ATLANTA RECORD: Finished third a year ago. Will be shooting for his third straight top-six finish.
LOOKING AHEAD: Keselowski admits, "We aren't in a very enviable position (in the point standings), but we have two good race tracks coming up for us. We're only four points outside the top-10 - which is very doable - but we can't have any issues. I haven't won yet at Atlanta, but I think we can do that this weekend. If we can, everything will work out."
LOOKING BACK: Keselowski was involved in a multi-car accident with 53 laps remaining and finished 30th to severely damage his hopes of trying to win a second straight Sprint Cup championship. "We didn't have the speed we needed, but we obviously weren't a 30th-place team," said Keselowski. "It was just the way things fell. We've got two races left (to make the 2013 Chase for the Championship). I think they'll be very good race tracks for us."
ETC.: Keselowski believes the battle for the final four or five spots in the Chase is "gonna come down to the last lap at Richmond and I'm ready for that battle. Sure, we are worried. I don't care if you're running eighth or you're running 13th, every team is worried and concerned - not just mine. We tested at the next two tracks and we're gonna be very competitive."
78 KURT BUSCH, Chevrolet
Team: Furniture Row Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 12th, only six points out of the top 10. Lost three spots last week to fall out of the top 10.
ATLANTA RECORD: Two wins and five top-six finishes in the last seven races.
LOOKING AHEAD: Busch said his immediate goal is to get the 78 in the Chase. "We have to be perfect the next two weeks to make the Chase," added Busch. "I'm as fired up as ever to try to deliver these guys into an area that they never thought was achievable. I have the potential to show up here (Stewart-Haas Racing) January 1, 2014 with two championships under my arm. The next two weeks are the most important weeks of the 78 car's career. I want to deliver them into the Chase."
LOOKING BACK: After starting second, Busch led 54 of the first 76 laps before telling his crew he felt a "bad vibration" while leading. He slowed down for a couple of laps before making an unscheduled pit stop. His problems were compounded on lap 91 when he ran into Josh White to bring out the second caution flag of the night. Busch was forced to go behind the wall where the crew replaced the damaged hub in the right rear wheel assembly. He returned to the race in 41st place, but ended the evening in 31st place to keep alive his hopes of making the Chase. "We're down, but we're not out," said Busch.
ETC.: On Monday, Busch agreed to drive for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014, and on Tuesday the team made it official. "Kurt Busch is a premier talent, one who gives you the opportunity to win races every week, and contend for a championship every year," said co-owner Gene Haas. "Stewart-Haas Racing has proven itself to be a very competitive race track," said Busch. "This is the kind of situation every driver wants to be in, and I'm very grateful to Gene Haas and Haas Automation for proving me this opportunity. I didn't think anyone wanted to win as much as me until I met Gene Haas."
24 JEFF GORDON, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: 13th, 11 points out of the top 10. Gained one spot last week.
ATLANTA RECORD: Won the 2011 race and finished second a year ago. Overall has five wins and 25 top-10 finishes including 16 top-five's in 39 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Gordon said, "We just need to do our job and get the best results possible these next two races and see how things shake out. You'll have ups and you'll have downs throughout race weekends. It's how you manage the peaks and valleys that allow you to stay focused. We've been in this position before (having to win a race to get into the Chase). We know the challenges that we face. We are confident we have what it takes (to make the Chase)."
LOOKING BACK: Gordon was both happy and frustrated Saturday night at Bristol after finishing seventh. "I think we were better than that," said Gordon. "I don't know if we had enough for Matt (Kenseth) but we fought hard and gave it our best effort. Seventh gained us some points, but it's not as much as we could have. Things just didn't work out for us at the end. We had to save gas and we couldn't run as hard as we were capable of."
ETC.: Gordon will visit the University of Georgia on Thursday to view firsthand how The Campus Kitchens Project and the Campus Kitchen at UGA provide healthy meals to older Georgians who struggle to put food on the table. "It's always cool to see communities get involved with this issue, and I think it will be interesting to see what the university and the students are doing," said Gordon.
56 MARTIN TRUEX JR., Toyota
Team: Michael Waltrip Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 14th, 22 points out of the top 10. Lost two spots last week. Stands first in the wild-card standings with one win.
ATLANTA RECORD: Finished fourth a year ago after leading 40 laps.
LOOKING AHEAD: Truex suffered a scaphoid fracture and sprain of his right wrist Saturday night at Bristol. The doctors have fitted Truex with a special cast he'll wear indefinitely. The cast enables Truex to better grip the steering wheel. NASCAR has cleared Truex to race this weekend at Atlanta and in the remaining 11 races.
LOOKING BACK: Truex's hopes of a top-10 finish ended with 53 laps to go when he was involved in a multi-car accident in turn two. As a result, he finished 35th. "Honestly, I didn't see anything," said Truex. "They just started jamming up and I just tried to follow the 29 (Kevin Harvick) through and we got smashed in the fence a couple times. Just frustrating, we had a great car all night long. We ran towards the front all night, but just didn't have enough gas to make it to the end and had to pit. Once you get in the back here towards the end, they start wrecking and you're an innocent victim. Just frustrated right now because we had a good car."
ETC.: Truex said, "It would be awesome to be sitting here and say we're a virtual lock - some guys are already locked in and I'm very jealous of that - not going to lie. But there's no sense in worrying about it, there's no sense in losing sleep. We're a good enough race team, had a good enough season that we shouldn't be in this position. But we are and so we have to step up and make it happen when the pressure's on."