Crunching the Numbers: Atlanta

By David Morgan, NASCAR Writer

After last Sunday’s barn burner of a finish in the Daytona 500, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series packs up and heads to Georgia for this weekend’s running of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

As we head to Atlanta, we’ll take a statistical look at the track and which drivers should perform the best based on their past finishes in this edition of “Crunching the Numbers.”

Track Facts

Track Size: 1.54-mile quad-oval

Banking/Turn 1 & 2: 24 degrees

Banking/Turn 3 & 4: 24 degrees

Banking/Frontstretch: 5 degrees

Banking/Backstretch: 5 degrees

Frontstretch Length:  2,332 feet

Backstretch Length:  1,800 feet

Race Length: 325 laps / 500.5 miles

Qualifying/Race Data

2015 pole winner: Joey Logano, Ford (194.683 mph – 28.477 secs – 02-27-2015)

2015 race winner: Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet (131.078 mph – 03:49:06 – 03-01-2015)

Track qualifying record: Geoffrey Bodine, Ford (197.478 mph – 28.074 secs – 11-15-1997)

Track race record: Bobby Labonte, Pontiac (159.904 mph – 03:07:48 – 11-16-1997)

Who to Watch

ATL

 

  • Jimmie Johnson – Looking to repeat last season’s win at Atlanta, Johnson comes into the weekend with the most wins at the track among active drivers with four (2004, 2007 sweep, and 2015). In addition to the wins, Johnson has 13 top-five finishes, 15 top-10 finishes, 532 laps led, and an average finish of 11.1 in 24 starts.
  • Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – After his disastrous ending to the Daytona 500, Earnhardt heads to Atlanta behind the eight-ball in points and looking to make up some ground. In 28 starts, Earnhardt has one win (2004), nine top-five finishes, 13 top-10 finishes, two poles, 633 laps led, and an average finish of 12.0.
  • Matt Kenseth – As the only driver in the JGR stable without an Atlanta win, Kenseth enters the second race on the schedule looking to redeem himself after letting the Daytona 500 slip from his grasp in the final lap. Kenseth has 10 top-five finishes, 16 top-10 finishes, 316 laps led, and an average finish of 12.0 in 27 starts.
  • Carl Edwards – Edwards has made Atlanta his own personal playground throughout his career as his driving style suits the worn out track surface on the 1.5 mile oval. In 18 starts, Edwards has three wins (2005 sweep and 2008), nine top-five finishes, 11 top-10 finishes, 413 laps led, and an average finish of 14.5.
  • Kyle Busch – Like his JGR teammates, Busch also runs very well at Atlanta, scoring two wins in his career at the track (2008 and 2013). In addition to the pair of wins, Busch has four top-five finishes, five top-10 finishes, 421 laps led, and an average finish of 15.9 in 17 starts.

Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.

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