WHERE HE STANDS: Kevin Harvick remained in fourth place for the 10th straight week after Bristol. He trails series leader Jimmie Johnson by 61 points, is eight points behind third-ranked Carl Edwards and leads fifth-ranked Kyle Busch by 21 points (down from 43 last week).
ATLANTA RECORD: 22 career starts, 1 wins, 5 top-fives, 8 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: First in spring 2001 (his first career win in the Sprint Cup series, just three races after the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt). Was fifth in this race last year and finished seventh in the 2011 race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Harvick is all but locked into the Chase, but he could use another win or two before the playoffs begin two weeks from now. After a terrible record there early in his career, he's been a consistent top-five and top-10 finisher there in recent years. Here's his thoughts on Sunday's race: "Atlanta has been a great race track for us the last few years. The asphalt is really worn out, and the speed of the car changes a lot from the start of a run to the finish of the run. It makes for some good racing as the cars start moving around and sliding around the track."
LOOKING BACK: After having one of his best runs of the season the week before at Michigan (finished second), Harvick had a strong car at Bristol and led seven races, but a wreck late in the race sealed his fate and relegated him to a disappointing 34th-place finish.
ETC.: Harvick has completed 97.6 percent (6,927) of the 7,100 total laps contested in 22 career starts at Atlanta. His average start is 18.7 and average finish is 19.2. He has four DNFs there.
18 KYLE BUSCH, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Kyle Busch remained in fifth place for the third consecutive week after Bristol. He trails points leader Jimmie Johnson by 82 (down from 107 the week before), is 21 points behind fourth-ranked Kevin Harvick and leads sixth-ranked Matt Kenseth by three points.
ATLANTA RECORD: 15 career starts, 1 wins, 3 top-fives, 4 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: First in spring 2008. Finished sixth in this race last year and was 23rd in the 2011 race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: You would think that with Atlanta being one of the fastest tracks on the Sprint Cup circuit, that Busch would have a stellar mark there. Nope, while he does have a win there, he only has a total of four top-10 finishes overall in 15 starts. He'll be looking to change that this Sunday: "The Cup races there, I've either been really good or mediocre or really bad. There have been times where I've been really good throughout the event. I don't know what it is, but I just can't seem to keep the grip in my car for the long haul, as long you need throughout a run. I'm really fast for the first five, eight laps. But, after that, I seem to slip more than anyone else."
LOOKING BACK: After winning at Watkins Glen, then having a terrible outing at Michigan (31st), Busch finished 11th at Bristol.
ETC.: Busch has completed just 94.0 percent (4,610) of the 4,902 total laps contested in 15 career starts at Atlanta. His average start is 11.6, while his average finish is 16.9. He has one DNF there.
20 MATT KENSETH, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Matt Kenseth remained in sixth place for the second consecutive week after Bristol. He trails points leader Jimmie Johnson by 85 points (down from 125 last week and 149 the week before), is just three points behind fifth-ranked Kyle Busch and leads seventh-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 22 points.
ATLANTA RECORD: 24 career starts, 0 wins, 8 top-fives, 14 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Second in spring 2010. Finished ninth in this race last year and was also ninth in the 2011 race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: With two races left before the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Kenseth and his five wins has the edge on Jimmie Johnson and his four wins. Kenseth would love to pad that lead at a place like Atlanta, where he has never won before. Here's his thoughts on Sunday's race: "It's a really fun track. Everybody always associates Atlanta with really high speeds and being fast and like, 'Oh, who can suck it up and get a fast lap qualifying?' But it's actually kind of the opposite now. It's fast, it's got really long corners, but the track is so wore out that it's more about tire management, having a car that will run fast on new tires, but be fast on old tires as well. It's a fun compromise -- a fun track to race at."
LOOKING BACK: Kenseth dominated, leading 149 laps, en route to his fifth win of the season in Saturday night's race at Bristol. He also pulled ahead of Jimmie Johnson in wins (five to four) thus far this season.
ETC.: Kenseth has completed 95.6 percent (7,407) of the 7,750 total laps contested in 24 career starts at Atlanta. His average start is 21.6, while his average finish is a 12.7. He has three DNFs there.
88 DALE EARNHARDT JR., Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: Dale Earnhardt Jr. remained in seventh place for the second consecutive week after Bristol. He trails teammate and points leader Jimmie Johnson by 107 points (down from 134 the week before), is 22 points behind sixth-ranked Matt Kenseth and leads eighth-ranked Kasey Kahne by 13 points.
ATLANTA RECORD: 25 career starts, 1 wins, 8 top-fives, 11 top-10s, 2 poles. Best career finish: First in spring 2004. Finished seventh in this race last year and was 19th in the 2011 race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: After dropping from a 45-point lead over 10th place to just 16 after Michigan, Earnhardt picked up some breathing room at Bristol. He's now 29 points ahead of 10th-ranked Joey Logano with two races left to make the Chase. At the same time, Earnhardt is far from secure of making the Chase. Here's his thoughts on Sunday's race: "I always enjoy racing at Atlanta because I feel like I can run really good there. It always seems like I've had pretty good cars and had good speed pretty much every time. I'm looking forward to getting in the car and hopefully it's comfortable and got good speed."
LOOKING BACK: Earnhardt had one of his better cars and individual performances of the season at Bristol, leading 32 laps before fading to a still-strong 10th-place finish.