The next stop on the Nextel Cup schedule is Atlanta Motor Speedway
Next week, NASCAR heads to the fastest track on the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series circuit, Atlanta Motor Speedway, for the Kobalt Tools 500. The 2007 races at Atlanta will be a further change to racing compared to the 2006 races held over there. NASCAR has mandated an 18-gallon fuel cell instead of the standard 22 1/2-gallon cell normally used.
What effect will a smaller fuel cell have? For starters, it will require more pit stops to cover the 500-mile race. More stops on NASCAR’s fastest track means pit crews and a driver’s ability to have a clean pit stop will be even more critical. He has a bad save, and a team could find themselves turned back in the blink of an eye.
Of the current drivers who have run more than 2 races at Atlanta, Dale Jarrett has had the most success. In 20 starts, Jarrett has an average finish of 10th place. Of course, Dale’s success in Atlanta came during his years at Yates Racing. Let’s see if he can maintain his dominance with his new team, Michael Waltrip Racing.
Other drivers to consider:
Carl Edwards – Average Finish 11th
Jimmie Johnson – Average Finish 11th
Dale Earnhardt Jr – Average Finish 11th
Greg Biffle – Average Finish of 12th
Next week’s schedule:
Nextel Cup: @ Atlanta Motor Speedway (all times EST)
03/16/07 – 06:40 pm NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Kobalt Tools 500 Qualifying
03/17/07 – 01:20 pm NASCAR Nextel Cup Kobalt Tools 500 Practice
03/18/07 – 14:00 NASCAR Nextel Cup Kobalt Tools 500
Busch Series: @ Atlanta Motor Speedway
03/16/07 – 02:15 pm Practice NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Nicorette 300
03/17/07 – 11:05 am NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Nicorette 300 Qualifying
03/17/07 – 03:00 pm NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Nicorette 300
Craftsman Truck Series: @ Atlanta Motor Speedway
03/16/07 – 05:15 pm NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series American Commercial Lines 200 Qualifying
03/16/07 – 09:00 pm NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series American Commercial Lines 200
Johnson gets the first victory of 2007!
Jimmie Johnson learned last year that the best way to win a championship is to come out early and hit. In the 2006 season, Johnson began by winning the Daytona 500, finishing second in California and winning Las Vegas.
With the exception of Daytona, Johnson’s 2007 results are eerily similar to 2006. A third-place finish at California last week followed by a win at Las Vegas this week, the 150th for the Hendrick Motor Sports organization. Whats Next? Did he finish sixth next week in Atlanta?
While Johnson’s poor finish this year at Daytona left fans guessing if he could repeat, there’s now no question that Lowe’s #48 teams remain a force to be reckoned with in NASCAR.
Las Vegas fails to impress in bid for second NASCAR race
Las Vegas Motor Speedway desperately wants a second Nextel Cup race. The track wants it so much that it was willing to spend millions to raise the 11-year-old turns an extra 8 degrees to bring faster action to fans. It is also in the planning stages of building luxury trackside condominiums the likes of which have never been seen before on a race track.
So what is the problem you ask? The problem is not necessarily the track’s fault. Recent track restructuring, a new track surface and the promise of higher speeds caused Goodyear to play a conservative hand in the tires they molded for the UAW Daimler Chrysler 400. The left-side Goodyear tires were very tough and capable of withstanding pressures. higher than typical tires. Along with the modified left side tire, the air pressures in the right side tires were regulated and the teams were unable to adjust as needed during the race.
The end result was that the race had more closed captions than any other Las Vegas race. Most drivers complained about the conditions here on a slippery track that claimed numerous cars. For NASCAR to award a second race to Las Vegas, both the track and Goodyear will need to be on the same page and provide a track along with a suitable set of tires that will produce serious racing.
UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 Recap at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
The newly renovated Las Vegas Motor Speedway made for dangerous racing conditions Sunday at the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400. As Tony Stewart predicted after Saturday night’s Busch race, the Sam’s Town 300, the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 would claim a lot of cars late in the race. .
During the offseason, Speedway Motor sports Inc, owners of Vegas, spent millions of dollars raising the bank on turns from 12 degrees to 20 degrees and resurfacing the entire track. Always willing to take the safe bet, Goodyear specified a harder compound for the left side to prevent tire failure. He ask any driver and they will tell you that a harder left side tire on a freshly paved track is extremely slippery.
And slippery was yesterday. In the first 40 periods there were 4 endorsements claimed by numerous cars. One team, Hendrick Motor sports, was apparently immune to track conditions. Two of his drivers, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, finished 1st and 2nd respectively, while Kyle Busch finished ninth. The win was the 150th in Hendrick Motor sports history!
For Jimmie Johnson, the victory in Las Vegas was his third consecutive win at the same track and propelled him up to fourth in the standings. However, Johnson’s victory was not easy. Jimmy had to overcome a pit road penalty and a minor scrape on the wall. The defending champion recovered by leading 89 laps and winning the race.
Meanwhile, Jeff Gordon moved up to second in the standings, still behind leader Mark Martin. The 4-time champion led 111 laps in the race only to fail after a tire problem late in the race. Gordon still trails Dale Earnhardt by one win in NASCAR’s all-time wins.
Jeff Burton looked poised to rip Las Vegas after winning the race from Busch on Saturday. The South Boston, VA native led late in the race before engine problems doomed his sweeping chances. Burton finished 15th.
Other fair top drivers as follows:
Tony Stewart followed up his eighth-place finish at California with a seventh at Las Vegas. The former champion now sits in 13th place.
NASCAR darling Kasey Kahne was involved in a crash late in the race and finished 35th. 35th place dropped Kahne to 36th in points. It looks like the #9 Dodge team is still reeling from the suspensions at Daytona.
Carl Edwards posted a solid 7th place finish to help correct a 2007 season that started off completely on the wrong foot. The finish propelled Edwards to 17th place in the standings.
Juan Montoya is learning to move around the tracks of the oval. The former F1 star finished the race in 22nd place.