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NASCAR stays under the lights at Atlanta Sunday
By: Brian Graham - StatFox
Published: 9/1/2013  at  1:44:00 AM
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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
AdvoCare 500

Sunday, September 1 – 8:00 p.m. EDT
Atlanta Motor Speedway – Hampton, GA

With just two events left before the Chase for the Cup, NASCAR races under the lights for the second straight weekend on Sunday, this time at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the AdvoCare 500. This quad-oval shaped track, built in 1960, measures 1.54 miles with 24-degree banking on all four turns and just five degrees on the straights. The frontstretch is 2,332 feet (0.44 miles), while the backstretch is just 1,800 feet (0.34 miles). Denny Hamlin is the defending champion of this race that has seen just one pole-position champion since 1997 (Kasey Kahne in 2006). The regular season concludes next Sunday, Sept. 7, in Richmond.

Odds to Win Race

(For the latest Odds, connect to Sportsbook.ag)

Jimmie Johnson9-to-2
Matt Kenseth6-to-1
Kyle Busch7-to-1
Carl Edwards8-to-1
Kasey Kahne8-to-1
Jeff Gordon10-to-1
Denny Hamlin10-to-1
Dale Earnhardt Jr.12-to-1
Brad Keselowski12-to-1
Clint Bowyer15-to-1
Kurt Busch15-to-1
Martin Truex Jr.15-to-1
Kevin Harvick15-to-1
Joey Logano20-to-1
Greg Biffle20-to-1
Brian Vickers30-to-1
Ryan Newman40-to-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.40-to-1
Juan Montoya40-to-1
Jamie McMurray60-to-1
Mark Martin75-to-1
Paul Menard75-to-1
A.J. Allmendinger200-to-1
FIELD (Any other driver)300-to-1
Danica Patrick300-to-1
Marcos Ambrose300-to-1
Austin Dillon300-to-1
Jeff Burton300-to-1
Aric Almirola300-to-1

Drivers to Watch

Kasey Kahne (8/1) - This track suits Kahne very well. Not only has he won twice in Atlanta (2006 and 2009), but he also was a runner-up in two of the past three races on 1.5-mile tracks (Kansas and Charlotte). Kahne also finished 11th at Kentucky Speedway, which is similar to the age and wear of Atlanta. His runner-up finish last week in Bristol gives Kahne top-7 finishes in four of his past five races, which includes a win at Pocono. Although his odds have dropped considerably at this track in the past years when he went off at 20-to-1, Kahne is still our pick to win Sunday night's race.

Greg Biffle (20/1) - He represents the best value on the board, especially considering his payoff was a mere 8-to-1 wager in last year's Atlanta race. Biffle has finished in the top-10 in half of his 18 career Atlanta starts, and began in the No. 2 spot last year when he placed a disappointing 15th. Biffle is usually strong on 1.5-mile tracks, placing fourth at Texas earlier this season. He's also finishing the regular season strong, as his two straight ninth-place finishes have kept him in ninth place in the overall standings.

Denny Hamlin (10/1) - Last year we told you that "Hamlin has as good a chance to win on Sunday as anybody in the field." While we're not as high on him this year because of how poorly he's performed with 10 straight finishes of 18th or worse, he'll be approaching this race with nothing to lose and everything to gain from repeating his AdvoCare 500 title. He certainly showed that he's capable of racing near the front of the pack last week with a pole position start and 23 laps led, marking the fourth time in the past seven races where he's led for at least four laps in a race. In Hamlin’s past seven starts at Atlanta he has posted four top-8’s, which could’ve been five if his engine didn’t fail him in 2010 when he started from the pole position. The payoff isn’t as great for a driver struggling so badly, but he's still worthy of a small wager, even at 10-to-1.

Martin Truex Jr. (15/1) - Truex Jr. has been racing hard down the stretch, and last week's crash at Bristol puts him in a desperate situation with just two races remaining before the Chase for the Cup. He has four top-7 showings in his past 10 races, which is more impressive considering two of those ended in crashes. Speaking of crashes, Truex Jr. has been unable to finish four of his 14 career Atlanta starts, three because of crashes and one engine failure. However, all of those occurred in 2007 or earlier, and he had his best Atlanta result the last time he raced on this track, finishing fourth in last year's race despite starting in 28th place. A one-unit wager seems to be the correct wager here.

Marcos Ambrose (300/1) - He’s never finished in the top-5 at Atlanta, but the “Tazmanian Devil” has raced much better on this track recently, placing 10th in 2010 and starting 10th last year, in which resulted in a 17th-place finish. He's also been much stronger in his past five races this season, starting 10th in Indy (finished 16th), eighth at Pocono (finished 12th), winning the pole at Watkins Glen before crashing, finishing 6th at Michigan (started 26th) and 8th at Bristol last week from the No. 14 starting position. The odds on him actually winning have to be much greater than his preposterous 300-to-1 odds currently on the board, six times more favorable than the 50-to-1 he went off at in last year's AdvoCare 500.

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