Raceday: Atlanta

HAMPTON, Ga. - Jimmie Johnson is back in the hunt for the championship and stands a chance of gaining more ground on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, a track where he has collected five top fives, including a win in 2004.

Fresh off a win at Martinsville Speedway, Johnson is trying to put together a similar run to his 2004 championship bid that saw him score an average finish of 2.5 in the last four races.

"If somebody can string together four straight consistent runs this year, they will be the champion," said Johnson.

So far in this year's "Chase for the Cup," various drivers have stood out with strong performances, but all are still lacking one thing - consistency.

"I am shocked that it has turned out this way, and the slow start that we had," Johnson said. "I am happy to see it be this crazy and out of control so that we can be back in this thing."

With rain washing out qualifying, the "Chase" field will start Sunday's Bass Pro Shops 500 from the first five rows.

The green flag will also signal the start of a four race "Chase" and will set off a fierce battle amongst the group to lead a lap for valuable bonus points.

What's five or ten bonus points worth? Just ask Johnson, who lost the title by a mere eight points to Kurt Busch in 2004.

Johnson heads into Sunday's 325-lap event third in the standings, 41 points behind leader Matt Kenseth.

"It's nice to be back in this thing and It's nice to have the other teams thinking about us and worrying about us," Johnson said.

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