Fans can watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway live online and see which driver can take the checkered flag in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.
The follow-up to the season-opening Daytona 500 will kick off at approximately 1:16 p.m. ET on Sunday, with race coverage starting at 12:30 p.m. on Fox. There are also plenty of options for fans looking to watch or follow along with the race online (links can be found below).
Fans who watch the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway live online will see Kurt Busch in the pole position after his brother’s otherwise best qualifying time was thrown out on Friday. Kyle Busch had won the pole in the race, which drivers call the first “real” race of the year, but his time was disallowed when it was discovered that his rear toe alignment was off, and instead he’ll start at the back of the pack.
Busch’s crew chief, Adam Stevens, said the penalty was the result of an uncertain pre-qualifying inspection process. He added that he wasn’t too worried, and the team will be ready for their best effort on Sunday.
“Nobody in this garage knows what it’s going to do until you roll across (the laser platform) afterward,” he said. “It just so happened our time to gather information was game time — and we were too much. We’re going to have to undershoot the rule and be way to the good and cross our fingers it’s not too much after.”
The race will also feature an uncharacteristically low number of cars, with only 39 competing on Sunday. As USA Today pointed out, that’s part of the new reality for NASCAR.
“That’s the new reality for NASCAR under its charter system, which guarantees 36 spots for teams with franchise-like licenses and leaves only four open positions for non-charter teams. In addition, the four open spots pay far less money than the charter teams get, which reduces the incentive to show up.
“It sounds harsh, but that’s what the charter owners want. By preventing a back door in which non-charter teams can enter races and make profits on the purse alone, it drives up the cost of charters by forcing teams to buy them.”
There are many calling these new rules into question. ESPN writer Bob Pockrass pointed out that Sunday will have the smallest field of any Sprint Cup race in the last 20 years, and said there is a better way for NASCAR to remain true to its plan of rewarding charter owners.
“While NASCAR is trying to spin this as a ‘full field’ of its 36 ‘chartered’ cars, it is fighting a losing battle of perception because it allows 40 cars each week,” he wrote. “NASCAR would be better off sticking with promoting the core of its new system: granting more money to owners who have been committed to the sport and encouraging competitive race cars.”
Fans who want to watch the can click here for coverage from Fox Sports, which offers in-car views from a number of different drivers. Those listening to the race online can turn to Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM channel 90 for radio coverage. NASCAR is also offering online coverage of the race through its RaceView service, which gives a 3-D representation of every Sprint Cup race and allows viewers to pick several different camera angles. This services comes with a $79.99 price tag for the season, and can be found here.
[Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images]