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How Atlanta Can Hang On To Its Remaining NASCAR Weekend By Jeff Gluck

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:

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In 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.
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The 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.
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And it can accomplish that in several ways.
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For 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.
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Second, 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.
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Of course, the track can't do anything to influence the quality of the racing. That's up to the drivers and NASCAR.
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With 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.
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Will Bowyer run into trouble? Or will he extend his lead and deflate the drama of Richmond?
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We'll know after 500 miles at Atlanta.
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Race weekend festivities begin at 6 p.m. tonight. We'll have a detailed preview feature up in about an hour.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.