Atlanta: John Andretti preview

Who Says They Can Flat Foot Atlanta? Qualifying at Atlanta Has Changed John Andretti, ...

Who Says They Can Flat Foot Atlanta?
Qualifying at Atlanta Has Changed

John Andretti, #34 Front Row Motorsports Chevrolet Atlanta Fast Facts:

* Andretti heads to the 1.5-mile Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway this weekend. He will drive for Front Row Motorsports owned by Bob Jenkins.

* Front Row Motorsports has two previous starts at Atlanta with drivers Bobby Hamilton Jr. and Kevin Lepage. Andretti has 22 previous starts at Atlanta.

* He has led 45 laps at the track.

* Best finish is 13th in 1994.

* Andretti won the pole in Atlanta in 1998 for Petty Enterprises.

John Andretti Comments on Kobalt Tools 500:

"The most crucial part of everything, right now, is step one -- qualifying for the race. If you don't complete that first step, obviously you're behind. For us, we were held up at Las Vegas at inspection, our own fault, and it cost us track time. That track time we lost kept us from making the race. It doesn't mean that we would have made the race for sure, but it certainly put us behind and created a more difficult situation. For the go-or-go-home cars, Friday is the biggest day. For the top-35 guys, Sunday is their big day.

"When you're outside, you definitely have two major races that weekend. One is getting in the race, because if you don't do that, you'll never make the top-35 in points. The other is once you do make the race, to try and get good enough that you can race into the top-35 and get out of the Friday mode. It is what it is. I think it's actually a really good rule. NASCAR needs to protect the teams that do the best job and have been there the longest period of time. If you're outside of it, you don't like it. I've been on both sides of it. I think it's a good rule.

"Qualifying at Atlanta, with the old car you could flat foot it on your qualifying lap. It wasn't always the fastest way around, but you could do it. With the COT, I just want to shake the man's hand that can flat foot it around Atlanta and complete it successfully. No liars apply either.

"Racing at Atlanta, I think that anytime you're racing around other cars, there's going to be turbulent air. That won't change with any kind of race car. If these guys think that stock cars move around a lot, they ought to try driving an Indy car and have your head stuck out in the middle of everything. It's racing, and you're going to race around people. You always have to deal with those things. The problem with side-by-side racing is the uncertainty of the air. Sometimes you know what your car's going to do, but if you drive it during high gusts of wind, it will cause it to do something different in the corner. That's what you have to be prepared for. You can feel when a car's in the back of you and you have to adjust for that. Sometimes those adjustments mean just backing out of the gas."

-credit: pe

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers John Andretti , Kevin Lepage , Bobby Hamilton Jr.
Teams Front Row Motorsports