NASCAR Atlanta Starting Lineup: Tony Stewart On Surprising Pole For Tonight's Race

Tony Stewart will lead the starting lineup for tonight's NASCAR race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and that's a bit surprising.

Why? Because as good as Stewart is – three championships and 47 career wins – the driver has never been much of a qualifier.

Stewart's pole position earned in Friday's qualifying was just the 14th of his 14-year career – and just his fourth pole in the last seven years.

So what gives? Why isn't Stewart a good qualifier?

"I think the biggest thing is we get so focused on the race balance of the car that I just never historically in this series been a good qualifier," he said. "I don't know why that is. I've just never been great on it. I feel like we're always good in race runs, but qualifying is just obviously not my strong suit.

"That's kind of what makes today cool. ... I wish I could qualify better more often, because I have to pass more cars every week when we start where we qualify normally."

Here's the full starting lineup for NASCAR's Atlanta race tonight (set for a green-flag time of 7:49 p.m. Eastern):

  1. Tony Stewart
  2. Greg Biffle
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Matt Kenseth
  5. Jeff Gordon
  6. Mark Martin
  7. Denny Hamlin
  8. Jimmie Johnson
  9. Joey Logano
  10. Marcos Ambrose
  11. Kasey Kahne
  12. Carl Edwards
  13. Aric Almirola
  14. David Ragan
  15. Sam Hornish Jr.
  16. Kurt Busch
  17. Ryan Newman
  18. Paul Menard
  19. Casey Mears
  20. Jamie McMurray
  21. Brad Keselowski
  22. Dave Blaney
  23. Danica Patrick
  24. Kevin Harvick
  25. Bobby Labonte
  26. Jeff Burton
  27. Regan Smith
  28. Martin Truex Jr.
  29. David Gilliland
  30. Clint Bowyer
  31. David Stremme
  32. Trevor Bayne
  33. Juan Pablo Montoya
  34. Jason Leffler
  35. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  36. Scott Speed
  37. Joe Nemechek
  38. Reed Sorenson
  39. Scott Riggs
  40. Landon Cassill
  41. Travis Kvapil
  42. TJ Bell
  43. JJ Yeley
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