Hampton, GA (August 31, 2012) – NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series traveled to Atlanta Motor Speedway to celebrate Labor Day Weekend with 500 miles of racing scheduled for Sunday night under the lights. For Matt Kenseth and his No. 17 Ford EcoBoost team, the group is looking for a strong finish after getting caught up in wrecks for the past few weeks. Following Friday evening’s qualifying session, Kenseth will start fourth for Sunday’s AdvoCare 500.
Kenseth and his No. 17 Ford EcoBoost team had one 90-minute practice session Friday afternoon to shake down their race car before Friday evening’s qualifying session. Kenseth ran a total of 15 laps during the session with his fastest lap time coming on his first lap. A fast lap time of 30.296 seconds placed Kenseth seventh on the speed charts to end the session after combating both loose and tight handling situations during the practice.
Qualifying for the Sprint Cup teams began at 6:10pm EST and Kenseth was the 41st car out to make his qualifying effort. Kenseth posted a fat lap of 29.916 seconds (185.319 mph) which finds him starting fourth for Sunday’s 500-mile race.
“The car was pretty good and my guys made great adjustments to where we had a lot of grip,” said Kenseth after his qualifying effort. “I kind of messed it up and we were a little too tight. I scrapped Turn one and Turn two a little bit and thought I did OK in three and four. I wish I had one more try at it since we were that close. We’re not going to be on the pole, but it looks like we’ll be in the top five. If I’m starting second or fourth I don’t really care that much, because it’s more about the finishing position on Sunday night. We really struggled a lot in practice today, so I hope we can find a balance for it tomorrow and hit on something that will drive good for a long run.”
The AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be televised on Sunday, September 2nd at 6:30p.m. EST on ESPN with radio coverage presented by the Performance Racing Network (PRN).