Similar to the first practice in the NXS, Chevrolet drivers were scattered all throughout the top 15 finishers. Justin Haley, in the No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevy for Kaulig Racing, topped out at 177.783 mph, and notched a time of 31.184 seconds, good enough for first in the practice.
“We have really good teams that drive our Chevrolets, teams that put together notebooks and setups for this track,” XFINITY Series Program Manager for Chevrolet Shane Martin said.
Behind Haley was Noah Gragson in the No. 9 Switch Chevrolet for JR Motorsports. He reached 177.584 mph and had a top lap time of 31.219 seconds. Cole Custer, in the No. 00 Jacob Companies Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing, was the only driver not in a Chevy in the top five. He finished with a top speed of 176.448 mph and a time of 31.420 seconds. Ryan Preece, in the No. 8 Louisiana Hot Sauce Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, had a top speed of 176.162 mph and a time of 31.471 seconds, earning him fourth place. Tyler Reddick, pilot of the No. 2 Pinnacle Financial Partners Chevy for Richard Childress Racing, finished fifth with a top speed of 176.011 mph.
“Our teams have learned a lot of the last past couple years,” Martin said. “I’d like to attribute it to the new car that we have.”
One of this weekend’s favorites, Christopher Bell in the No. 20 Rheem Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, finished in eighth place with a top speed and time of 175.704 and 31.553, respectively.
Last week’s winner at Daytona, Michael Annett, in the No. 1 Pilot Flying J/American Heart Association Chevy for JR Motorsports, looked the part of a top finisher during practice in Atlanta. He finished with a top speed of 175.354 mph and a time of 31.616 seconds.
Brandon Jones, driver of the No. 19 Menards/Jeld-Wen Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, finished ninth with a time of 31.612 seconds at a speed of 175.376 mph.
“We run the bottom in one and two and three and four we are consistently in the race,” Annett said. “But in qualifying, everyone runs in the top in one and two to save your stuff for the final segment.”
NXS qualifying is scheduled for 9:35 a.m. Saturday morning.