Joe Gibbs Racing-54-NNS

Joe Gibbs Racing-54-NNS

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In eight Nationwide Series starts, Elliott Sadler has one top-five and four top-10 finishes at Atlanta.

In addition, the veteran driver has 24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Atlanta, with three top-10 finishes and 18 laps lead. After 23 races in the 2014 season, Sadler is currently in fourth place in the Nationwide Series driver championship point standings, 42 points back from the lead. The Emporia, Va., native has one win, one pole award, five top-five and 16 top-10 finishes.-Drivers Choice Marketing
Aug 27 - 7:55 PM

Despite finishing seventh in the 5-hour Energy 400 at Kansas, Danica Patrick has shown only minor improvement on the similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks this year. Her five-race average on this course type to date is 23.0 compared to a 26.7 in 2013.

This is the type of track that Patrick enjoys and where she needs to show the most improvement. Once she begins finishing the in the top 20 with regularity, she could become a weekly threat.
Aug 27 - 6:00 PM

One week after being a part of Roush-Fenway Racing’s sweep of the top 10 at Bristol, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. hopes to help them sweep the top 15 at Atlanta. That would be his first such finish, but he missed last year by only one position—finishing 16th.

RFR has been improving in recent weeks, and while it is too soon to say they are out of the woods, they could be expected to run well on a track that has been traditionally kind. Watch Stenhouse closely in practice and qualification.
Aug 27 - 5:59 PM

Along with Michigan and Auto Club, Atlanta was one of three tracks on which Carl Edwards had almost-perfect records at the start of his career. His first 10 races in Georgia ended in three victories, another second-place finish, two thirds, and two sevenths.

His last six races on this track have ended in another pair of top-fives, but that is counterbalanced by three 30-something results. All of his poor performances came as the result of engine failure or crash damage, however, so he should be a good value if he stays out of trouble.
Aug 27 - 5:58 PM

So far in 2014, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has alternated one top-five on a similarly-configured, 1.5-mile track with a result outside the top 15 and if the pattern holds, he is due to finish poorly this week.

Atlanta has been contrary to that pattern in the past two years, however. He finished seventh in 2012 and eighth last year, while he has failed to crack the top five since 2008. This week could feature a good, but not great finish for the No. 88.
Aug 27 - 5:57 PM

In the past two seasons, David Gilliland has finished in the top 20 only twice in 15 similarly-configured, 1.5-mile track races. His best result was a 17th in last year’s Atlanta AdvoCare 500.

Gilliland hopes that lightning can strike twice and he came close to scoring another top-20 this spring at Texas. He finished 22nd in the Duck Commander 500, but should only be considered a dark horse to back that up in Atlanta.
Aug 27 - 5:21 PM

Martin Truex Jr. finished in the top five in his last two Atlanta attempts with Michael Waltrip Racing. The No. 78 team finished fourth last year with Kurt Busch behind the wheel and they both hope to keep that momentum alive.

Truex has not had the same level of success with his new team, however. Whether the lack of results is because of poor communication or bad luck, it is best to leave them in the garage and cheer from a distance this week.
Aug 27 - 5:20 PM

Greg Biffle enters the weekend with a four-race, top-10 streak this season dating back to the GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono. His previous two attempts at New Hampshire and Indy ended in top-15s.

Biffle should be considered a favorite to keep his top-15 streak alive, but he could be a long shot to finish in the top 10. His last three efforts at Atlanta ended in top-15s, but he has not finished better than 11th there since spring 2010.
Aug 27 - 5:19 PM

Joey Logano has scored six consecutive top-12 finishes on similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks, including a victory in the Duck Commander 500 at Texas.

Logano’s solid performance on this track type outweighs his apparent struggles at Atlanta. Prior to last year, he failed to crack the top 15 a single time in six attempts, but with his new Penske ride he finished second to Kyle Busch in the 2013 Atlanta AdvoCare 500.
Aug 27 - 5:18 PM

Michael Annett finished in the mid to high-20s in the first four races held on the similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks this year, but he may wind up on a few fantasy owners’ radar screens after finishing 18th in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky.

As a rookie, Annett was supposed to struggle at the beginning of the season and this is a team that comes to compete every week. He could be a good value if a fantasy player needs a bargain-basement driver.
Aug 27 - 4:52 PM

Nine of Brian Vickers’ last 10 Atlanta attempts have ended in top-15 finishes. He missed the 2010 and 2012 fall races on this track, however.

Vickers continues to be a compelling choice for fantasy owners, but last week’s struggle at Bristol have them questioning his ability to stay out of trouble. If a player needs a strong differentiator, Vickers fits the criteria so long as one knows there is a risk attached.
Aug 27 - 4:51 PM

Kasey Kahne won his second Atlanta race in fall 2009 and that was part of a three-race, top-10 streak there. His last four efforts have all ended well outside the top 20, however, with an average finish of 31.2.

Three of these four races were marred by crash damage, but he also finished two laps off the pace in 2012 without extenuating circumstances. Kahne needs a victory in order to secure a Chase spot, but it would be a long shot for him to earn it in the Oral-B USA 500.
Aug 27 - 4:50 PM

After winning his first Atlanta race in his first attempt in 2001 and sweeping the top five that season, Harvick struggled on this track until 2008. Since then, he has earned eight top-15s in the past nine races.

Harvick has earned only one top-five in the past five races, but he should contend for another if he has an error-free weekend. Those have seemingly been hard to come by on many occasions this year, however.
Aug 27 - 4:49 PM

In four previous NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at the 1.54-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway, Trevor Bayne has recorded one top-10 finish, a seventh-place result in this event in 2013.

In 38 career starts on 1.5-mile tracks in the NNS, Bayne has recorded one win, nine top-five finishes, 17 top-10 finishes and has an average finish of 11.2. Crew chief Chad Norris brings chassis RK-811 to Atlanta this weekend. This chassis previously raced earlier this season at Auto Club Speedway and Michigan International Speedway, earning finishes of ninth and 30th, respectively.-Roush Fenway Racing
Aug 27 - 8:42 AM

Jeb Burton will make his second start at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park north of the border, and this year he is looking for redemption.

Coming off two track best finishes in the last two series events (Michigan and Bristol), Burton hopes to continue his NCWTS success - making it three in a row at "Mosport" on Sunday. Said Burton: "2013 was my first time on a road course and after running the Canadian Tire race prior to the Truck Series race I felt like I had a good grasp on the track. Overall I believe I did pretty well. I had a top-five truck, but unfortunately I went laps down early when I had to go behind the wall for my team to fix a broken transmission. I feel like if we didn't have that issue I could have put up a fight."-ThorSport Racing
Aug 27 - 8:37 AM


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