Kevin Harvick isn’t sure how to tackle Atlanta Motor Speedway in his bid for a second consecutive Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 victory. The 2014 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion led a race-high 181 laps in winning last year’s event, but Harvick faces a different challenge this year.
Sunday’s 500-miler brings with it the introduction of NASCAR’s newest rules package for tracks longer than one mile – a form of which debuted in the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race and Monster Energy Open at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The changes for this year, designed to promote more wheel-to-wheel action, include an eight-inch by 61-inch rear spoiler, a 37-inch-wide radiator pan that tapers to 31 inches and a front splitter with a two-inch overhang.
“It’s obviously very different than it was in the past,” Harvick said, “and we didn’t really practice because we had some steering issues. … We don’t have any idea of what we want yet. That’s good for everybody watching, because once the engineers and everybody on the ground wrap their arms around it, they can build a system. Right now, we don’t have anything to evolve because we have questions, but zero answers.”
The Stewart-Haas Racing veteran made just two laps around Atlanta’s challenging, high-speed, 1.5-mile quad oval in Friday’s first practice session. His second lap was his best: a 31.444-second, 176.313-mph run.
About the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 weekend
The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 weekend features three days packed full of NASCAR action.
The Atlanta NASCAR Weekend begins with Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying on Friday, Feb. 22 and continues with the NASCAR XFINITY Series Rinnai 250 and the Ultimate Tailgating 200 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race on Saturday, Feb. 23. All of this leads to the main event: the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, Feb. 24.
Tickets for the 2019 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 can be purchased by contacting Atlanta Motor Speedway at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or by visiting www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.