Atlanta has one shot to prove it's a town worthy of NASCAR weekends. Jeff Gluck, editor of SB Nation Motorsports, kindly shares his expertise:â†µ
â†µIn the aftermath of some bad news – losing one of the two NASCAR Sprint Cup race dates it's held for the last 50 years – Atlanta Motor Speedway is hoping for some positives this weekend.â†µâ†µThe track will be putting all of its resources into the Labor Day Weekend date in the coming years, so Sunday night's race will be a chance for the track to show NASCAR it's still relevant.â†µâ†µAnd it can accomplish that in several ways.â†µâ†µFor one, Atlanta needs a strong crowd (like the one it got on the same weekend last year) to send a message that its fans will stay loyal whether there's one date or two.â†µâ†µSecond, the track needs an action-packed race – though perhaps in a different way than the excitement of the spring event, when Carl Edwards infamously flipped Brad Keselowski.â†µâ†µOf course, the track can't do anything to influence the quality of the racing. That's up to the drivers and NASCAR.â†µâ†µWith the postseason Chase cutoff looming next week, Atlanta could be the final chance for bubble drivers like Mark Martin and Jamie McMurray to make a big move on Clint Bowyer, who has a 100-point lead for the last playoff spot.â†µâ†µWill Bowyer run into trouble? Or will he extend his lead and deflate the drama of Richmond?â†µâ†µWe'll know after 500 miles at Atlanta.â†µ
Race weekend festivities begin at 6 p.m. tonight. We'll have a detailed preview feature up in about an hour.