NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying was delayed at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, first by rain and then by a yellow flag for the stalled car of Carl Long in the first of three rounds. But when qualifying was finally completed, Chase Elliott was the pole winner for the first time in his Nationwide Series career. After posting a 30.759-second/180.240 mph lap in the third round, he’ll start Saturday night’s Great Clips 300 to benefit Feed the Children from the number one spot. Elliott was the only driver to turn in a lap speed in excess of 180 mph in round three.
Elliott Sadler turned the fastest lap, overall, in the qualifying session, making a lap in 30.596 seconds (181.200 mph) in the opening round. It was the only lap of the entire session to surpass the 181 mph mark. Even so, the best Sadler could do in the third round was fifth to claim a spot on the starting grid just inside the top-five.
Elliott will share the front row with Sprint Cup Series regular Kyle Larson. As a matter-of-fact, Elliott and Sadler were the only Nationwide championship-eligible drivers to qualify in the top-five. Kyle Busch and Joey Logano posted the third and fourth-fastest round three times to claim the second row starting spots.
Also advancing to the final round and claiming starting spots sixth through 12th were Matt Kenseth, Trevor Bayne, Kevin Harvick, Brian Scott, David Ragan, Regan Smith and Ryan Reed.
Forty drivers made qualifying attempts in round one, so all who made qualifying attempts claimed spots on Saturday night’s starting grid.