Clint Bowyer paces final Cup practice, Kyle Busch wrecks

Clint Bowyer has been one of the fastest cars all week, and he showed that again during Saturday’s final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Bowyer, who led the way in Friday’s practice and was quickest in two of three rounds of qualifying in the No. 14, was looking sporty on Saturday with an average lap speed of 179.104 mph.

Kyle Busch was second but was forced to go to the rear of the field after smacking the outside wall and spinning in Turn 2 (178.873 mph). Austin Dillon was third (178.712mph), Michael McDowell was fourth, and Corey LaJoie rounded out the top-five.

“Just got loose. We were trying to run a run, and the car was pretty good with fire off there,” Busch said. “We ran some really good times and then just kept getting a little bit looser, a little bit looser. I tried to go back to the bottom and run the bottom to see how slow I had to be to go around the bottom and just snapped.”

Completing the Top 10 were Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Daniel Hemric, Ryan Newman, and Martin Truex Jr.

Busch was forced to go to a backup car, which means he will have to start Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 from the rear of the field.

Erik Jones went to the garage late in the session after his No. 20 Toyota started to spew smoke. It was reported that he was suffering power steering issues.

Brad Keselowski, who was sidelined by flu-like symptoms for most of the session, was 28th quickest.

Of the drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps, it was the Kyle and Kyle show. Kyle Busch was quickest (177.302 mph), followed by Kyle Larson.

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