2007 NASCAR Fantasy Preview: Atlanta Motor Speedway

Kobalt Tools 500

Repeat Race Winner This Week?

Three races three different winners so far this year. Will that trend continue or will someone become a repeat winner this weekend at Atlanta?

My Pick to Win Atlanta

In my opinion we get our fourth winner of the year and his name is Kasey Kahne.

Kasey won this race last spring and I believe he will repeat at Atlanta once again. Kasey was one of the cars to beat at Atlanta and Texas last season in both races at these tracks and was solid at most of the mile and a half tracks.

He also looked good at Las Vegas last week until a late race wreck took him out of the running.

Drivers To Watch

Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon finished one-two last weekend in Vegas and both of these guys have been good at Atlanta with average finishes over the last few years in the top 10. Each of them has a win over that stretch and 9 top 5 finishes in the last 8 races between them here.

Mark Martin had another top 5 finish last week and leads the points race right now. He still says that he is not going to race at Bristol in 2 weeks but I for one hope that he has another solid run at Atlanta this week and changes his mind.

Mark had 4 straight top 5 finishes at Atlanta until last fall when he was involved in an accident and finished 36th.

Carl Edwards won 2 races at Atlanta during his first full season on the NEXTEL Cup circuit and has 4 top 10 finishes in the 5 races he has run there. This team isn’t at the top of their game yet but they are looking like they are ready to come out full force soon.

Matt Kenseth came from nowhere at the end of the race in Vegas last weekend and looks to be one of the contenders for the championship this year. Matt has had his ups and downs at Atlanta over his career with 7 top 10 finishes in his last 14 starts there.

Tony Stewart won the race here last fall and has finished in the top 10 in 10 of his last 11 races.

He also has 1 other win during that stretch. Tony is like Carl Edwards in the fact that his team isn’t hitting on all cylinders right now but looks like they could breakout at anytime.

Drivers On The Fence

Dale Earnhardt Jr. made it through Las Vegas with his engine intact but this weekend will be the real test for this team.

I’m still not sure if they have their engine problems fixed and I don’t want to take a chance on him during a 500-mile race until I see that the troubles are over. Junior does have 9 top 10 finishes in the past 11 races at Atlanta.

Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton started out this year on a tear but have had their share of mechanical problems over the last 2 weeks.

If these teams can figure out what the problems are and get them corrected they are going to be tough every week this season.

Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman are above where they were at this time last year but still have a little way to go to start consistently running in the top 10. I look for these teams to be very good in the second half of the season but not consistent enough to use on your fantasy team right now.

Fighting To Be In The Top 35

One final thought before I give you my full field of predictions. There are only 2 more races to run before the top 35 in owner points is set for the sixth race of the season.

Right now the drivers on the edge are Kyle Petty, Casey Mears, Jeff Green, Kasey Kahne, Paul Menard, Scott Riggs and the #21 car driven by Ken Schrader and Jon Wood.

These cars and drivers will be battling for that top 35 spot so that they don’t have to qualify their way into a race every week.

Yahoo! Fantasy Picks

Group A

  • Kasey Kahne (starter)
  • Jimmie Johnson

Group B

  • Mark Martin (starter)
  • Elliott Sadler (starter)
  • Kurt Busch
  • Scott Riggs

Group C

  • J.J. Yeley (starter)
  • Sterling Marlin

Dark Horse

  • Joe Nemechek