With the next race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule the Aug. 31 Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, opportunities for drivers to clinch a Chase for the Sprint Cup berth with a race win are becoming scarcer.
The event will also hold significant weight for drivers already locked into the Chase. With the Oral-B-USA 500 being the next to last event before the start of the Chase, it presents a tremendous opportunity for drivers who have already secured a spot to build momentum as they enter the 10-race playoff format.
Joey Logano is among that group. He is one of five drivers with three victories this season including a win Saturday night in Bristol.
“I do feel like Atlanta is a good racetrack for us, a place we were very, very fast,“ Logano said. “Probably the best race car I ever had was last year in Atlanta, so I‘m very, very excited about going back over there.”
For other drivers, The Oral-B USA 500 is one of two chances left to secure a win and clinch a Chase berth. As the standings currently sit, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle would qualify for the Chase based on points, while a race victory would guarantee one of those remaining spots.
Left out of the 10-race playoff format would be a group of drivers that have experienced adversity as of late. As a result, The Oral-B USA 500 figures to be a win at all costs events for drivers with Chase aspirations.
Two-time Atlanta winner Kasey Kahne is on the list of drivers likely to be heavily motivated to contend for a race victory this weekend. Mechanical problems spoiled a strong run for him at Bristol on Saturday night. Austin Dillon is coming off a finish of 28th as early-race damage started his night off in the wrong foot, and early adversity proved to be too much to overcome.
Jamie McMurray moves toward Atlanta with strong momentum. He had one of the stronger cars on Saturday before finishing eighth. Kyle Larson‘s 12th-place finish is a strong rebound effort for the rookie after a rough day the previous week at Michigan.
The need to win will reach its apex this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, making the Oral-B USA 500 one of the most anticipated events of the season considering what is at stake heading into the Chase.
For more information on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Labor Day weekend of night racing, contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway Ticket Office at (770) 946-4211, (877) 9-AMS-TIX or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.