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Sep 02, 2014 - 07:08 AM
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2014 Atlanta: Cole Whitt NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Recap
Posted by: newsla on Sep 02, 2014 - 07:08 AM
2014 Atlanta: Cole Whitt NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Recap

Cole Whitt led his BK Racing teammates to the finish line where he brought home a 30th-place finish in the No. 26 Rinnai Toyota Camry on Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Whitt was followed by Alex Bowman in the No. 23 Dr Pepper Toyota Camry who finished 35th, and Ryan Truex in the No. 83 Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota Camry who finished 36th.


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Whitt made his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start at the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday night. The rookie contender rolled off 40th for the 500-mile event in the No. 26 Rinnai Toyota Camry. Calling into his crew early in the event to report a loose racecar while navigating the corners, the Rinnai team worked throughout the night to make adjustments to dial-in the balance of their Toyota Camry. With ever-changing track conditions as the sun set and racing surface cooled, Whitt fought the handling of his car while steadily climbing through the field. By the time the checkered flag waved, Whitt was scored with a 30th-place finish. The result marks Whitt's 17th top-30 finish of the 2014 Sprint Cup Series season.

"We had a challenging night with our Rinnai Toyota Camry at Atlanta Motor Speedway," commented Whitt. "We didn't really have any setbacks, we just fought the balance of the car all night. With the leaders setting such a quick pace, it was difficult to regain any lost ground. However, challenging nights make a team stronger, so I think we learned a lot and that we'll be better the next time we come to Atlanta. I'm looking forward to revisiting Richmond International Raceway this weekend--we had a good run there in the spring and I think we'll be even better this fall."

Bowman and the No. 23 Dr Pepper Toyota Camry team visited Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time this season over Labor Day weekend. The Sunoco rookie contender rolled off 30th while piloting the No. 23 Dr Pepper Toyota Camry. Bowman suffered a major setback when he sustained a flat right front tire and sustained damage to the right side of his race car. Bowman visited pit road several times for repairs to the Dr Pepper Toyota, but lost valuable track position during his many pit stops. By the time the checkered flag waved, Bowman was scored in the 35th position.

"It was a tough race tonight," commented Bowman. "We weren't the only team to have tire issues, but we were at least fortunate enough to be able to make repairs and continue. We lost some valuable track position while making repairs and we just couldn't rebound before the checkered flag."

Truex started 39th on Sunday night in his first Sprint Cup Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Sunoco Rookie contender was steadily climbing through the field in his No. 83 Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota Camry when he spun in turn four to bring out the caution flag on lap 118. Working to improve the balance of their racecar and increase Truex' control of the Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota, the BK Racing team made a series of adjustments throughout the night. However, Truex had already lost valuable ground from the spin and subsequent pit stops. By the time the checkered flag waved, Truex and the Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota Camry team were scored with a 36th-place finish.

"Our Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota Camry team had some tough challenges to overcome throughout the race tonight," commented Truex. "We spun early to bring out the caution, and fought the balance of the car throughout the night. We only come to Atlanta once a year and I don't have many laps here, so I expected this weekend to be a challenge. I'm excited to get to Richmond next weekend and get back to some of the tracks where we have more experience. I'm looking forward to a strong run to the end of the season."

Next weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will take on Richmond (Va.) International Raceway for the final race of the 2014 regular season. On Friday, September 5, ESPN2 will cover practice (1 p.m. EDT) and qualifying (5:30 p.m. EDT). The Federated Auto Parts 400 will be broadcast on ABC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, September 6.

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