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?kenseth had some eraly tire trouble but jj was in the top 10 all day
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.pretty much gained that thunder back on carls track.
edwards won both cup races and a busch race here last year. out of all tracks, this is where hes most likely to win.very well couldve won today
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.biffle led the most laps and stewart drove with a patient determination, at one point looking like the class of the field
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.bill lester finished the race in #38th place and drove a nice race. hast to be considered a success
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. solid drive running in the top 10 much of the day. was overshadowwed by rookie teammate k. hamlin
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.bobby drove his car right to the front and was making king petty proud before he lost an engine
not quite darkhorses but longer shots to win the race are the bushes,kurt led early and got wrecked into non contention, kyle spun out but fought back to a respectable 12th place finish
any rousch drivermartin finished 2nd
and elliot saddlerwas a top 10-15 car most of the day with his teammate jarrett but faded late to finish 29th
. 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.gordon has a strong run at 4th and in a rare feat, actually finished ahead of jimmie j.
it has happened to b. labonte, t. labonte, r. wallace, j. burton,scratch that. harvick looks done and burton seems like childress' best shot of making the chase. (burton is running harvicks/ earnhardts old team.
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.best run of the year for jr. w/ a top 3
newman will probably fade fairly quickly.newman faded and was lapped quickly. made a day of it at 18th and a lap down zzzzzzzzzz
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.the dodges pretty much sucked. the drivers probably all wanna be driving toyotas next year. the only dodge that could compete was k. kahne, infact the only reason i downgraded him was cause of the make of his car. to no suprise his team is the only one not messing back and forth with the old intrepid. as team evernham has stated they chose to "work with what they have got" which is the new charger. untill all the other teams can figure this out they can pretty much expect the same results
1. g. biffle 16
2. c. edwards 40
3. k. kahne 1
4. j. johnson 6
5. m. kenseth 13
6. t. stewart 5
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.as said, tony drove a clean smart race, actually pulling out of the way to let faster cars go by rather than burning his tires off battling them for 15 laps. i guess he figured he cant repeat if he runs his car into the wall every week.
i expect a good race where the cream will rise to the top fairly quickly and about 3-4 drivers will pretty much dominate.biffle, khane, stewart looked like the dominant cars pretty much
the action on pit row will be as good and decisive as some of the action up front out on the track.just ask carl edwards
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)finally a race ending under a normal green flag with no late cautions
or a late caution where most everybody comes in to pit.