there are 6 distinct favorites to win this race.
johnson and kenseth- the 2 most dominant drivers of the 1st 3 races. other than some bad luck, what is gonna stop that now?
kahne and edwards- kahne is on a roll just behind the previous 2 and hes been quick in practiced ant took the pole away from ryan newman (no small feat at atlanta motor speedway). edwards stole his sophmore thunder and he seems ready to gain it back. edwards won both cup races and a busch race here last year. out of all tracks, this is where hes most likely to win.
stewart and biffle- these 2 need to get on the ball in the worst way. isnt nothing like the risk and fear of failure to add that extra bit of motvation and determination. it seems with these 2 that just as soon as everybody starts sleeping on them they break out with a win.
i will most definitely be watching bill lester in the #23, the first african american to start a cup race since "86. im just left to wonder in an effort to lure minority interrest in the sport, if it looks politically incorrect with him driving a car sponsored by garbage trucks. what? was JANI-KING not available as a sponsor? regardless, bill lester couldnt be more happy with his sponsor and opportunity and it is good for him and nascar.
bold prediction: the confederate flag will be flying in full force in atlanta georgia to show "appreciation" of bill lesters accomplishment.
my darkhorse this week is jj yeley. this track has been kind to the young drivers and there was a time not too long ago that b. labonte and the #18 was the favorite just about every time. not quite darkhorses but longer shots to win the race are the bushes, any rousch driver and elliot saddler. this is the type of track that speed demons like newman, dale jr. and gordon love. im just wondering if gordons team has taken a back seat to the 48 team. it has happened to b. labonte, t. labonte, r. wallace, j. burton, d. jarrett. recently no team has proven better at keeping all the drivers competitive as roush. earnhard jr. hasnt really shown nothing this year but he can succeed on this type of track and maybe eek out a top 5. newman will probably fade fairly quickly.
the new dodge charger's nose looks like a snow plow and appearantly it has driven like one too. you think??? while the trend in the last 12-13 years has been for cars to become more streamlined and shaped like a bullet i have no idea what the designers of this new dodge were thinking. because of this alot of teams are experimenting with outdated intrepids a year or 2 old. not good for dodge or its drivers.
1. g. biffle
2. c. edwards
3. k. kahne
4. j. johnson
5. m. kenseth
6. t. stewart
while i hate to list the top 6 favorites to finish 1-6 nothing really jumps at me like tony stewrt turning into a complete idiot and ruining a good chance at a top 5 like last weekend. i expect a good race where the cream will rise to the top fairly quickly and about 3-4 drivers will pretty much dominate. the action on pit row will be as good and decisive as some of the action up front out on the track. sometimes the pit row stall selection is the determining factor in the outcome of a race and this very well could be the weekend where we see that. especially if we see another green/white finish (a streak i think comes to end this weekend) or a late caution where most everybody comes in to pit.