Cut To The Chase: Atlanta

RacingOne breaks down each of the 2006 "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" competitor's performances at Atlanta Motor Speedway with comprehensive statistics and notes by driver.

1. Matt Kenseth
Points: 5848
Best Chase Track by Average: New Hampshire
Total Wins on Chase Tracks: 4
Average Atlanta Finish Rank Among Chase Drivers: Sixth

Matt Kenseth has competed in 13 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway, capturing three top fives and six top-10 finishes. His best effort is a pair of fourth-place finishes in the spring race in 2002 and 2003. Kenseth, who has only led one lap at AMS in the last eight races, will be back in the same car (chassis RK-267) that finished 13th at Atlanta in the spring.

Track
Starts
Poles
Wins
Avg. Start
Avg. Finish
Laps Led
% Completed
DNFs
Atlanta
13
0
0
25.5
17.5
49
91.7
3
Texas
8
0
1
20.1
12.1
313
98.1
1
Phoenix
8
0
1
21.0
20.8
60
82.2
3
Homestead
6
0
0
26.0
25.5
0
82.1
2
Totals
35
0
2
23.2
19.0
422
88.5
9


2. Kevin Harvick
Points: -36
Best Chase Track by Average: Homestead
Total Wins on Chase Tracks: 3 (Including New Hampshire 2006)
Average Atlanta Finish Rank Among Chase Drivers: Ninth

Since winning his first NEXTEL Cup race in the 2001 spring race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kevin Harvick has gone on to score one more top 10, coming in this event that same season. His only other finish inside the top 20 was a 19th-place finish in the 2003 spring race. Harvick's 39th-place finish in this year's spring race equaled his worst finish in 11 starts at AMS. This weekend Harvick will race the Reese's colors on the same chassis (No. 174) that finished 18th two weeks ago at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Track
Starts
Poles
Wins
Avg. Start
Avg. Finish
Laps Led
% Completed
DNFs
Atlanta
11
1
1
17.2
24.6
59
95.7
3
Texas
7
0
0
23.1
13.4
4
99.8
0
Phoenix
7
0
1
16.1
16.4
10
99.2
0
Homestead
5
0
0
15.6
9.4
59
100.0
0
Totals
30
1
2
18.0
16.0
132
98.7
3


3. Jimmie Johnson
Points Behind: -41
Best Chase Track by Average: Charlotte
Total Wins on Chase Tracks: 14 (Including Martinsville 2006)
Average Atlanta Finish Rank Among Chase Drivers: Second

Last year in this event, Jimmie Johnson battled an ill-handling car to finish 16th. The finish was his only outside the top 10 in the last six events. Johnson's only win came in this event in 2004 after leading 17 laps. The next race, in the spring of 2005, he led 156 laps en route to a runner-up finish. Johnson, who finished sixth in the spring at AMS, will be racing the same car (chassis No. 48363) that finished second at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Track
Starts
Poles
Wins
Avg. Start
Avg. Finish
Laps Led
% Completed
DNFs
Atlanta
10
0
1
9.8
11.8
176
99.3
1
Texas
6
0
0
11.7
7.0
2
100.0
0
Phoenix
6
0
0
12.8
8.7
85
100.0
0
Homestead
5
0
0
25.4
15.6
34
89.3
1
Totals
27
0
1
15.0
10.8
297
97.2
2


4. Denny Hamlin
Points Behind: -47
Best Chase Track by Average: Texas
Total Wins on Chase Tracks: 0
Average Atlanta Finish Rank Among Chase Drivers: Tenth

Denny Hamlin's best finish in two NEXTEL Cup starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway came in this event last year when he came home 19th. In the spring he started seventh and led 16 laps before handling and pit road issues forced him to a 31st-place finish - one of four finishes of 30th or worse in 2006. This weekend, Hamlin will pilot chassis No. 115 for the fourth time this season. This car finished sixth in its last outing at Bristol.

Track
Starts
Poles
Wins
Avg. Start
Avg. Finish
Laps Led
% Completed
DNFs
Atlanta
2
0
0
16.0
25.0
16
99.5
0
Texas
2
0
0
11.0
5.5
41
100.0
0
Phoenix
2
1
0
3.5
23.5
23
96.3
0
Homestead
1
0
0
42.0
33.0
1
98.5
0
Totals
7
1
0
18.1
21.2
81
98.6
0


5. Jeff Burton
Points Behind: -48
Best Chase Track by Average: Phoenix
Total Wins on Chase Tracks: 11 (Including Dover 2006)
Average Atlanta Finish Rank Among Chase Drivers: Seventh

Jeff Burton's best finish in four career starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway came in this event in 2004 when he placed sixth. His only top 10s with the team have come in the fall event, also finishing eighth in 2005. In the spring, Burton was forced to pit while running fourth because of a vibration relegating him to a 25th-place finish. Prior to RCR, Burton competed in 20 races at AMS, four with the Stavola Brothers and 16 with Roush Racing, capturing eight top 10s. This weekend's chassis (No. 173) raced in seven events in 2006, most recently finishing third a Lowe's Motor Speedway two weeks ago.

Track
Starts
Poles
Wins
Avg. Start
Avg. Finish
Laps Led
% Completed
DNFs
Atlanta
24
0
0
27.5
18.0
101
93.1
3
Texas
11
0
1
27.2
17.5
145
96.1
1
Phoenix
14
0
2
23.5
11.6
215
99.6
0
Homestead
7
0
0
24.3
13.7
5
97.7
0
Totals
56
0
3
25.6
15.2
466
96.6
4


6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Points Behind: -94
Best Chase Track by Average: Texas
Total Wins on Chase Tracks: 10
Average Atlanta Finish Rank Among Chase Drivers: Third

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has had a solid record in 14 starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway. His eight top 10s have come in eight of the last 10 events, which includes a win in the 2004 spring race. Last year in this event he started 17th and led 142 laps on his way to a fourth-place finish. This weekend Junior will back in one of his favorite cars. This particular chassis has scored six consecutive top-10 finishes, including a third-place finish at AMS in March.

Track
Starts
Poles
Wins
Avg. Start
Avg. Finish
Laps Led
% Completed
DNFs
Atlanta
14
1
1
15.7
11.9
475
99.1
1
Texas
8
1
1
8.5
10.8
253
94.7
1
Phoenix
8
0
2
15.1
17.2
310
90.9
2
Homestead
6
0
0
20.8
19.2
46
99.7
0
Totals
36
2
4
15.0
14.8
1084
96.1
4


7. Mark Martin
Points Behind: -96
Best Chase Track by Average: Phoenix
Total Wins on Chase Tracks: 17
Average Atlanta Finish Rank Among Chase Drivers: Fifth

Mark Martin leads all active drivers with 13 top fives at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In fact, his last four finishes at the track have resulted in finishes of fourth or better after leading 272 of 924 career laps. Martin's last of two victories at AMS came in this event in 1994, and all but four of his 41 track starts have come with Roush Racing. This weekend Martin will pilot a brand new chassis (RK-392) that was tested at Homestead last week..

Track
Starts
Poles
Wins
Avg. Start
Avg. Finish
Laps Led
% Completed
DNFs
Atlanta
41
1
2
10.4
15.7
924
87.4
12
Texas
11
0
1
12.0
13.5
169
92.5
1
Phoenix
20
0
1
11.4
9.4
582
97.5
1
Homestead
7
0
0
18.0
11.6
30
98.7
1
Totals
79
1
4
13.0
12.6
1705
94.0
15


8. Kasey Kahne
Points Behind: -99
Best Chase Track by Average: Atlanta
Total Wins on Chase Tracks: 4 (Including Charlotte 2006)
Average Atlanta Finish Rank Among Chase Drivers: First

After scoring three previous top fives, Kasey Kahne finally captured his first win at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the spring. In that event, he led 85 laps en route to the victory from the pole - the first of three times he's accomplished that this season. Kahne's 9.8 average finish at the 1.54-mile track ranks first among all the "Chase" contenders. This weekend, Kahne will be back behind the wheel of the same car (chassis No. 128) that won in the spring at Atlanta. The car, which made its debut at Atlanta in March, won five races with Kahne in 2006.

Track
Starts
Poles
Wins
Avg. Start
Avg. Finish
Laps Led
% Completed
DNFs
Atlanta
5
1
1
11.2
9.8
89
97.0
1
Texas
4
1
1
5.5
20.0
211
81.4
2
Phoenix
4
0
0
15.5
13.8
0
99.9
0
Homestead
2
0
0
3.5
27.0
0
85.3
1
Totals
15
2
2
8.9
17.7
300
90.9
4


9. Jeff Gordon
Points Behind: -141
Best Chase Track by Average: Kansas
Total Wins on Chase Tracks: 28
Average Atlanta Finish Rank Among Chase Drivers: Fourth

Jeff Gordon has recorded four wins in 28 career starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He is second only to Bill Elliott in laps led among active drivers at the track with 976. His last two finishes have resulted in his first top fives since winning the 2003 fall race. In the 2005 spring race, Gordon posted his first DNF since 1999 after a lap two accident.

Track
Starts
Poles
Wins
Avg. Start
Avg. Finish
Laps Led
% Completed
DNFs
Atlanta
28
1
4
14.1
13.6
976
90.2
5
Texas
11
0
0
11.0
17.5
133
87.7
2
Phoenix
15
1
0
10.3
8.9
191
97.4
1
Homestead
7
0
0
15.4
9.6
46
99.8
0
Totals
61
2
4
12.7
12.4
1346
93.8
8


10. Kyle Busch
Points Behind: -171
Best Chase Track by Average: Dover
Total Wins on Chase Tracks: 2
Average Atlanta Finish Rank Among Chase Drivers: Eighth

Kyle Busch has finished 12th in his last three starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway. These finishes follow a 43rd-place finish in his debut at the track in 2004 when he piloted the No. 84 for Hendrick Motorsports. Last year at AMS, Busch drove the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Chevrolet to victory in the Truck Series race for his third of four career series wins.

Track
Starts
Poles
Wins
Avg. Start
Avg. Finish
Laps Led
% Completed
DNFs
Atlanta
4
0
0
23.5
19.8
4
78.4
1
Texas
3
0
0
28.3
25.3
0
99.1
0
Phoenix
3
1
1
14.3
15.0
78
94.3
0
Homestead
1
0
0
4.0
41.0
0
43.1
1
Totals
11
1
1
17.5
25.3
82
78.7
2

Photos

  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Chase Opener at Chicago
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • Federated Auto Parts 400
  • © 2014 MRN. All Rights Reserved

    FacebookTwitterDiggDeliciousLinkedInGoogle BookmarksYahoo BookmarksLive (MSN)

    ISC Track Sites