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Good news, bad news for NASCAR Cup teams heading to Las Vegas

Never before had NASCAR opened the season with a pair of superspeedway races until this year.

It gave fans a new Daytona 500 winner in William Byron and a spectacular finish at Atlanta that saw Daniel Suárez nip Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch at the finish.

Here’s a look at the good news and bad news for Cup teams after Atlanta:

23XI Racing — Good news: Bubba Wallace is the only driver with top-10 finishes in the first two races of the year. He’s placed fifth in both the Daytona 500 and at Atlanta. That has him fourth in the points. Bad news: Tyler Reddick finished 30th after he was involved in an accident. He’s 26th in the points after two races.

Front Row Motorsports — Good news: Michael McDowell won the pole at Atlanta, a week after starting on the front row for the Daytona 500. Teammate Todd Gilliland led what was a career-high 16 laps in the Daytona 500 and followed that by leading a career-high 58 laps at Atlanta. Gilliland’s 74 laps led is the most in the series this season. Bad news: Despite those laps at the front, Gilliland finished 35th in the Daytona 500 and 26th at Atlanta.

Hendrick Motorsports — Good news: Atlanta is over and the series is heading to Las Vegas. Hendrick Motorsports went 1-2-3 in the spring Las Vegas race last year. William Byron won, Kyle Larson was second and Alex Bowman placed third. Hendrick cars have won the last three spring Las Vegas races. Bad news: All four Hendrick cars were collected in accidents at Atlanta and none finished better than 15th.

NASCAR: Ambetter Health 400
NASCAR: Ambetter Health 400

Despite costly crashes for team, Rick Hendrick says Atlanta damage was worth the show

All four Hendrick Motorsports cars were “killed” during the thriller at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Joe Gibbs Racing — Good news: Martin Truex Jr. has the longest active streak of top-10 finishes at Las Vegas with seven. Bad news: Truex has gone 15 consecutive races without a top-five finish.

JTG Daugherty Racing — Good news: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished sixth — his best result at a drafting track since winning last year’s Daytona 500. Bad news: The next race at a drafting track, Talladega, is about two months away.

Kaulig Racing — Good news: Derek Kraus will make his Cup debut this weekend at Las Vegas, driving the No. 16 car. Bad news: The start of the season for Josh Williams. He failed to make the Clash. He finished last in the Atlanta Cup race. In the Xfinity Series, he was 34th at Daytona and 37th at Atlanta.

Legacy Motor Club — Good news: Atlanta is over. Bad news: After scoring a pair of top-10 finishes in the Daytona 500, Legacy Motor Club did not have a car in the top 20 at Atlanta.

Richard Childress Racing — Good news: Kyle Busch is the points leader after two races — the first time he’s led the points since the 2019 season finale when he won his second Cup title. Bad news: Austin Dillon is 35th in points.

Rick Ware Racing — Good news: Kaz Grala finished 14th in his season debut with the team, while Justin Haley placed 20th. Bad news: Team only scored one top-15 finish with the first two races at superspeedways.

RFK Racing — Good news: Brad Keselowski finished fourth at Las Vegas last fall in the most recent race there. Bad news: Brad Keselowski is the only driver who has failed to finish both races this season. Keselowski also is winless in his last 100 Cup starts.

Spire Motorsports — Good news: Corey LaJoie opened the season by finishing fourth in the Daytona 500 and 13th at Atlanta to sit 12th in the points. Bad news: He didn’t get that win that some thought he could at either Daytona or Atlanta.

Stewart-Haas Racing — Good news: Team owner Tony Stewart was at Atlanta to watch his teams. Bad news: Three of the four SHR cars finished 29th or worse after being collected in accidents: Josh Berry was 29th, Chase Briscoe was 31st and Noah Gragson was 36th.

NASCAR Cup Series Ambetter Health 400
NASCAR Cup Series Ambetter Health 400

NASCAR penalizes teams of Noah Gragson, Ryan Preece for Atlanta infractions

NASCAR announced the penalties ahead of the race weekend in Las Vegas.

Team Penske — Good news: Joey Logano ranks second in the series in laps run in the top five this year at 189. He trails only teammate Ryan Blaney, who has run 202 laps in the top five this year. Bad news: Logano has an average finish of 30th in the first two races of the season due to accidents.

NASCAR Cup Series Ambetter Health 400
NASCAR Cup Series Ambetter Health 400

NASCAR fines Joey Logano $10,000 for glove infraction at Atlanta

Penalty is in addition to penalties given to team before last weekend’s race at Atlanta.

Trackhouse Racing — Good news: Daniel Suárez scored a dramatic victory at Atlanta, earning his second Cup career victory and first on an oval. Bad news: Trackhouse driver Zane Smith, who drives for Spire Motorsports, was eliminated by an early accident and finished 35th.

Wood Brothers Racing — Good news: Harrison Burton finished 11th at Atlanta despite being involved in multiple incidents. Bad news: Team has gone 17 races since its last top-10 result.