While anything can happen in tonight's Advocare 500, the reality is that the final Chase for the Championship wild card spot will come down to three drivers - Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman.
Two of the three have a great shot at winning with Gordon and Busch entering tonight's race, coming off a second and fourth place in Saturday's final practice session. Furthermore, Gordon is the defending race winner at Atlanta Motor Speedway with Kyle Busch proclaiming on several occasions that his car is ‘very good.'
But just as Newman proved at Martinsville Speedway in April, anything could happen and it might come at the one of his wild card competitors' expense.
The added wild card storylines aside, Atlanta Motor Speedway has always provided some of the most dramatic moments in Sprint Cup Series history. Who could forget the 1992 season finale where Alan Kulwicki won his only Series championship under the backdrop of Richard Petty's final race - not to mention the debut of some kid named ‘Jeff Gordon?'
Or Dale Earnhardt's nine victories, Kevin Harvick's emotional 2001 breakthrough just two weeks after Earnhardt's death at the Daytona 500, and just last year, Gordon and Jimmie Johnson's slide-by-slide battle to the finish.
The Advocare 500 is about the best of what NASCAR has to offer, and the best will be on display in tonight's race.
Defending Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart is on the pole after setting a fast time of 29.787. Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, and Marcos Ambrose complete the starting top-10.
A complete starting lineup can be found after the jump.
Some talking points include:
Who's the favorite to win tonight's race?
Who will leave Atlanta (and Richmond) with the two wild card spots?
What's your favorite Atlanta Motor Speedway memory?
The race is 325 laps for 500 miles with flag-to-flag coverage provided by ESPN. Treat this post as both the general race preview and discussion thread. See you on the other side.
|1||1||14||Tony Stewart||Office Depot / Mobil 1 Chevrolet||29.787||186.121|
|2||16||Greg Biffle||3M / Manheim Auctions Ford||29.863||185.648|
|2||3||18||Kyle Busch||Wrigley / Doublemint Toyota||29.888||185.493|
|4||17||Matt Kenseth||Ford Eco Boost Ford||29.916||185.319|
|3||5||24||Jeff Gordon||DuPont Chevrolet||29.918||185.307|
|6||55||Mark Martin||Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota||29.930||185.232|
|4||7||11||Denny Hamlin||Sport Clips Toyota||29.932||185.220|
|8||48||Jimmie Johnson||Lowe's / Kobalt Tools Chevrolet||29.945||185.139|
|5||9||20||Joey Logano||The Home Depot Toyota||29.954||185.084|
|10||9||Marcos Ambrose||DeWalt Ford||29.959||185.053|
|6||11||5||Kasey Kahne||Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet||29.968||184.997|
|12||99||Carl Edwards||Subway Ford||29.979||184.929|
|7||13||43||Aric Almirola||AdvoCare Ford||29.988||184.874|
|14||34||David Ragan||Glory Foods Ford||30.010||184.738|
|8||15||22||Sam Hornish Jr.(i)||Shell Pennzoil Dodge||30.031||184.609|
|16||51||Kurt Busch||Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet||30.038||184.566|
|9||17||39||Ryan Newman||ARMY Medicine Chevrolet||30.052||184.480|
|18||27||Paul Menard||Quaker State / Menards Chevrolet||30.061||184.425|
|10||19||13||Casey Mears||GEICO Ford||30.117||184.082|
|20||1||Jamie McMurray||Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats Chevrolet||30.119||184.070|
|11||21||2||Brad Keselowski||Miller Lite Dodge||30.121||184.058|
|22||36||Dave Blaney||Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet||30.172||183.747|
|12||23||10||Danica Patrick(i)||GoDaddy.com Chevrolet||30.184||183.673|
|24||29||Kevin Harvick||Rheem Chevrolet||30.189||183.643|
|13||25||47||Bobby Labonte||Kingsford Toyota||30.211||183.509|
|26||31||Jeff Burton||Caterpillar Chevrolet||30.227||183.412|
|14||27||78||Regan Smith||Furniture Row / Farm American Chevrolet||30.231||183.388|
|28||56||Martin Truex Jr.||NAPA Shocks Toyota||30.234||183.370|
|15||29||38||David Gilliland||House - Autry Ford||30.235||183.364|
|30||15||Clint Bowyer||5-hour Energy Toyota||30.240||183.333|
|16||31||30||David Stremme||Inception Motorsports Toyota||30.289||183.037|
|32||21||Trevor Bayne(i)||Good Sam / Camping World Ford||30.314||182.886|
|17||33||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Target Chevrolet||30.335||182.759|
|34||49||Jason Leffler(i)||Robinson-Blakeney Racing Toyota||30.349||182.675|
|18||35||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||National Guard / Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet||30.357||182.627|
|36||95||Scott Speed||Jordan Truck Sales Ford||30.370||182.549|
|19||37||87||Joe Nemechek(i)||AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves Toyota||30.398||182.380|
|38||91||Reed Sorenson(i)||Plinker Tactical Toyota||30.430||182.189|
|20||39||23||Scott Riggs||North Texas Pipe Chevrolet||30.438||182.141|
|40||83||Landon Cassill||Burger King Toyota||Owner Points|
|21||41||93||Travis Kvapil||Dr Pepper / Burger King Toyota||Owner Points|
|42||32||TJ Bell(i)||Greensmoke Ford||Owner Points|
|22||43||37||JJ Yeley||MaxQworkforce.com Chevrolet||30.450||182.069|