Atlanta II: Round 33 preview

Chase For The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Closest-Ever With Four Races To Go Four To Go: Atlanta A Make-or-Break Race For Contenders DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 24, 2006) – NASCAR’s version of the “Final Four” starts Sunday at Atlanta Motor ...

Chase For The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Closest-Ever With Four Races To Go

Four To Go: Atlanta A Make-or-Break Race For Contenders

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 24, 2006) – NASCAR’s version of the “Final Four” starts Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

With just four events remaining on the schedule, the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup remains wide open.

Any of the top-nine Chase participants can seize the standings lead following Sunday’s race. Any of the top-nine drivers also can fall to ninth following Sunday’s event.

“I don’t think we’re going to know until the last lap of Homestead who the champion is going to be,” said Martinsville winner Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet).

Johnson is ranked third, 41 points behind leader Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DEWALT Power Tools Ford). The top-10 drivers are separated by 171 points – the closest margin in the two-year history of the Chase with four races remaining. Only 48 points separate the top five – also the closest margin for these drivers in Chase history.

The margin for error is zero and the standings can change in an instant.

At Martinsville last week, then-standings leader Jeff Burton (No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet) fell 48 points behind due to engine failure while Johnson gained 105 points by winning.

At Atlanta, Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Reese’s Chevrolet) will continue to chase history. He is seeking the 2006 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup title to compliment the NASCAR Busch Series title he’s already clinched. No drivers have ever won both of those titles in the same season.

Harvick, who scored his first career victory at Atlanta in 2001, says competitors aren’t leaving anything on the table.

“Everybody is pushing everything to the extreme,” said Harvick.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Matt Kenseth , Kevin Harvick , Jimmie Johnson