Micah Roberts’ Top 10 Driver Ratings
Atlanta Motor Speedway
Sunday, September 2, 2012 - 4:46 p.m. (PDT)
Rating Driver Odds Practice 1 Qualified Practice 2 Practice 3
1. Denny Hamlin 8/1 16th 7th 7th 3rd
Best finish of third-place in 2008; strongest overall in Saturday practices; great on long runs.
2. Matt Kenseth 8/1 7th 4th 2nd 1st
Runner-up in 2010; eight career top-5 finishes; using Brickyard 400 chassis this week.
3. Greg Biffle 8/1 8th 2nd 1st 5th
Finished fourth or better on similar sister tracks in 2012, including win at Texas in April.
4. Jeff Gordon 12/1 22nd 5th 6th 2nd
Five-time winner, including last year; best 10-consecutive lap average in final practice.
5. Kyle Busch 8/1 2nd 3rd 8th 4th
2008 winner; good practices and gets high marks for third-place finish at Charlotte in May.
6. Tony Stewart 8/1 3rd 1st 14th 7th
Three wins, the last coming in 2010; won on sister track at Las Vegas; using All-Star race car.
7. Jimmie Johnson 6/1 17th 8th 9th 21st
Three-time winner; finished second and third in past two starts; using runner-up Texas chassis.
8. Kasey Kahne 12/1 5th 11th 11th 28th
Two-time winner; struggled in Saturday practices, but won at Charlotte; using Brickyard car.
9. Martin Truex Jr. 25/1 1st 28th 4th 8th
Signed to a new 3-year $16 million extension on Friday and has been fast in all practices since.
10. Brad Keselowski 12/1 4th 21st 10th 6th
Sixth-place finish last season; fast average speeds in Saturday practices; using Pocono car.
Note: The sister tracks of Las Vegas, Texas and Charlotte all provide a great information that is applicable at Atlanta due to similar high banking on the 1.5-mile layouts.
Odds courtesy of the LVH Super Book.
Micah Roberts, a former sports book director, has been setting NASCAR lines in Las Vegas since 1995. For more Roberts insights and post-practice analysis on the race, go to VegasInsider.com or follow on Twitter: MicahRoberts7.
Denny Hamlin looks to have the best car in the field this weekend, but as we know to be true almost every week, the best car doesn’t always win. The drivers I would key on this week outside of Hamlin are Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch.
|Kahne good value in matchups (Getty)|
I was a little puzzled to see Gordon so strong in final practice while all his teammates finished 20th or worse on the charts. Gordon was better than Hamlin in the 10-consecutive lap average department. The later practice they ran was cooler making it more similar to the night conditions they’ll run tomorrow. The temperatures are still off from what they’ll be when the green flag drops tomorrow night, but it makes me feel justified in a wager.
The main thing with Stewart is that he looked strong in practice, which is a rarity, making him someone to definitely take notice of. No one has been better than Stewart over his last 20 Atlanta races and he has three wins over that span, including 2010.
Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth were dazzling in practices, but have never won at Atlanta. They’ve always been competitive there, but have come up just short.
Because of poor practices on Saturday, Kasey Kahne should have odds stacked against him in matchups. He’ll be good Sunday night, just like Charlotte, and should present lots of plus-money opportunities.