Matt McLaughlin · Wednesday October 24, 2007
Atlanta “2” Driver Handicaps
Jeff Gordon – In 30 Cup starts at Atlanta, the points leader has posted four victories and 18 Top 10 finishes. However, he finished 12th in the race this Spring.
Jimmie Johnson – Johnson won here in March to post his second Atlanta Cup victory. After twelve starts here, Johnson has eight Top 10 results and an average finishing position of tenth.
Clint Bowyer – While Bowyer struggled here last year, the Chase Cinderella did manage a sixth place finish here this Spring.
Tony Stewart – Stewart won this race last year and finished second this Spring. The win was Stewart's second Cup victory at Atlanta; he’s averaging a twelfth place finish in his 17 career starts here, and he has Top 10 finishes in eleven of the last twelve Atlanta Cup races.
Carl Edwards – Edwards won both Atlanta Cup races in 2005, and he has five Top 10 results in the six Cup races he's run here. He's averaging a tenth place finish in those events.
Kyle Busch – After six Atlanta Cup starts, Busch has yet to post a Top 10 finish, and is averaging a mediocre 23rd place result. But Busch did dominate the Busch Series race this Spring, losing out in a to-the-wire drag race with Jeff Burton.
Kevin Harvick – The grieving NASCAR community took some comfort in Harvick's win at Atlanta in 2001, driving as a sadly inadequate replacement for Dale Earnhardt. Later that season, Harvick finished third here; but in the eleven races since then, the best finish he has managed is just 19th. His average finishing position is even worse: 25th place.
Denny Hamlin – Hamlin has just one Top 10 finish after four Cup starts at Atlanta.
Jeff Burton – Burton's fourth place finish here this Spring was his first Top 5 at Atlanta since 1999. He's managed just three Top 10 finishes in his last ten Cup starts here and he hasn't led more than five laps in any single Atlanta Cup race since 1994.
Kurt Busch – Busch's win here in 2002 is offset by six finishes outside the Top 30 in just 13 Cup starts at Atlanta.
Martin Truex, Jr. – Truex's eighth place finish at Atlanta this Spring was his first Top 10 result here in five starts. He's averaging a 28th place finish.
Matt Kenseth – Kenseth has Top 5 finishes in three of the last four Cup races at Atlanta. He also won a Busch race here in 2004.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – Earnhardt won here in 2004. He has Top 5 finishes in three of the last four races here, but finished 14th in the Spring.
Ryan Newman – It's hard to bet against Newman in Friday qualifying — he's won poles in seven of his eleven starts here, and has qualified on the outside pole on two other occasions. But Newman hasn't been able to seal the deal during the race. He finished tenth in his first three Atlanta Cup starts, but has just one additional Top 10 finish in the eight races since.
Greg Biffle – Biffle has been steady, if not spectacular, in his nine Atlanta Cup starts. He has Top 10 finishes in five of those races and an average finishing position of 15th; however, his 41st place finish here in the Spring didn't help that average any.
Casey Mears – After nine Atlanta Cup starts, Mears is still looking for his first Top 10 finish. He's averaging a 24th place finish here.
Bobby Labonte – This may be Labonte's best track. He's won six Cup races here over the course of his career; however, he's failed to post a Top 10 result in the last seven Atlanta Cup races.
Jamie McMurray – McMurray has no Top 5 finishes here and an average finishing position of 19th after ten Atlanta Cup starts.
Juan Pablo Montoya – Early on, this appears to be one of Montoya’s better tracks; the Colombian finished fifth in this year's Atlanta Cup race, and eighth in that weekend's Busch event.
Kasey Kahne – Kahne won here in the Spring of 2006, and has Top 10 finishes in four of his seven Atlanta Cup starts. His other three races here have been disasters, though, with finishes outside the Top 30. In fact, he's crashed in the last two Cup races held at the track.
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