Atlanta Motor Speedway, otherwise known as “Hotlanta”, was the first of many 1.5-mile race tracks on schedule for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Most 1.5-miles tracks tend to be labeled as “cookie cutter” tracks, but due to the old pavement, Atlanta is a place entirely it’s own.
Spencer Boyd and team would start in the 35th position for the Rinnai 250. It only took Boyd a handful of laps to slice through the field and pick up about 6 positions in his Grunt Style Chevrolet Camaro. The 00 of Cole Custer made hard contact with the wall to bring out the caution early on lap 11. Despite fighting an ill handling car, Boyd battled leader Kevin Harvick late in the stage to stay on the lead lap. Caution signaled the conclusion of stage one, as Kevin Harvick took the green and white checkers.
Boyd would start the second stage in 20th position after crew chief Jason Miller used a bit of strategy to move his driver up the running order. In effort to conserve his tires, Boyd slipped back to around the 30th position for most of the second stage. Kevin Harvick continued to show dominion over the field and won stage two. Boyd said the car was just too tight in the center of the corner. Jason Miller called for some big adjustments to the car, as Boyd came in for new tires and fuel on lap 84 of the 163 lap event.
A solid pit stop from the crew had Boyd restarting in the 28th position for the final stage. Boyd balanced aggression with tire conservation and managed to battle up toward the 25th position during the long green flag run of the final stage. With about 32 laps remaining, Boyd lost some time during the final green flag pit stop, as he was forced to maneuver around neighboring cars on pit road. Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag after absolutely dominating the entire race. Despite all circumstances, Boyd kept the car clean and brought home the Grunt Style Chevrolet in the 29th position.
After the race Boyd stated, “Wow. This place was a handful! We knew coming in tire conservation was going to be the key. We battled a tight handling car for most of the race, but Jason made some great adjustments for that last stage. I hate we had a few spots get away from us at the end there, but we’re learning. Jason and Hayden did a great job coaching me this weekend. It’s hard coming into a place where you’ve never been, but I feel like I learned a lot. We’ll keep improving.”
Boyd will take a few days to rest up from this weekend’s activities, before heading out to Vegas for the beginning of the West Coast swing. Boyd currently sits 31st in the NASCAR Xfinity Series standings.
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