Folds of Honor 500 Recap

Updated: Apr 16, 2021


Photo via Boston Globe

NASCAR once again continues the streak of undefeated winners with six different race winners for the first six races. In true March Madness Style, Ryan Blaney upset the dominant car of Kyle Larson to steal the victory late in the race. A couple of top drivers had some days to forget at Atlanta Motor Speedway and others were able to capitalize on a great day. Let’s breakdown an interesting race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Earlier in the week with NASCAR’s new qualifying formula, Denny Hamlin was awarded the pole position with his Joe Gibbs Racing Martin Truex Jr. starting alongside in second. From the drop of the green flag the Penske cars looked strong but Kyle Larson was able to work his was to the front and never looked back. Following the competition caution, one of the favorites Kevin Harvick had a valve stem break on his pit stop. Harvick had to pit again which effectively ruined his day but was able to salvage the race with a 10th place finish. Stage one belonged to Larson who won it with ease despite the late push by Kyle Busch.

At the start of stage two Kyle Busch spun his tires, which in turn bottled up the field causing a wreck. Kyle’s Brother Kurt was on the recieving end this time and Denny Hamlin helped put him into the wall. Busch had a top five potential car and was frustrated after the wreck ruined his day finishing last. The rest of stage two was dominated by Larson but another contender Brad Keselwoski day was ruined. Keselowski was trying to avoid Martin truex Jr. who slid up the track and hit him. The damage on Keselowski’s car forced him to put and left aerodynamic damage which put him out of contention finishing 28th.


Photo via Greenfield Recorder

Stage three started off the same way with Larson in front and Blaney close behind looking for the lead. Just after stage three got under way, hometown hero Chase Elliott engine blew up which ended his day. Elliott was one of the favorites at his hometown track but because of the engine finished 38th. Daniel Suarez was having a very solid day running in the top 10, but a pit road speeding penalty put him at the end of the lead lap. Suarez has been steadily improving with the new team Trackhouse Racing and finished 17th. Green flag pit stops left Blaney behind Larson but he didn’t let him out of his sights. It all seemed over for everyone as Larson held his lead but with just over ten laps Blaney caught him. Blaney fought with Larson for a few laps, but with help from his teammate Joey Logano, he was able to pass him. Larson led 269 of the 325 laps on the day but just lost the lead late finishing in second place.

Ryan Blaney secured his first win of 2021 and secured his spot in the NASCAR playoffs in the process. NASCAR once again had another different winner for each race so far. Chris Buescher had a solid day with his Roush Racing team finished 7th, Alex Bowman had a solid day as well finishing third, and Austin Dillon had a fast car finishing in sixth. It was a memorable day for some but forgettable for the others, but in the end Ryan Blaney prevailed winning and only leading 25 laps. Next week NASCAR heads to Bristol, but this time it is on dirt which will be very entertaining. As always I will bring you the recap, enjoy the race!

-All stats via NASCAR.com

-CM

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