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Nick Bromberg

Feud of the week: Atlanta vs. Kentucky for a 2011 race

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Yes, He With The Chin Hair vs. He With The Muscles is even more obvious than last week's McMurray-Montoya feud, but that Barbaro has been beaten enough. He's getting tired.

Instead, let's talk about Atlanta Motor Speedway, site of He With the Chin Hair's flip on Sunday.

Why Atlanta? Well, because Atlanta seems to be the odds-on favorite to lose a race date to Kentucky Speedway.

So should Atlanta go on an all-out jihad against Kentucky, finding a way to slip the grease from the Varsity's grease traps into the water at the Jim Beam distillery in an attempt to sabotage the state's reputation? (Cue the "does Kentucky have a reputation enough to salvage?" jokes.)

Probably not. Kentucky Speedway is owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc., the same track that owns Atlanta. If NASCAR and Bruton Smith, the chairman of SMI, can get their legal battles smoothed over, Kentucky's getting a race, and the only way that Kentucky can get a race is if another SMI track sacrifices a race date.

That's not going to happen at Charlotte, which is NASCAR's hub, or New Hampshire, which is the only NASCAR presence in the Northeast. And if Bruton even so much as threatened to take away a race date from Bristol -- a ridiculously farfetched idea to begin with given the attendance -- NASCAR fans would get even more riled up than they do when Junior's in the lead.

According to various estimates, Atlanta had anywhere from 60,000-70,000 people at Sunday's race, and the track capacity is roughly 100,000. The logical scenario is to let Atlanta keep the Labor Day weekend date, allowing the Southeast to keep the tradition (I know, I know, it's not Darlington) and transferring the spring date to Kentucky. Of course, March may be a little chilly that time of year near the Ohio River, but the 2011 schedule isn't going to look much like the 2010 one.

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