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NASCAR Atlanta Preview

Atlanta Motor Speedway (Getty Images)

Sprint Cup, Nationwide and the truck series are all  running at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend.  Trucks race tonight, Nationwide tomorrow night and Sprint Cup goes on Sunday.

Who wants to be a millionaire at Atlanta?  Four drivers — Brad Keselowski, Paul Menard, Kyle Busch and Marcos Ambrose each have a shot at winning $1 million in the “Sprint Summer Showdown” bonus program.  Drivers who won at  Indianapolis, Pocono, Watkins Glen, Michigan and Bristol all qualified for the cash award at Atlanta.  If any of them win on Sunday, $1-million each will go to that driver, his charity and one lucky fan.

In the case of Keselowski, if he wins, two fans will have to divide the million dollars because he won two races during the five-race period – Pocono and Bristol.   

Busch is the only one of the four drivers who already has a Sprint Cup victory at Atlanta, back in 2008 when he gave Toyota its first-ever victory in the series.

Busch and Jimmie Johnson share the Sprint Cup lead heading into the weekend.  They along with Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick have already clinched a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.  The remaining  seven spots will be decided during the next two races.

Jeff Gordon only needs to finish 40th or better this weekend to punch his ticket for the playoffs.  Ryan Newman is guaranteed a spot with at least a 20th-place run and Kurt Busch is in if he finishes seventh or better.

With his three victories this season, Keselowski has the first wild card spot.  Denny Hamlin has the second.

Tony Stewart is the defending Atlanta race winner.

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