The NASCAR Camping World Truck, Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series are heading to "HOTlanta" for the upcoming Labor Day weekend (Aug 31-Sep 2). Atlanta Motor Speedway deemed "the fastest track in NASCAR" is setting the stage for some fast lap, action-packed racing. After the beating and bumping of Bristol this past weekend, it will be a interesting to see what transpires on track during these exciting night races.
Here are the five questions that I have this week:
1. Will Atlanta Motor Speedway be the setting for the next Hatfields and McCoys battle(s) on the track?
Bristol Motor Speedway did not disappoint this past weekend because it brought out “The Beast” in a lot of the competitors. There was fierce competition along with a lot of beating and banging throughout all three of the night races. The most notable disagreement on track occurred during the Sprint Cup race that ended up taking out the two-handed, helmet throwing, three-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart. “Smoke” and Matt Kenseth were racing hard and really didn’t give each other any room; therefore, they traveled in a synchronized slide into the wall. In case you missed the action, click here.
Other drivers to watch include: Newman/Montoya, Sadler/Stenhouse Jr and Patrick/Smith.
2. Can NASCAR Nationwide points leader Elliott Sadler maintain his lead over Ricky Stenhouse Jr.?
Elliott Sadler managed to maintain the points lead after Bristol and he is heading to Atlanta with a number of drivers who are in hot pursuit to take that top spot from him. The three drivers who are just a few points away from the points lead are Stenhouse Jr (-19), Hornish Jr (-28) and A. Dillon (-35).
Sadler has driven in both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series at this track. His Nationwide stats are as follows: 3 top 10s, 2 DNFs, average start 13th, average finish 22nd and two laps led. His Sprint Cup stats are as follows: 3 top 10s, 3 DNFs, average start 17th, average finish 23rd and 18 laps led. With these statistics will Sadler be able to pull off the win or finish in a position to keep the points lead?
3. Will NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points leader Timothy Peters remain at the top after Friday night’s race?
Timothy Peters is currently sitting in the points lead, 17 ahead of second-place James Buescher. He is heading to a track where his best finish has been seventh approximately two years ago. His average start has been 22nd and average finish 17th with one DNF. James Buescher has captured one top 10 at this track in two starts; his best start is eighth and best finish is 12th.
Also, let’s not forget about rookie Ty Dillon who is currently sitting third in the standings, 25 behind the points leader. He has been very competitive this season and depending on how things transpire throughout the night race, Dillon should always be considered a factor for the win.
4. Does Jeff Gordon have a fighting chance to win his second race this weekend?
Four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon is looking to capture his second win before the regular season competition comes to an end. He is heading to a track where he has five wins, 15 top 5s, 24 top 10s and two poles in 38 starts. His average start is 13th and average finish is 12th. I would say that he has a serious fighting chance to make it a sixth win at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
5. Should Denny Hamlin be considered for an upcoming season of “Dancing with the Stars?”
I just couldn’t resist with this question because two years in a row Denny Hamlin has not failed to show off his (um) dancing skills at Bristol. First, he graced us with his interpretation of “The Dougie” and then a few nights ago he showed the NASCAR fans how to “Wobble.”
Maybe it’s time for him to join Helio Castroneves on one of the most popular television dancing shows … What do you think?
*The video links shared are courtesy of TheOfficialNASCAR YouTube and Miss Sprint Cup Facebook pages.