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Last Updated Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 1:58 am, EST

Golden Corral 500

Status: Final Atlanta Motor Speedway

Race Capsule

Atlanta Motor Speedway
  • What:

    Race 5 of 38 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA

  • When:

    March 20, 2006 11:00 am EST

  • Laps:

    325

  • Track Length:

    1.54 miles

  • Race Length:

    501.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $4,843,713

Drivers to Watch

Kasey Kahne Has finished fourth in each of the last two races and is third in the standings with 455 points; ran 11th at the Daytona 500; the Rookie of the Year in 2004, struggled to just five top-five finishes in 2005; finished fifth in this event last season and has excelled at this track, placing in the top five in three of his four starts here; ran third in this race two years ago and placed fifth at the MBNA Bass Pro Shops 500 that year.
Greg Biffle Finished eighth in Sunday's UAW DaimlerChrysler 400 for his first top-10 finish of the season; captured his second career Nextel pole Saturday; registered 42nd-place finish in Auto Club 500 on February 26; led 168 of first 215 laps before withdrawing with engine trouble; finished 31st in the season-opening Daytona 500 and is 25th in the Nextel Cup standings with 269 points; ran third in this race last year; finished second in the standings last season, trailing champion Tony Stewart by 35 points; won a series-high six races in 2005 and had 15 top-five finishes - both career highs; had six top-10 finishes in the "Chase for the Nextel Cup" with a victory at the Ford 400 to conclude the 2005 campaign.
Mark Martin Consistent veteran driver has placed in the top 12 in each of the first three races this season; ran sixth last week at Las Vegas to follow a ninth-place finish at the Auto Club 500; is currently fifth in the standings with 430 points; has excelled at this track, capturing two checkered flags and registering 12 top-five finishes and 20 top-10s; ran fourth in this race last season and placed third at the MBNA Bass Pro Shops 500; has placed in the top five in each of his last three races here.
Jeff Gordon Rebounded from a slow start last Sunday to finish fifth at the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400; has improved his finishes in each race and is ninth in the standings with 374 points; ran 13th at the Auto Club 500 after finishing just 26th at Daytona; finished just 39th in this race last season after sustaining right fender damage and completing 46 laps; ran second at this track in the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500; has enjoyed phenomenal success here, capturing four checkered flags and 11 top-five finishes in 27 races; his last victory here came at the Bass Pro Shops fall race on October 26, 2003.
Jimmie Johnson Has absolutely dominated the Nextel circuit so far, registering two victories and a second-place finish over the first three races; made a bold move in the last turn of the final lap last Sunday to pass Matt Kenseth and win the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400; leads the standings with 540 points; was runner-up to Kenseth in the Auto Club 500 after capturing the checkered flag at Daytona a week earlier; will run his fourth consecutive race without suspended crew chief Chad Knaus but is confident heading to Atlanta: "I'm looking forward to it. We're on a great roll here with another 1.5-mile track coming up. ... In general, we've had so much success at Atlanta that I'm not that worried about going to the track."; was runner-up to Edwards in this race last season and has registered five top-five finishes in nine career races at this track; won the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 in 2004.
Clint Bowyer Rookie driver is seventh in the standings with 389 points; finished 15th at Las Vegas on Sunday and leads the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings with 35 points; made a huge splash with a sixth-place finish in the Daytona 500, his second career race on the Nextel circuit; became just the eighth driver in NASCAR history to secure a top-10 finish in the Daytona 500 in his rookie campaign; managed just a 21st-place finish in the first Gatorade Duel at Daytona after starting fourth; ran 21st at this track last season in the Busch Series Nicorette 300.
Kyle Busch Ran third at Las Vegas on Sunday, his second straight top-10 finish; finished 10th in the Auto Club 500 and ranks sixth in the standings with 403 points, 137 behind leader Jimmie Johnson; has rebounded nicely from a disappointing 23rd-place finish at the Daytona 500; ran 12th in this race last season; the Raybestos Rookie of the Year in 2005, recorded nine top-five finishes and 13 top-10s.
Carl Edwards Roush driver hopes to bounce back from 26th-place finish at Las Vegas; ran third at the Auto Club 500 but was the first driver out of the Daytona 500 and ranks 23rd in the standings with just 284 points; has enjoyed tremendous success at this track, winning both Nextel races here last year; captured the checkered flag in this race on March 20 and won the Busch Nicorette 300 to become the first driver in NASCAR history to post first career victory in each circuit on the same weekend; won the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at this track from the second starting position on October 30.
Matt Kenseth Looking to bounce back from a disappointing second-place finish at Las Vegas; led for 146 laps and had the dominant car throughout the race before losing to Johnson in the last lap; captured the checkered flag at the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway on February 26; ran to a 15th-place finish at Daytona on Sunday after being involved in a major controversy with Stewart; currently second in the standings, 52 points behind Johnson; ran 31st in this race last season, completing just 70 laps; has registered three top-five finishes and six top-10s at this track; finished seventh in the standings last year; recorded 12 top-five finishes last season, including six over the final 10 races.