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Last Updated Monday, Nov 5, 2007 1:38 am, EST

Pep Boys Auto 500

Status: Final Atlanta Motor Speedway

Race Capsule

Atlanta Motor Speedway
  • What:

    Race 38 of 41 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA

  • When:

    October 28, 2007 2:15 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    325

  • Track Length:

    1.54 miles

  • Race Length:

    501.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $6,156,331

Drivers to Watch

Jimmie Johnson Chase Points: 6,002 (2nd) Won at Martinsville to climb within 53 points of Gordon; dropped out of the top spot in the Chase after finishing second to Gordon at Talladega; was 14th at Lowe's and ran third at Kansas prior to Talladega; opened the Chase with a 14th at Dover following a sixth at New Hampshire; earned top seed with consecutive wins at Richmond and California; was 21st at Bristol, but posted back-to-back third place finishes at Michigan and Watkins Glen; defending series champion suffered through an up-and-down season before the Chase, finishing 39th at the Brickyard after a fiery crash on the heels of a 37th at Chicago; prior to those two poor showings, finished 10th at Daytona after running fifth at New Hampshire; has also posted victories this season at Las Vegas, Atlanta, Martinsville and the first Richmond race; despite collecting 17 top-five finishes, has been hurt by five finishes outside the top 35; won this race in March and was second to Tony Stewart last October.
Jeff Gordon Chase Points: 6,055 (1st) Stayed atop the standings by finishing third at Martinsville; consecutive wins at Charlotte and Talladega make him a favorite to capture fifth title; leads teammate Jimmie Johnson by 53 points with four races to go; ran fifth at Kansas; rebounded from rough stretch leading up to the Chase by finishing 11th at Dover and second to Bowyer at New Hampshire; prior to the Chase finished fourth at Richmond but was 22nd at California, 19th at Bristol and 27th at Michigan over previous three races; prior to Michigan had finished in the top 10 in 10 straight races; was the first driver to clinch a spot in the "Chase for the Championship"; spun with less than two laps remaining at Watkins Glen while leading, costing him a potential win - still managed to finish ninth; was docked 100 points for failing post-qualifying inspections at Sonoma, where he ran seventh; has six checkered flags this season and 81 career, just two shy of tying Cale Yarborough for fifth place all-time; reached a landmark milestone at the first Talladega race, recording his 77th career victory to pass the late Dale Earnhardt for sixth all-time; has 10 poles this season - double that of Ryan Newman who has five; ran 12th here in March.
Matt Kenseth Chase Points: 5,593 (12th) Ran fifth at Martinsville to halt surprising Chase struggles; was 34th at Lowe's which followed back-to-back 35th-place finishes at Dover and Kansas; ran 26th at Talladega to all but end title hopes; ran seventh at New Hampshire; did not close the regular season strong with a 14th at Richmond after a seventh at California - a week after crashing and finishing 39th at Bristol; ran fourth at Michigan in the rain delayed race; posted fourth straight top-10 finish by placing 10th at the Brickyard; ran 34th and 42nd, respectively, prior to the four straight top-10 results; captured his only victory of the season in the campaign's second race at California; has nine top-five finishes and 18 top-10s this season; ran third here in March and finished fourth last October.
Carl Edwards Chase Points: 5,775 (5th) Finished 11th at Martinsville after running fifth at Lowe's to remain fifth in the standings, 285 points behind Gordon; ran 14th at Talladega a week after wrecking at Kansas and finishing 37th; won at Dover after finishing 12th at New Hampshire, but failed post-race inspection and was docked 25 points and fined; penalty dropped him from third to sixth in the standings; ran 42nd at Richmond, but prior to that had four consecutive top-10 finishes, including a win at Bristol and a runner-up finish at California; also won at Michigan earlier this year; has nine top-fives and 13 top-10s this year; has been consistent with only a trio of finishes lower than 30, including a 42nd at first Talladega race; ran seventh in his past two starts at Atlanta.
Denny Hamlin Chase Points: 5,681 (8th) Finished sixth at Martinsville and 20th at Lowe's following a fourth at Talladega; title hopes were all but dashed after 29th at Kansas; ran 38th at Dover, dropping to last among Chase contenders; was involved in an altercation with Kyle Petty in the garage following wreck midway through the race at Dover; won his only race of the season at New Hampshire in July, but could manage only a 15th-place finish at Loudon to start the Chase; followed up the win at New Hampshire by finishing dead last at Daytona after wrecking early in the race with teammate Tony Stewart; avoided the sophomore slump by posting 11 top-five and 17 top-finishes this season; finished second at Darlington and Watkins Glen and has four third-place finishes at Las Vegas, Martinsville, Phoenix and Richmond; also finished last at Bristol; finished eighth here last October.
Kyle Busch Chase Points: 5,765 (6th) Bounced back from consecutive poor showings by placing fourth at Martinsville after a third at Lowe's; was 36th at Talladega and was run over by Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Kansas and finished 41st; started Chase with fourth at New Hampshire and fifth at Dover; ran 20th at Richmond following a third-place showing at California and a ninth at Bristol; has 18 top-10 finishes in 32 races this season, including nine top-fives; lone win of the season came during the first Bristol race - the inaugural Car of Tomorrow event; will leave Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the season for Joe Gibbs Racing; ran 27th here last October and 32nd in March.
Martin Truex Jr. Chase Points: 5,608 (11th) Ran 19th at Martinsville and 17th at Lowe's following 42nd at Talladega and a 38th at Kansas; started first Chase with a 13th at Dover following a fifth at New Hampshire; finished 15th at Richmond, but only needed to start the race to qualify; has been overshadowed by more famous teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., but has outperformed him all season; won his first career Nextel Cup race at Dover in June; has six top-fives and 11 top 10s, including a third at Pocono and second at Michigan in back-to-back weeks after the win at Dover; finished second in both Michigan races this year; has only two other finishes outside the top 30 this season - 42nd at California and 37th at Bristol during the early part of the season; ran 37th here last October, but was eighth in March.
Clint Bowyer Chase Points: 5,940 (3rd) Kept his solid run in the Chase going by finishing ninth at Martinsville; was runner-up at Charlotte after an 11th at Talladega and remains third in the standings, 115 points behind leader Jeff Gordon; followed up his first career Nextel Cup win at New Hampshire by running 12th at Dover and second at Kansas; finished 12th at Richmond and ran 20th at California, following a third at Bristol in three races prior to the Chase; has 16 top-10 finishes in 32 races this season; has five top-five finishes, including a fourth on the road course at Sonoma to go along with his solid showing at Bristol and win at New Hampshire; has finished 30th or worse just three times - 36th at Las Vegas, 35th at Talladega and 37th at the first race in New Hampshire; ran sixth here in March and finished 25th at this race last year.
Jeff Burton Chase Points: 5,646 (9th) Finished 12th at Martinsville to move up to fourth at Lowe's to move up to 10th in the Chase standings; had dropped to 12th after finishing last at Talladega, following a 36th at Kansas; started the Chase in seventh place, but dropped to 11th with his second straight 18th place finish at New Hampshire, following Richmond; ran fourth at California and 12th at Bristol prior to Richmond; finished out of the top-10 in four races before California; prior to that tough stretch had registered four top-10 finishes over a six-race span; ran seventh at first New Hampshire race and third at Sonoma to end a streak of four consecutive finishes outside the top 10; has eight top-five finishes and 15 top-10s and has only five finishes of 34th or worse this season; captured his only victory of the season at Texas; ran 13th at this race last season and finished fourth in Atlanta in May.
Tony Stewart Chase Points: 5,806 (4th) Remained fourth in the standings by running 13th at Martinsville following a seventh at Lowe's; sits 249 points behind Gordon; finished 39th at Kansas after placing eighth at Talladega; had moved within two points of the lead with a ninth at Dover after placing third at New Hampshire; finished second at Richmond to enter the Chase on a hot streak; recent surge includes fourth at Bristol as well as running 10th at Michigan on the heels of winning at Watkins Glen - his third win; captured back-to-back victories at Chicagoland and at the Brickyard while placing sixth at Pocono; finished 38th at Daytona prior to his win at Chicago after an early-race crash with teammate Denny Hamlin; won this race last October and was second to Johnson this past March.
Kevin Harvick Chase Points: 5,686 (7th) Ran 10th at Martinsville, but title hopes took serious hit with 33rd at Lowe's; ran 20th at Talladega following a sixth at Kansas; was the final driver to clinch a berth in the Chase and opened with a 17th at New Hampshire and a 20th at Dover despite suffering through tire issues in both races; prior to the Chase finished seventh at Richmond, ending struggles which included five straight finishes out of the top-10; has finished 33rd or worse four times in 30 races this season; was 36th at Watkins Glen on the heels of a 17th at Pocono; won the season-opening Daytona 500 by nipping Mark Martin at the finish line; has four top-fives and 12 top 10s this season; finished second to Juan Pablo Montoya on the road course at Sonoma; was 31st in this race last year and 25th here in March.