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Atlanta Viewers Guide
Like last week at Las Vegas, teams have to get the car to turn well. We're all impressed with horsepower and speed, but NASCAR is almost like golf. You drive for show and putt for dough. Handling isn't as apparent to the average viewer as horsepower is, but the drivers that get their cars to turn the best will contend for the win at the end of the race.
Who to Watch
Historic momentWhen Willy T. Ribbs made three starts in 1986, I was in my second year of covering NASCAR. Twenty years later, Bill Lester made the field in his adopted hometown this weekend. There's nothing gimmicky about this entry for Bill Davis Racing, his Craftsman Truck Series team. Lester has paid his dues, and he's got an impressive drive to do well. It's a big step. I see more women in the stands and at SPEED's mobile stage truck for Trackside, but NASCAR really wants to see more minorities. The Drive for Diversity is crucial for the continued growth of the sport. But NASCAR really wants to see more minorities. NASCAR's not giving that lip service, and I'm not either. I hope Bill does well. He's such an articulate guy and impressive guy.
What to Watch
Pit PerspectiveEvernham Motorsports doesn't have crew chiefs anymore. Each team has a team director, a car director and an engineer. Some observers think Ray Evernham is being different just to be different, but his point is the job of crew chief has become too big for one guy.
|Speed Mail Steve|
Finish LineAt Atlanta, it's absolutely critical to make changes and keep up with the track. When Kurt Busch first broke into Cup, he had a great run going, but an adjustment cost them a top-five finish. I was impressed because he told crew chief Jimmy Fennig to make a note not to make that change next time. Last week, his brother Kyle's team made the right adjustment late in the race. After raising the track bar one round at a time for three consecutive pit stops, they had to undo the change and lower the track bar. The team that makes the right adjustments should win Sunday's race.
NASCAR on FOX and SPEED Channel host and reporter Steve Byrnes has covered racing for more than 20 years, and he gives kids a close look at a real stock car and its driver with Ryan's Racecar, a 30-minute video/DVD. For more information, go to RyansRacecar.com