This week’s Power Rankings is for the Labor Day Sunday night special from Atlanta Motor Speedway — the Oral-B USA 500.
Its going to be hot in Hotlanta with temperatures pushing the 90 mark. It’s a concern as engines will be pushing the envelope north towards the red line.
Kyle Busch won this race last year after leading 36 laps. His 4.0 average start for Atlanta is best among all active drivers and he has a win, two top fives and three top 10s. He ranks eighth in driver ratings and never has taken the pole at Atlanta. Between both Busch brothers, they have won four out of the last nine races at Atlanta. Toyotas have been struggling to find speed for the superspeedways this year but according to reports, TRD(Toyota Racing Development) has found a bit more power late in the season and Joe Gibbs Racing could definitely use it.
Brian Vickers will be flying low heading into Atlanta. He has the fourth best average finish at 9.3 the last five years with two top 10s. Keep in mind that Atlanta is a once a year race. If the Toyotas have a little extra in the tank, then we can see Vickers with a good points day.
Matt Kenseth just missed taking the checkers last week, but Atlanta is a track he really shines at. He knows how to save his equipment to be there at the end. He has the fifth best driver rating and an average finish of 8.6 the past five years. He’s never won at Atlanta but his eight top fives and 14 top 10s is money in the bank come Sunday night.
Jeff Gordon has been money at Atlanta during the past five years with a win, two top fives and three top 10s. He has the second best average start at 7.6. He tops all active drivers at Atlanta in driver ratings and is a good choice with Hendrick power to lead him to conquest.
Another driver under the radar is the” Outlaw,” Kurt Busch. Busch tops all drivers in average finish the past five years with a win, three top fives and four top 10s. His average start is nothing to write home about, but his average finish is 5.6. He should be priced right in most leagues.
We could see last week’s winner again in victory lane. Joey Logano was the class of the field last year at Atlanta. He led a race high 78 laps before track position coming out of the pits ended his hopes at a win last year. He’s not even ranked in driver ratings or the top 10 the last five years, but he’s been firing on all cylinders with Penske power that has earned him and his teammate Brad Keselowski front row starts and wins this year. Both Logano and Keselowski will have to be dealt with come Sunday night. Pay the price and take a little slice of bread.
Last years 2013 top 15 finishing order:
|POS||CAR #||DRIVER||MFG||STARTPOS||LAPS||LAPS LED||+ / -||FINAL STATUS||POINTS|
|3||56||Martin Truex Jr||Toyota||7||325||0||1||Running||41|
|7||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Chevrolet||3||325||38||2||Running||38|
|8||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr||Chevrolet||8||325||0||0||Running||36|
Pole winners have taken 45 checkered flags since the first race at Atlanta, a stat you can’t overlook. If you unload fast here, your chances of joining Miss Sprint Cup in victory lane is feasible.
I usually post betting odds for The Chase, but with two races remaining, why not now? Here are the latest betting odds for the Oral-B 500.
Brad Keselowski 6/1
Jeff Gordon 6/1
Jimmie Johnson 6/1
Kevin Harvick 6/1
Joey Logano 8/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr 10/1
Kyle Busch 10/1
Matt Kenseth 10/1
Denny Hamlin 15/1
Kasey Kahne 15/1
Kurt Busch 15/1
Kyle Larson 18/1
Clint Bowyer 20/1
Carl Edwards 30/1
Greg Biffle 30/1
Jamie McMurray 40/1
Brian Vickers 50/1
Ryan Newman 50/1
Paul Menard 60/1
AJ Allmendinger 100/1
Aric Almirola 100/1
Austin Dillon 100/1
Casey Mears 100/1
Danica Patrick 100/1
Jeff Burton 100/1
Justin Allgaier 100/1
Marcos Ambrose 100/1
Martin Truex Jr 100/1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr 100/1
Here are the power rankings based on the last five years at Atlanta:
10 Dale Earnhardt Jr- 2 top 10′s, average finish 14.2.
9 Kevin Harvick- 1 top 5 and 4 top 10′s, average finish 12.6.
8 Kyle Busch- 1 win, 2 top 5′s and 3 top 10′s, average finish 12.2.
7 A.J. Allmendinger- 2 top 10′s, average finish 12.0.
6 Martin Truex Jr- 2 top 5′s and 2 top 10′s, average finish 12.0.
5 Tony Stewart- 1 win, 2 top 5′s and 2 top 10′s, average finish 9.8.
4 Brian Vickers- 2 top 10′s, average finish 9.3.
3 Matt Kenseth- 1 top 5 and 3 top 10′s, average finish 8.6.
2 Jeff Gordon- 1 win, 2 top 5′s and 3 top 10′s, average finish 8.0.
1 Kurt Busch- 1 win, 3 top 5′s and 4 top 10′s, average finish 5.6.
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