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Driver Recommendations for the Pep Boys Auto 500 at Atlanta

Posted by chadmusselman on August 24, 2009

The fastest, non-restrictor plate track is next up for the boys. Atlanta is a very fast and wide track and always seems to have exciting finishes. Remember back in 2001 when Kevin Harvick won his first race as a rookie sitting in Dale Earnhard’s ride? That was about as close as a finish as there is. Hopefully we can see something close to that good Labor Day weekend.

Recommendations for this week:

Chaser: Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie has done pretty well here over the past few years taking home 6 top tens and a couple wins over the past 7 races. In his career he has an impressive 3 wins, 9 top fives, and 11 top tens in 16 career races. His average finish of 9.1 is best among active drivers. Another win before the chase starts would be good, and you can bet Jimmie will be driving hard this weekend to get it.

Alternate Chaser: Carl Edwards
Like Jimmie, Carl has 3 career wins here, but in only 10 races. He also has 6 top fives and 8 top tens. Very impressive. His average finish of 10.7 is 2nd best only to Jimmie. Surprisingly Carl is winless in 2009, but is 5th in the points standings. You know he wants to have at least one win and the bonus points that come with it before the chase starts. Carl should be on top of his game.

Kurt Busch
Over his career Kurt’s numbers at Atlanta aren’t all that impressive, but he does have 3 top tens in the last 4 here and won the March race earlier this year. Maybe he’s figuring something out about the track and has learned how to get around it faster. Whatever it is, I’d have him on my team.

Brian Vickers
No driver is as hot as Brian is right now. Over the last 5 races he’s averaging a 7th place finish. He’s also done well at Atlanta in recent years with 3 top tens in the last 4 races. But those together and it sounds like a no-brainer that Brian should be on your team.

Darkhorse: AJ Allmendinger
AJ hasn’t done great in Atlanta averaging only a 15.7 place finish in his 3 races here, but believe it or not, that’s good enough for 8th best among active drivers. He’s also been very consistent; not very impressive, but consistent. He has 17th, 14th and 16th place finishes. He’s a guy that it seems we can count on to finish in the top 20, and possibly the top 15.

Not impressed with the picks, or have others that I should have recommended? Leave a comment and let me know.


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