Jimmie Johnson looks to win for the third straight week as NASCAR moves to Atlanta for the Kobalt Tools 500 on Sunday. The statistics point to Johnson having another good week as he has the best driver rating in Atlanta and the most laps in the Top 15. He has three wins, nine top fives and 11 top ten finishes in 17 starts in Atlanta. He is the 4-1 favorite at SBG Global.
If Johnson doesn’t win then it could be time for Jeff Gordon to finally visit the winner’s circle. Gordon would have won last week had he taken four tires instead of two. He has four wins, 14 Top Fives and 23 Top 10s in 35 Atlanta races. He is the co-second choice at 7-1 at SBG Global. Mark Martin is also 7-1 although it is puzzling as to why, since he has never had much success in Atlanta.
Kevin Harvick leads the point standings after three races and he was second and fourth in the two Atlanta races last year. He is 9-1 at SBG along with Kyle Busch. All of the other drivers have double-digit nascar odds. One of those drivers is Dale Earnhardt Jr. He has eight Top Fives and 10 Top 10’s in 21 Atlanta starts. Owner Rick Hendrick believes that the Jr. team is much better this season. “I feel they’ve made a ton of improvement on that team and I think we’re going to have a really good year,” Rick Hendrick said. Jr. is a 17-1 longshot at SBG.
Another contender in Atlanta this week could be Carl Edwards at 13-1. He has started the 2010 season slowly but he has three wins, six Top Fives and eight Top 10s in Atlanta.
Last year’s winner of this race was Kurt Busch while Jeff Gordon finished second. Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Brian Vickers rounded out the Top 5. There were 11 caution flags last year and the race finished in just under four hours. Kurt Busch led for 234 laps in his win last year. His brother Kyle won the race two years ago while Jimmie Johnson won in 2007. The pole sitter has won this race 10 times although it didn’t work out last year for Mark Martin who finished 31st.
If you are looking for big longshot then Ryan Newman might be worth a shot since he won the pole every year in both Atlanta races from 2003 through 2005. Newman is 37-1 in NASCAR odds.