Daniel Suarez wins Atlanta shootout in photo finish

Daniel Suarez won a three-wide run to the checkers and survived a wild, wreck-filled NASCAR Cup Series Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway Sunday afternoon in Hampton, Ga.

After the cars of Josh Berry and Carson Hocevar wrecked with 12 laps to go, Ryan Blaney led a five-lap shootout that included Suarez and Kyle Busch at the front.

The trio exited Turn 4 side-by-side-by-side on the final lap, and NASCAR had to review the finish, which narrowly showed Suarez’s No 99 Chevrolet in first to hand the Mexican driver his second series win.

Blaney and Busch finished .003 and .007 seconds behind Suarez, respectively. Austin Cindric and Bubba Wallace completed the top five.

Before the race, front row starter Joey Logano was assessed an at-track penalty for wearing gloves that had been altered after issuance.

With Logano forced to pit road to serve the pass-through penalty, a melee occurred on Lap 2 when Austin Dillon, running just inside the top 10, spun after the cars in front of him slowed.

In the largest wreck in AMS’s history since it opened in 1960, 16 cars tangled as they approached Turn 1 on the 1.54-mile track, but Logano avoided the mess and moved up all the way to 20th.

Busch and Larson shared the point in the 60-lap Stage 1, and Chris Buescher brought out the second caution after looping his No 17 Ford off Turn 4 on Lap 25.

In a one-lap dash, Michael McDowell topped Blaney for his third career stage win and the lion’s share of the bonus points.

After Todd Gilliland took a lengthy turn up front to start Stage 2, Logano put his No 22 Ford in the top spot to pace the field.

With 26 circuits to go in the 100-lap segment and coming to pit road, McDowell locked up his tires and wrecked with Daytona 500 winner William Byron as the race stayed green.

Team Penske flexed its muscle with Cindric winning the stage, but teammate Logano wrecked on the final lap after he plowed up and into Buescher, who was scrubbing along the Turn 2 wall. Denny Hamlin was also involved.

The seventh caution occurred on Lap 198 when Ross Chastain turned Chase Elliott at the end of the backstretch.

Source: SABC

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