As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rolls into Atlanta for this weekends Kobalt Tools 500, alot of people are wondering if it's going to be more of the same.
Will Jimmie Johnson and his #48 Kobalt Tools/Lowe's Chevrolet be the car to beat ?
Can Kevin Harvick and the #29 Shell/Penzoil team step it up and finally beat the Hendick cars. To quote Kevin, " They know were comin' ".
Leading the points after two solid second place finishes, one has to wonder if the boys back at RCR haven't found something.
Practice speeds aside, JJ was 7th, Harvick 26th, history has shown that Harvick kinda does OK here. In only his third Cup race, against nearly impossible odds, Kevin Harvick and his #29 Goodwrench Chevrolet, beat Jeff Gordon to the line in one of the closest, and emotional finishes ever.
Alot of top teams, are in need of good finishes. Rousch/Fenway Racing comes to mind right away. Many people predicted that Carl Edwards would be the one to have the best shot to lead the way. Fatherhood is an amazing thing, but Carl needs to focus his attention on his racecar now. Greg Biffle has been there but is another driver that needs to start worrying about results.
Over at Hendrick Motor Sports, the questions still surround the #88 AMP Energy Chevy of Dale Jr.
Will this be the race it all comes together and he ends his long winless streak ?
Is there trouble at Earnhardt/Ganassi Racing ? After last weeks incident between Jamie Mac and Juan Pablo, will there be any sort of payback ? Not according to McMurray. The two of them had a chance to sit down and discuss it, and unless EGR is willing to just let them wreck racecars, I would say that this is a done deal.
JGR has some of the best talent in the garage but has yet to make it pay. Denny Hamlin was expected to be the one to challenge Johnson. Maybe his knee injury is hindering him more then he would like. Kyle has just been mediocre since Steve Addington left. The only one showing any steady forward progress is Joey Logano.
As far as someone stealing Jimmies thunder, this might just be the race. For the sake of NASCAR, and for the state of the sport this early in the season, I hope he doesn't win another.
Atlanta has given us some of NASCAR 's closest finishes, Earnhardt/Labonte in 2000, Harvick/Gordon 2001, are just two I can recall. We've had exciting racing this season and I for one hope it continues. As far as what's going to happen, well...
'Gentlemen, Start your engines'