Race Winner:  Daniel Suárez of Trackhouse Racing (Chevrolet)

Stage 1 Winner:  Michael McDowell of Front Row Motorsports (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner:  Austin Cindric of Team Penske (Ford)

SHR Finish:            

●  Ryan Preece (Started 20th, Finished 16th / Running, completed 260 of 260 laps)

●  Josh Berry (Started 14th, Finished 29th / Accident, completed 250 of 260 laps)

●  Chase Briscoe (Started 9th, Finished 31st / Accident, completed 239 of 260 laps)  

●  Noah Gragson (Started 15th, Finished 36th / Accident, completed 66 of 260 laps)

SHR Points:

●  Chase Briscoe (22nd with 37 points, 40 out of first)

●  Ryan Preece (24th with 35 points, 42 out of first)

●  Noah Gragson (27th with 29 points, 48 out of first)

●  Josh Berry (31st with 20 points, 57 out of first)

SHR Notes:        

●  This was Preece’s best finish so far this year. His previous best was 23rd, earned in the season-opening Daytona 500.

●  Preece’s 16th-place finish bettered his previous best finish at Atlanta – 24th, earned last July.

●  Briscoe finished ninth in Stage 2 to earn two bonus points.

Race Notes:       

●  Daniel Suárez won the Ambetter Health 400 to score his second career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Atlanta.

●  His margin of victory over second-place Ryan Blaney was .003 of a second. It was the closest margin of victory in Atlanta Motor Speedway history, the closest at any 1.5-mile racetrack, and the third-closest in the Cup Series since the inception of electronic scoring in 1993.

●  There were 10 caution periods for a total of 65 laps.

●  Twenty-two of the 37 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.

●  Kyle Busch leaves Atlanta as the championship leader with a one-point advantage over second-place William Byron.

Sound Bites:

“Our day was ruined right from the start, so to really end up 16th is a gift. For the half a lap that I felt like my car made it through, it felt like it was going to be really fast, so it gives me a lot of hope moving toward Vegas next week.” – Ryan Preece, driver of the No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang

The guys did a really good job to get us back in position. We obviously made some mistakes there and have to clean that up, but the car was kind of weird. It was really strong on the bottom but struggled on the top. There were several times I got put in a bad spot in the third lane and kind of had a moment there, and ultimately that’s what did us in at the end. I was trying to stay out of the top lane. I kind of got forced up there and I just got loose and unfortunately wrecked. I’m glad we battled back and raced well and got back in position, but unfortunately we didn’t finish.” – Josh Berry, driver of the No. 4 Harrison’s Ford Mustang

“I got put in a bad spot down the back straightaway. Somebody was on my right-rear and it kind of shuffled me to the left. I think we were three- or four-wide and it felt like somebody hit me in the left-rear getting into (turn) three, but I could’ve just gotten loose from the air, I’m not really sure. It sucks with how good our car was. We were able to be up front all day and be super aggressive making moves. I thought we were going to be in a really good spot there, but that’s part of it when you’re racing that tight and everybody is going for it at the end. We were just on the unfortunate side of it today. (The racing) was fun. That was the most fun I’ve ever had here, and I think some of that is just our guys did a really good job of bringing a car that we could be aggressive with and make moves. I’m actually looking forward to coming back here. That was a lot of fun. Guys were just making huge moves and big runs, but we were able to not get close to crashing a lot of times, like we would at Daytona or Talladega. I had a lot of fun. I wish our finish would’ve reflected how good we were today, but we’ll go on to Las Vegas and see if we can improve on it. I don’t know if it’s just the speed feels a little bit slower here or what, but I think, for us, our car was just extremely good. I definitely saw a lot of other guys struggling. I felt like we had easily a top-five car out there. I’m sure my opinion is probably a little bit different than others just because of how easy our car drove, and that’s the part that stings the most, I would say, knowing how good our car was and we don’t get the finish to show that.” – Chase Briscoe, driver of the No. 14 HighPoint.com Ford Mustang

It’s definitely a bummer. They started stacking up on the top and I thought we were going to miss the 3 (Austin Dillon) and then got tagged in the right-rear by someone. I just got hit from behind and the car was pretty torn up. We tried to keep it going, but then the rack started falling out of it, so we started losing steering and had to bring it in. It’s just a bummer, but we’re going to go to Vegas and rebound. There’s a lot of fight in these guys with the Ranger Boats team. This 10 group is really tight together and I’m grateful to be a part of it. It still sucks not being able to collect points. We were looking to have a good day, and to only really get one lap in at speed and then we’re limping around with a wrecked racecar for the next 60 laps, so that was a bummer. Overall, I’m just really grateful. This kind of hurts us in the points. I know it’s still early, but the way the qualifying and practice algorithm goes, being higher up in the points is really beneficial, so it’s definitely a bummer. But we’re going to keep our heads down and keep working hard.” – Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 10 Black Rifle Coffee/Ranger Boats Ford Mustang

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Las Vegas 400 on Sunday, March 3 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race begins at 3:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FOX and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

TSC PR