2010 Kobalt Tools 500:
Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of the fastest race tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule. The qualifying record in Atlanta is 197.478 MPH. NASCAR has slowed the cars slightly but they are still incredibly fast there, topping 200 MPH at the end of the front straight. The 2010 Kobalt Tools 500 promises to be fast and furious.
Speedway ticket office (770) 946-4211
Atlanta Motor Speedway is l.54 mile quad-oval with 24 degrees of banking in the turns. Because the cars don't use the speed-sapping restrictor plates here the average speeds in Atlanta are even faster than the superspeedways of Daytona and Talladega. This is a very fast race track that has a history of truly great racing.
325 Laps = 500.5 Miles
The Big Picture:
Kevin Harvick's second place effort last week in Las Vegas allowed him to stretch his point lead over Clint Bowyer. At the back end of the top twelve Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch both moved into a Chase qualifying spot replacing Daytona 500 winner Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch.
The top twelve are now:
- Kevin Harvick
- Clint Bowyer -47
- Mark Martin -49
- Matt Kenseth -58
- Jimmie Johnson -63
- Greg Biffle -63
- Jeff Burton -76
- Joey Logano -93
- David Reutimann -109
- Carl Edwards -117
- Tony Stewart -120
- Kyle Busch -131
This weekend NASCAR honors Wendell Scott, the first African-American to win at NASCAR's highest level. Scott's first NASCAR start came on March 4th, 1961 in Spartanburg, SC. Two years later Scott would pick up a victory in Jacksonville, FL on December 1st, 1963
All of the vehicles competing this weekend will carry a special decal commemorating the event.
This event gives NASCAR a chance to feature its Drive For Diversity program.
TV: Fox Sunday, March 7th 12:00PM Eastern.
Radio: PRN and SIRIUS Satellite
Actual Race: 1:00 p.m. Eastern
2008 Polesitter: Mark Martin
2008 Winner: Kurt Busch
Atlanta Motor Speedway has a long history of great races. The 2009 Kobalt Tools 500 did not see much great racing as Kurt Busch dominated most of the day.
A late race caution set up a green-white-checkers "Overdrive" finish but this one was never truly in doubt as Kurt Busch took the dominating victory.
Point leader Kevin Harvick has had strong runs in 2010 but hasn't found his way to Victory Lane yet in 2010. This weekend he returns to the site of his first emotional career win back in 2001. Harvick is running well lately and clearly knows his way around Atlanta. Kevin Harvick makes a strong pick this weekend.
My backup this week is last year's winner Kurt Busch. Kurt had a magical setup in 2009 which simply smoked the competition. If conditions are similar this weekend then Kurt Busch has a good chance of repeating his 2009 performance.