The three-wide finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway between Ryan Blaney (12), Kyle Busch and Daniel Suarez. (David Moulthrop Photo)

The Three Perspectives From A Thrilling Atlanta Finish

Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway featured every fan’s dream finish — a three-wide, dead heat battle at the finish line. 

However, the three finishers didn’t tie like the famed animated movie Cars presented – the finish featured one winner and two almost winners.

Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez edged Ryan Blaney by a mere 0.03 seconds, followed by third-place finisher Kyle Busch by a slightly less closer 0.007 seconds. 

According to NASCAR, it was the third-closest finish in Cup Series history.

For Suarez, it was a much-needed victory as it broke his winless streak that dates back to June of 2022 at California’s Sonoma Raceway. 

“It’s an amazing feeling. This team did an amazing job all race long,” Suarez said. “We wrecked on lap two. The guys fixed the car and we were able to make it good again, make it fast again.

“It took some tweaking, but unbelievable. Freeway Insurance, Trackhouse, Chevrolet, and all the people that believed in us from day one – it’s unbelievable to do this in this fashion.”

On the losing end of the finish, Blaney felt he had the advantage on the final lap, however, momentum didn’t go his way. 

“I thought I laid back enough in (turns) one and two to not let both lanes get that big of a run,” Blaney began. “I did that like the three laps before the end and I was able to manage it kind of fairly well, and they just got both lanes shoving super hard. 

“I just chose the bottom, and it was the safest place to be.

“What a cool finish. Appreciate the fans for sticking around. That’s a lot of fun. That’s always a good time when we can do that, race clean, three-wide finish to the end.”

A disgruntled Busch pointed to the pace of his No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, stating he felt he had one of the best cars in the race. 

“Yeah, it’s frustrating. I mean I hate it because I felt like we were one of the top-five cars today and had a good shot,” Busch said. “The 12 (Blaney) was deservingly one of the faster cars, and with all the carnage, it took out some other guys early.”

As he broke down the finish, Busch felt he had the upper hand on the bottom of the race track, however that wasn’t the case. 

“I didn’t think the outside would prevail, but with the run down the frontstretch and the side draft, that is what hurt us,” Busch said. “I was looking at the 12 and I swore I was ahead of the 12 at the line, but obviously my eyes are bad. 

“Need more powerful glasses, I guess.”