The Frontstretch: Hot Times in Hotlanta- Fantasy Insight; Atlanta Motor Speedway by Dennis Michelsen -- Wednesday March 16, 2005

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Hot Times in Hotlanta- Fantasy Insight; Atlanta Motor Speedway

Dennis Michelsen · Wednesday March 16, 2005


Anyone who dares to tell NASCAR that the cars are going incredibly fast here are in big trouble with me…restrictor plates would kill this place! Ever since the track was re-designed this has been one of the best tracks on the Cup schedule. More close finishes have been the rule over the last few years. In fact the racing is so good this place is rumored to lose a race! (OK so the rumor was false but NASCAR is closing down all the good tracks…Rockingham comes to mind there) This week gives us race handicapping junkies one more factor to play with…engine durability. Will the Hendricks power plants have another melt down as they did in California? This is not only a 500 mile race ala California, but features high hanging RPMs which can eat motors up faster than you can say here comes Jimmie Johnson out of turn four for the lead! While everyone loads up on Roush and Hendricks cars, this might be the week to score big as a contrarian using Gibbs and Evernham drivers instead.

Week 3 of Last One Standing is in the books!

Check out for rules and to see how your team is doing! (Deadline each week is 5pm EST Saturday if the Cup race is on Sunday and 5pm EST Friday if the race is on a Saturday)

UAW Daimler Chrysler 400 by the Numbers
Check out for the complete Power Ratings for Atlanta.

Atlanta Ratings Top Five
Tony Stewart, Joe Nemechek, Ryan Newman, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson

Consistency Ratings Top Five
Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, and Greg Biffle

Power Ratings Top Five
Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, and Ryan Newman

Handicapping the Race

Top Pick (30th Last Week; 1 for 3 for Season)
Tony Stewart- Can he keep the fenders on the car for 500 miles? If so Smoke will come home on top

Strong Picks (3rd, 8th, and 38th Last Week; 6 for 9 for Season)
Kasey Kahne- Sophomore slump talk will be put to rest after a strong race this week

Kurt Busch- In form to defend his championship

Ryan Newman- Have to like a guy nicknamed “Rocket” at these speeds

Hunch Bet (14th Last Week; 2 for 3 for Season)
Joe Nemechek- Go Army!

Longshot Bet (43rd Last Week; 0 for 3 for Season)
Bobby Labonte- His slow start to the 2005 season leaves Mr. Atlanta as a great long shot pick at 20-1

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Today on the Frontstretch:
NASCAR Easter Eggs: A Few Off-Week Nuggets to Chew On
Five Points To Ponder: NASCAR’s Take-A-Breath Moment
Truckin’ Thursdays: Top Five All-Time Truck Series Drivers
Going By the Numbers: A Week Without Racing Can Bring Relief But Kill Momentum


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Dennis no longer contributes to the Frontstretch, but you can Dennis's commentary at his website bio and archive page.