Grip was the operative word at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Oral-B USA 500. The teams that had grip kept their cool. Other drivers got loose and found the wall and found it often.
Kasey Kahne won the race and locked up a spot in The Chase, but the Oral-B USA 500 was trumped by the return of Tony Stewart. Stewart took leave from the races for the past three weeks after a fatal accident involving Kevin Ward at a New York dirt track. It was an emotional return for Stewart, but the results were in some ways mixed.
"Sorry guys," Stewart said, per Dustin Long of the Motor Racing Network. "You deserve (better) than this."
That was after Stewart smashed into the wall (for a second time) meat-grinding his right front wheel well and sending him home early. He started well and advanced like a champ, then slowly slipped back until his day was abbreviated by friction with the wall.
As for the other drivers, there's just one race left before The Chase. Naturally the pressure is on to lock up a spot, and some are close while others are just looking to find their rhythm when the second season starts in two weeks.
Read on to see the winners and losers from Atlanta Motor Speedway.