Friday, Sep 22

Atlanta 2 / Mid-Ohio Advance

The NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series will make their second trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend while the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series hits the road for a stop at Mid-Ohio for the second time in history.  Ford’s Joey Logano is going for a season sweep after winning at Atlanta in March while Zane Smith, who won earlier this year at COTA, looks to add another road course triumph to his resume.



Joey Logano will look to become the seventh different driver to win both NASCAR Cup Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the same season after taking the checkered flag in March. Logano won the pole and then passed Brad Keselowski on the final lap to win the Ambetter Health 400 and cap a day that saw Ford lead 221-of-260 laps. The other drivers who have swept the season series at AMS are: Marvin Panch (1965), Bobby Allison (1972), David Pearson (1973), Bill Elliott (1985 and 1992),

Carl Edwards (2005) and Jimmie Johnson (2007).



Ford has definitely had its share of success at Atlanta Motor Speedway, especially recently where the Blue Oval has won six of the last nine NASCAR Cup Series races. Prior to Logano’s win in March, Ford captured five straight victories from 2017-2021 by three different drivers. Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick alternated wins the first four years before Ryan Blaney took the checkered flag in 2021. Overall, Ford has 36 all-time wins at Atlanta, which is the fourth-highest win total for the manufacturer at any track. The only places with more wins are Michigan (43), Bristol (41) and Daytona (40).


Joey Logano: “It’s gonna keep changing.  It’s evolved a lot just as the teams have gotten better from the first couple races to the last race, and I’m sure it will evolve again one more time.  It’s turning more and more into a superspeedway it seems like, although it will probably be warm.  We’ll see.”

Ryan Blaney: “I thought all of our cars were fast in the spring. Obviously, Joey won, but I think we qualified 1-2-3 and I think eight or nine of the top 10 in qualifying were Fords, so I look forward to going there. Hopefully, our cars are still as good there and it’s a night race, so hopefully the track still has similar grip to what we had. The first time we went there with the new configuration you didn’t know what to expect, but now I think we have a pretty good idea. I’m curious to see how the track ages. Hopefully, it’s aged well, and I think handling comes more and more into play.”

Michael McDowell: “Atlanta is like Daytona where it is an opportunity race, for sure, but just like Daytona you can be wadded up in a pile of mess and be out early and lose a lot of points. Those are big swing races because you can gain a lot or you can lose a lot, so they’re important to make those count as well.”

Ryan Preece: “We didn’t really get much of a notebook because we lost a cylinder in the first 30 laps, so I think listening to our teammates and it being hot and in the summer, you’re gonna want your car to handle really well, so we’re gonna focus on that.”



Brad Keselowski gave Mustang its first NASCAR Cup Series victory as he held off Martin Truex Jr. at the finish line 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.



Kevin Harvick led eight times for a race-high 181 laps in winning the Folds 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.



Cole Custer has heated up in the summer months of the Xfinity Series calendar, which includes 10 straight Top 10 finishes and logging consecutive pole positions at Nashville Superspeedway and the inaugural Chicago Street Race. Additionally, Custer has led a Ford surge the last four races by winning twice (Portland and Chicago) and running his series career win total to 12. The Blue Oval has captured three of the last four series races overall with Aric Almriola sandwiching a win at Sonoma between Custer’s two triumphs. As a result, Custer has moved from 10th to 3rd in the point standings.



This will mark the second all-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Mid-Ohio after debuting last season.  Zane Smith, who led eight laps on the day, won Stage 2 and finished second overall to top all Ford drivers while Hailie Deegan joined him in the top 10 with a 10th-place run.  Smith has two career road course series victories with both of them coming at Circuit of the Americas.  Overall, Ford has 14 all-time road course triumphs in NCTS history.



There are only three races remaining in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular season and four Ford drivers are currently in playoff position. Zane Smith and Ben Rhodes have clinched berths on the strength of their victories earlier this year while Ty Majeski and Matt Crafton rank fourth and ninth, respectively, in the point standings. The 10-driver playoff field will begin the seven-race postseason on Aug. 11 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.


Ford Performance PR


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