Pick To Click Pep Boys 500

Misan AkuyaCorrespondent ISeptember 6, 2009

BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 21: Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Office Depot Chevrolet, climbs from his car after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2009 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Sunday night will be the first ever race held under the lights at Atlanta.  Indeed the Pep Boys 500 will be on Labor Day weekend saturday night.  Here are some good picks to go with.

Kurt Busch: 2 time winner here 2 wins, 2 top fives, 6 top tens, his average finish is 18.59, and he killed the field earlier this year in March leading 234 of 325 laps to win at Atlanta.  He rolls of 6th and will more than likely only go forward from there.

Carl Edwards:3 time winner, 6 top fives, 8 top tens all in 16 starts.  He may have a broken leg, but that will not stop Carl Edwards from being a contender Sunday night.  He starts in the 15 which is a big improvement from his starting position here in the Spring of 29th.  Expect him to be up in the top 3 late in the race.

Dark Horses

Kevin Harvick:Grabbed his first cup career win in his 3rd start in 2001 in emotional style, and destroyed the field in the nationwide series saturday night.  If not for NASCAR throwing a phantom caution he would have gone on to lap the whole field.  Harvick has 3 top fives, 4 top tens and an average finish of 21.53 to go along with his win.  He has had a difficult season thus far in 2009, but his last top 5 came here in the spring when he finished 4th.  Expect a strong run out of the 29. 

Dale Earnhardt Jr: 1 win here and it came in the Spring of 2004.  He has 8 top fives, 9 top tens, and an average finish of 11.65 to go with his win.  He grabbed one of his better finishes of the 2009 season here with an 11th place finish.  Dale Jr has had it rough this year but the last 2 races he has finished 3rd and 9th with leading laps at Michigan.  His starting spot isn't desirable (31st).  But he loves to work that high line and seems please with his car.  Don't be surprised to see the 88 in the top ten when it is all said and done.

Jamie McMurray:He has a best finish of 6th here.  He has 4 top tens, and an average finish of 19.79.  His last 2 finishes here are a 7th in the fall of 2008, and after starting 3rd 15th in the spring race.  McMurray is expected to leave the Roush Fenway team for the 1 car at EGR at season's end and desperately needs to have some good finishes to end the season well.  It has been a rough season for him, but I would look for the 26 to over come his 27th place starting spot to have a top ten top top fifteen run.

Winner: Tony Stewart

Tony Stewart has 2 wins, 8 top fives, 13 top tens, 790 laps led, and a 12.05 average finish at Atlanta Motor speedway.  One could argue that Stewart is the favorite for the win Sunday night.  He has shown speed all weekend being 4th in the first practice, and qualifying 12th.  Stewart has no pressure and is just going all out for wins and wants to make his last 2 races with finishes of 17th and 33rd a distant memory.  He is sick and in 2004 he demonstrated what he can do when under the weather.  Look for Tony Stewart to reach Victory Lane at the end of the Pep Boys 500.