2011 AdvoCare 500 Predictions
(The Spread) - The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rolls into the Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend for the AdvoCare 500.
For the second week in a row, the Cup Series will race under the lights as NASCAR takes advantage of the holiday weekend to host a Sunday night showdown. Unlike in years past, the 1.5-mile track is holding just one race in 2011. However, Atlanta Motor Speedway has always been among the fastest tracks on the schedule, and this weekend's AdvoCare 500 will likely bring plenty of excitement – especially with the Chase just a couple of weeks away.
With only two races left before the Chase begins, Tony Stewart needs to stay in the top 10 and has a 21-point lead over Brad Keselowki right now. Without a win this season, Stewart will be on the outside of the Chase looking in if he falters during the next two races.
Four drivers, Keselowski, Paul Menard, Kyle Busch, and Marcos Ambrose have a shot at winning $1 million in the Sprint Summer Showdown bonus program. Busch is the only one of the four drivers who has previously won a Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta.
Kurt Busch has really found a setup he likes at Atlanta in recent years. In his last five starts at the track, he has four finishes of sixth or better including a pair of victories. Busch is a three time winner at Atlanta Motor Speedway overall, and he is always capable of pulling out a win whenever the series visits a 1.5-mile track. While he has struggled the last few weeks, you have to think he will be the driver to beat this week.
Matt Kenseth has been as reliable as any driver at Atlanta over the last few years. He has 11 straight top 15 finishes at the track, picking up six top-five finishes during that stretch. Although he has never won at this fast track, he did finish second last spring. In the last four intermediate track races this year, he’s come home with finishes of 6th, 2nd, 6th, and 10th. We think Kenseth should continue his recent success on this type of track and maybe pick up his first win at Atlanta Sunday night.
Kasey Kahne 20/1
Kasey Kahne is a two-time winner at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In 2009 he won this race, while last spring he finished 4th and led the most laps. He also has finished seventh or better in three of his last four starts here. Kahne hasn't really done much all year but if there was one track he could surprise everyone it is at Atlanta.
2011 AdvoCare 500 Information
Race Date: Sunday, Sept. 4
Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA
Pre-Race: 6:30PM ET
Green Flag: Approx. 7:46PM ET
TV Coverage: ESPN
Radio Coverage: PRN
Track Type: Oval (325 laps)
Opening Odds: 2011 AdvoCare 500 OddsWant More From TheSpread.com? Follow us on Twitter and Facebook or Subscribe to Our News Feeds!