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NASCAR Cup: Atlanta has shortest starting grid since 1996

Kyle Busch makes a pole-winning run at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Feb. 23, 2018 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

Kyle Busch makes a pole-winning run at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Feb. 23, 2018 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

When the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series takes the green flag at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, only 36 cars will start the race, four cars shy of the maximum 40-car field. No non-chartered teams entered the AMS race.

The 36-car starting grid at Atlanta is the smallest for a Cup Series race since 1996 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The starting grid for that race was limited to 36 cars.

NASCAR lingo refers to a 36-car field as a “full field,” because that includes all “charterd” teams. NASCAR considers the other four normally filled positions allowable extras.

“I’d tend to concentrate more on the field that we have, the quality of field that we have, and the incredible drivers and storylines,” NASCAR Executive Vice President Steve O’Donnell said last week at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, ahead of the Feb. 18 running of the 2018 Daytona 500, as quoted by an ESPN report.

Forty cars were entered for the Daytona 500, making for a complete 40-car field but providing no extras to DNQ (did not qualify).

Meanwhile, both of NASCAR’s other two national series — the Xfinity and Camping World Truck series — are slated to send two racing vehicles home, each, with 42 Xfinity cars entered for 40 available starting spots and 34 trucks entered for 32 available start positions. Both the Xfinity and Camping World Truck series are slated to race Saturday.

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Posted by on February 24, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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