Matty’s Picks 2012 – Vol. 22 – Atlanta Motor Speedway – AdvoCare 500 – September 2, 2012

A short and sweet week of Matty’s Pick’s is on deck this week…

Atlanta is one of those tracks where I really respect the drivers for hanging it all out there and really being on the edge of disaster at all times. Its aging surface lacks grip giving drivers with a background in dirt racing a competitive advantage over the field. It reminds me of the days of watching the DIRT modified’s circle ‘D-Shaped Dirt Demon’ at my hometown track, the 3/8th-mile in Brewerton, NY.

Three-wide, ‘slide jobs’ will occur Sunday Night, and with guys like Kyle Busch, Marcos Ambrose, Carl Edwards, and Kasey Kahne all fighting for one of the two Wild Card spots in the Chase, sparks will fly in Sunday’s AdvoCare 500. The 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup is down to its final two determining races, and desperation is one way to describe the attitude on a dozen or so drivers who will strap up the belts Sunday evening.

Bristol Recap

Nothing to recap as far as picks are concerned or last week, but I can t go without adding my two cents on the excitement unfolding last week in Eastern Tennessee. The racing got dicey, tempers flared, helmets were thrown, and fingers were pointed during a dramatic Irwin Tools Night Race. “I’ll wreck him every chance I get for the rest of the season” was the quote heard round the world last week. After a reconfiguration earlier this summer, the bull ring is on its way to becoming ‘The Old Bristol’. I believe the removal of the top groove has produced the racing it was designed to, and I do anticipate attendance picking up beginning in March.

Atlanta Picks

Winner Pick
It’s the guy starting from the pole on Sunday who will end up victorious when the cards fall. As I mentioned earlier, Atlanta tends to have a feel like a giant dirt track, and those guys with experience on the clay tend to finish well at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Tony Stewart has been spending any spare time he has away from his NASCAR Sprint Cup car this summer, in a winged sprint car. He’s run over sixty races so far this summer, and plans on racing upwards of ninety before seasons-end.

I asked Stewart about his summer of Sprint Car Racing at Watkins Glen International earlier last month, and Smoke put his seat-time into prospective, ” Everybody kind of has that feeling that you’ve got to get away from it at some point and recharge your batteries, but that does recharge my batteries. I think there have been times when we are in the Cup car that there is things that not necessarily that you can adapt as far as how the cars drive; but scenarios that you get yourself in and how to handle them and how to get through them that we have to deal with every night in a sprint car too. I think they go back and forth. I think there are things we learn in the Cup car that we can transfer to the sprint car and vice versa.”

He’s a three-time winner at Atlanta and he’s coming off the emotional disappointment at Bristol last week, and a win in the Peach State will punch his ticket to the big dance in two week’s time.

Dark Horse Pick

I can not pinpoint a Dark Horse this week, therefore I’m not making a Dark Horse pick this week. I’ve caught some slack for picking Dark Horses coming from the major stables, and its one of the ‘Big 5’ teams the winner of Sunday’s AdvoCare 500 will come from. For that reason, I’m eliminating the possibility of an upset this week, and sticking with the big guns.

That’s all for this week, so until we hit the final race before the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup…You Stay Classy NASCAR Nation!

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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