To me, I believe the track itself was pretty much the same with the top groove taken away – the difference to me – was just night and day. I think the night race at Bristol is always more exciting than the day race in March anyways. Maybe Bruton Smith ought to think about dropping it’s March race and focus on the summer night race.
But think about it. How about NASCAR cutting it’s schedule by dropping the NASCAR sanctioned tracks 2nd dates, this would shorten the season (which many drivers complain it’s too long anyways), and have fans develop that “Geez, I really miss NASCAR” feeling… you know, like the one you get when it’s the off season heading into Daytona in February, or when your favorite TV show goes off the air for summer break and the excitement builds up for the Fall TV viewing?
Ticket sales would certainly improve… also would give the teams a break…financially speaking, that is.
Anyways, that’s a whole other topic for discussion… moving on…..
So, once again for the second week in a row, all three NASCAR series are heading to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend.
Only four among the current top-10 drivers have victories: No. 48 Johnson, No. 14 Stewart, No. 88 Earnhardt Jr. and No. 29 Harvick. Manufacturer wise, each of the four manufacturers (Dodge, Ford, Chevy & Toyota) hold an Atlanta victory – Dodge has the most wins – three straight in 2009-10.
Last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, three competitors have clinched seeded spots in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Current points leader Greg Biffle, five-time champion Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. all received their striped “clinched hat” that they will wear, recognizing them as being in the Chase. Earnhardt Jr. is in the Chase for the second straight year and fifth time overall. For Biffle, it’s redemption after failing to qualify a year ago. As for Biffle’s teammate – 2003 champion Matt Kenseth – he moves into the post season with at least a “wild card” entry.
Mathematically, every top-10 Chase spot could be clinched as well as the possibility that 11 of the 12 Chase spots could be clinched at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
A win would lock up at least a Wild Card spot for Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Tony Stewart. Depending on the final results from Sunday evening, Bowyer, Keselowski, Hamlin, Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch could clinch a Wild Card spot. It’s certainly something to watch for.
Reigning champion Tony Stewart is on the bubble after his 27th-place finish at Bristol. Kyle Busch moved ahead of Ryan Newman to claim rights to the second provisional Wild Card entry. He’s followed by Jeff Gordon, Newman, Marcos Ambrose and Joey Logano. Carl Edwards, 12th in the standings and 34 points out of 10th, is in must-win territory with two races remaining until the Chase field is set.
Elliott Sadler holds a 19-point lead over Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the championship standings. Danica Patrick it marks the final tracks on the current schedule she has not competed at – as well as No. 99 Boost Mobile driver Travis Pastrana upon his final of eight 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series races. Patrick has raced at all 22 active NASCAR Nationwide Series tracks – a total of 23. Fresh off a ninth-place finish at Bristol, Patrick sits 10th in the series championship standings.
Kurt and Kyle Busch will face off for the first time in Friday night’s Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The elder Busch will be driving the No. 51 Chevrolet owned by Billy Ballew, who last competed full-time in the series in 2010. Ironically, Kyle Busch won 16 times in Ballew’s equipment – four of them coming at Atlanta in 2005 and 2007-09. Kyle Busch will drive his own No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota.
James Buescher has collected three wins this season, all on a 1.5-mile track. Timothy Peters, the most recent truck series winner, has yet to collect a 1.5-mile victory in his career. Peters holds a 17-point lead over Buescher after leading all 200 laps at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Nelson Piquet Jr. and Justin Lofton both collected their first truck series win at Michigan and Charlotte, respectively. But what about Red Horse Racing’s newest member, Parker Kligerman? Kligerman has posted two top-five finishes in the past two races, moving up two positions in the championship points standings, tied for fourth.
With 10 different winners in 13 races, the field might be looking at yet, another new contender in Victory Lane.
Source: NASCAR Media