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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Edition

As the 2009 season wears on, some of the teams that have had early success are finding themselves in a point standings freefall. As they disappear from view, the composition of the top 12 is starting to take form, with annual contenders slowly creeping towards and into that coveted threshold. The season may be early and the beginning of the Chase months away, but these men are proving they will be threats nearly every week. At the other end of the points are heavily-funded teams that find themselves one bad race away from beginning Martinsville, the first race that uses 2009 owner points, without the comfort of being locked in via the top 35 rule.

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Running Their Mouth: 2009 Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta

_Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Sprint Cup race, capturing the story of how the weekend unfolded. It’s the most original commentary you’ll ever find: the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and car owners themselves. This week, here’s a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway:_ "This was big. I have to thank my Miller Lite guys, this car was unbelievable. Good things come to those who wait. We've waited over a year and a half for this CoT to find a good package, and we've had that to start 2009. Penske power is back! This feels awesome. I've got to thank guys like Carl Edwards for racing me clean at the end." _Kurt Busch_

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Talking NASCAR TV: Aching Over FOX’s Graphical Gremlins In Atlanta

Atlanta brought us two races with tight finishes. This type of action is definitely pleasing for race fans to watch on television -- but were the race telecasts up to par? Let’s find out. Often times, the first thing I do on Friday afternoons is click on SPEED to check out either Cup Pole Qualifying or practice -- whatever is actually on. This past Friday was like the start of any other NASCAR weekend; but the minute I turned on the television, I immediately saw a graphical error scrolling across the screen.

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Numbers Game: 2009 Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta

0.332 Kurt Busch‘s margin of victory over Jeff Gordon Sunday in the Kobalt Tools 500. 1 Car moved to the rear of the field at the start of the Kobalt Tools 500. (No. 6 David Ragan – engine change) 3 hours, 59 minutes, 1 second Time it took to complete …

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NASCAR News for Monday, March 10, 2009

Bodine Future Resting on Arizona Pub? Todd Bodine, currently second in the Truck Series standings, is still searching for a sponsor that will keep his team on the track for the entire season. Prior to Saturday’s race at Atlanta, where he was leading with five laps to go before ultimately …

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Matt McLaughlin’s Thinkin’ Out Loud: 2009 Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta

*The Key Moment:* Kurt Busch dominated the race, but a late caution and a two tire stop put Carl Edwards at the head of the pack. Busch was able to easily retake the lead when the green flag flew with two laps left. *In a Nutshell:* It looks like this new Dodge engine is going to work out all right. *Dramatic Moment:* Kurt Busch pretty much had his way all afternoon, but that final caution flag gave the rest of the top 5 cars a final shot at him. A crew member of Marcos Ambrose’s team made an ill-advised stroll onto the quad-oval grass to retrieve a wayward tire, trapping many competitive cars a lap down during a cycle of green flag pit stops.

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Five Points to Ponder: 2009 Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Edition

*Busch-whacked* Kyle may be the Busch making headlines early -- with wins across NASCAR’s three national series in the first month -- but it was big brother Kurt who made a statement Sunday afternoon in Atlanta. Kurt led more laps Sunday (234) than he did in all of 2007 (164) and made it back-to-back wins for the Busch brothers. It was the first time brothers won consecutive races since…well… the Buschs did it in 2008.

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Even Hendrick Not A Magical Fix For Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

No matter how many cars you have running on the Sprint Cup circuit these days, it’s difficult to get more than one to run competitively each week. For proof, look no further than Penske Racing, whose lead driver Kurt Busch simply dominated Sunday’s race, while teammates David Stremme and Sam Hornish, Jr. both struggled and failed to run better than 23rd. Occasionally throughout history, there’s an exception to the rule of thumb; back in 2005, Jack Roush pulled the miraculous feat of getting all five of his cars to make the Chase, and Richard Childress Racing went three for three in 2007 and ‘08.

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Bubble Breakdown: TRG Making Miracles With David Gilliland While Mark Martin Just Hanging On

The Kobalt Tools 500 marked the fourth race in the 2009 season, meaning there is just one more event to get into the top 35 in owner points before NASCAR shifts to this year’s standings to determine who is or isn’t locked into the starting grid each week. This made the race at Atlanta critical for many, as no one wants to have to go to Bristol under pressure to post a stellar finish -- the race in Thunder Valley is one of the more unpredictable races on the circuit. So, to see which big name teams fell short at AMS and will head to Tennessee a nervous wreck -- as well as which smaller teams have surprised everyone by driving safely into the top 35 -- read on in this week’s edition of the Bubble Breakdown.

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Rotten Peaches and Sour Cream For Joey Logano, Scott Speed in Atlanta

*Joey Logano:* *Start: 42nd; Finish: 30th* *Summary:* Throughout Sunday’s telecast of the Kobalt Tools 500, we heard several times how the Atlanta Motor Speedway was racing just like its neighbor about 300 miles to the north, Darlington Raceway. The way the surface was eating through tires forced crews to bring their driver in for fresh rubber almost every chance they had. Well, it was no wonder why rookie Joey Logano thought that this was the week to put the Darlington stripe on the right side of his Home Depot Camry.

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