In what has got to be one of the craziest starts to a race weekend in recent memory, there's been plenty of drama at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend, but none has taken place on the track itself.
It all started on Friday, when Travis Kvapil and the Team Xtreme Racing No. 44 team woke up to an empty parking lot. The only problem: their NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car was supposed to be in that parking lot. Overnight, someone had their pickup up to the Featherlight trailer, hooked it up and away they went, probably not realizing they had stolen more than a high-end trailer.
Later in the day, we then found out about Denny Hamlin's motorhome being struck by an SUV. Thankfully, no one was injured and it appears as though it was taken in good spirits (or, at least, as well as it could be taken), but certainly the first crash of the race weekend took place off the asphalt where they'll race 500 miles on Sunday.
Finally, it came time for the rubber to meet the road and for the cars to take the track for qualifying. Unfortunately, most teams found themselves spinning their wheels off the track...and in NASCAR's tech inspection line.
A total of 13 cars -- including stars like Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth -- were unable to hit the track to make a qualifying effort. After failing inspection the first time around, NASCAR was unable to complete those teams' second attempts in time for them to post a time. Now, those 13 drivers will have to rely on owner points to race, meaning Gordon (35), Kenseth (36), Johnson (37) and Stewart (39) will have start near the back of the pack on Sunday afternoon.
It's already been a wild weekend at a track that has seen its fair share of wild racing. Let's not forget, we've seen some pretty intense action at one of NASCAR's fastest tracks.
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