Qualifying at Atlanta Motor Speedway was originally slated for today but mother nature forced NASCAR to change their weekend schedule. With the starting lineup for tomorrow's race set according to the rulebook, teams and drivers instead had a 50-minute practice session on the new-look 1.54-mile track.

When the session began, nobody was quite sure what type of racing we would see. Halfway into practice, it all became clear. The new Atlanta track is now more similar to Daytona and Talladega. Cars were packed up and racing side-by-side in large groups for the majority of the afternoon. It had the look and feel of a superspeedway race, with a familiar name topping the speed chart.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr is widely regarded as one of the best plate races in the Cup garage. He led the way in his JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet with a best time of 29.708 seconds. Just behind him were Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Kyle Busch and Christopher Bell. A trio of Ford drivers were next with Harrison Burton, Joey Logano, and Michael McDowell.

Over the offseason, the banking at the track was increased from 24 to 28 degrees. That is higher than any other intermediate track on the schedule. It is also more narrow, going from 55 feet to 40 feet in the corners. The frontstretch is now 52 feet wide and the backstretch 42 feet wide.

“What you saw in practice is what you should expect in the race,” Stenhouse said. “It does get a little tight on entry, especially into Turn 3. Two-wide is comfortable. It was practice so nobody was trying to show really three-wide and were not being too aggressive. I think track position is going to be important and we didn’t see a lot of tire wear.”

"It literally got a facelift with a whole new track surface and layout and everything," said Kyle Busch. "It’s going to be a different race than what we’ve had there in years past, where you have the old asphalt and really have fast lap times to fire off, and then you have a lot of fall off where lap times go down throughout the run. That led to having some guys come up through the field, and others drop through the field, whether or not they are fast early in the run or slow late in the run or vice versa."

Denny Hamlin had the fastest average speed (182.032 mph) among those drivers who ran at least ten consecutive laps during the session. He was followed in that category by Chase Elliott, Logano, Kyle Larson, and Daniel Suarez. Ryan Blaney, who starts on the front row tomorrow, turned the most laps (60) during practice.

There were no incidents during the session. Both Austin Dillon and Corey LaJoie were called in off the track to do pass-through penalties for using excessive speed while leaving pit road. Some notable names near the bottom of the speed chart include Kevin Harvick (30th), Kurt Busch (32nd), Brad Keselowski (34th), and Alex Bowman (35th) respectively.

Larson and Keselowski nearly made contact in Turn 3 when the Hendrick Motorsports driver lost traction and slid up the track. A pack of 20 cars also ventured up to the top the new pavement midway through the session as drivers attempted to experiment to see what moves were needed, which of them worked, and which were unusable. It will be a race that drivers will have to feel out as they go, and crew chiefs will certainly have their hands full for all 500 miles tomorrow.

Chase Briscoe will lead the field to the green flag tomorrow in his Stewart Haas Racing Ford. The blue oval has had plenty of success at Atlanta over the years. They have won five out of the last nine races here, whereas Toyota has not gone to victory lane here since 2013.

Speaking of Ford and Toyota, Harvick and Hamlin are the only two active drivers with an average finish that ranks inside the top ten on both superspeedway and 1.5-mile tracks. NASCAR designated the superspeedway rules configuration (510 horsepower, seven-inch spoiler) to be used here, rather than the base package. With the racing still a bit of a mystery, it would not be surprising to see either driver thrive at this newly-configured track.

“I don’t know what to expect,” Hamlin admitted. “I don’t know if we’re going to be drafting. We are going to be grouped together, so how are you going to build your car? All of those things are going to be question marks, so I have no clue what I’m getting into.”

This lone practice was the only track time that teams and drivers have ahead of tomorrow's race. If that session was any indication of how things will play out on Sunday, it is going to be a wild and spectacular race.

Coverage for tomorrow's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 begins at 3 PM ET on FOX.