick took the first stage in the Cup race and then led the final 25 laps to post his 38th career victory and third with Ford.  Brad Keselowski finished second and Clint Bowyer third to give Ford a 1-2-3 sweep.  Ford dominated from start to finish as four drivers combined to lead 272-of-325 laps.  Harvick became the first Ford driver to sweep a Cup/XFINITY weekend since Joey Logano did it in 2015 at Watkins Glen International.

 

SNOW DAYS

Morgan Shepherd captured Ford’s 400th series victory in 1993 when snow delayed the Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 for nearly a week.  The original race date was Sunday, March 14, 1992, but a blizzard that would eventually be called the ‘Storm of the Century’ pounded the Atlanta area with 6-8 inches of snow.  An estimated 82,000 fans came back the following Saturday, where they were greeted by souvenir rigs that sports t-shirts proclaiming ‘I Survived the Atlanta Blizzard 500.’  When the race started, Mark Martin had the dominant car as he led 140 of the first 225 laps, but engine problems put him out of the running and Shepherd took advantage as he stretched his fuel mileage to the finish, leading the final 12 laps and winning by a whopping 23.50 seconds.  The win for Shepherd, who was 51 at the time, was his fourth and final victory in the NASCAR Cup Series.

 

SWEEP DREAMS

Marvin Panch was the first driver to sweep both AMS races in a single season when he did it in 1965 with the Wood Brothers.  Georgia native Bill Elliott posted a pair of season sweeps (1985 and 1992) and won five times overall while Carl Edwards registered the first win of his career at the speedway in 2005 and matched it later that fall.

 

LORENZEN LAPS THE FIELD

Ford went to victory lane at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time in 1961 when NASCAR Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen captured the Festival 250 on July 9 while driving for Holman-Moody.  He did it in dominating fashion as well by lapping the field.  Lorenzen, who led 52 laps on the day, beat runner-up Bob Welborn by one lap in his 1961 Ford.  Richard Petty finished third that afternoon, but was three laps down.  That victory served as a springboard for Lorenzen’s future success at AMS, which included becoming the first driver to win the Atlanta 500 three straight years (1962-63-64).

 

FORD’S ATLANTA NASCAR CUP SERIES WINNERS

1961 – Fred Lorenzen

1962 – Fred Lorenzen

1963 – Fred Lorenzen

1964 – Fred Lorenzen and Ned Jarrett

1965 – Marvin Panch (sweep)

1967 – Cale Yarborough and Dick Hutcherson

1968 – LeeRoy Yarbrough

1969 – LeeRoy Yarbrough

1975 – Buddy Baker

1978 – Bobby Allison

1981 – Neil Bonnett

1985 – Bill Elliott (sweep)

1987 – Ricky Rudd and Bill Elliott

1990 – Morgan Shepherd

1991 – Mark Martin

1992 – Bill Elliott (sweep)

1993 – Morgan Shepherd

1994 – Ernie Irvan and Mark Martin

1997 – Dale Jarrett

2002 – Kurt Busch

2005 – Carl Edwards (sweep)

2008 – Carl Edwards

2017 – Brad Keselowski

2018 – Kevin Harvick

2019 – Brad Keselowski

2020 – Kevin Harvick

2021 – Ryan Blaney (1)

 

FORD’S ATLANTA NASCAR XFINITY WINNERS

1992 – Jeff Gordon

1997 – Mark Martin

1998 – Mark Martin

2000 – Mark Martin

2004 – Matt Kenseth

2005 – Carl Edwards

2008 – Matt Kenseth

2011 – Carl Edwards

2012 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

2018 – Kevin Harvick

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