Take a break from those Honda Classic odds for a second, and head over to your offshore sportsbook for this week’s NASCAR Atlanta odds for the Kobalt Tools 500, which takes place at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kyle Busch is the defending champion in this event, but all eyes will be on Hendrick Motorsports, who have suffered some uncharacteristic mistakes lately.
Jimmie Johnson is a co-favorite along with Busch and Carl Edwards at +500, and his 8.7 finishing average is tops among active drivers. After last week in Las Vegas, Johnson will be eager to redeem himself after he slid through his pit stall, managed to get his lap back, then spun out late in the race to come in 24th. However, with a 2005 win and motivation, this could be a huge week for the No.48 team.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin both have NASCAR Atlanta odds of +2000, but both have some work to do to ensure they stay in the top 35. Martin’s had two straight engine failures, and the entire Hendrick team may have had two engine failures among its four teams in 2008. Earnhardt Jr. bounced back from tough runs at Daytona and California to finish 10th at Las Vegas, and this is a good race for him to build on that as he won here in 2004, and his 10.4 finishing average is third among current racers.
It’s fitting that Jeff Gordon is carrying the Hendrick team right now, and the No.24 driver looks far better than he did last year as the team couldn’t adjust to the Car of Tomorrow. Gordon nursed his car to a sixth-place finish in Vegas, and all this after he locked up his left-front tire trying to get on pit road, tearing up his fender. Gordon’s 10.0 finishing average in the Atlanta spring race is second only to Johnson, and he had a solid fifth-place run here last year. Take Jeff Gordon and his NASCAR Atlanta odds of +700 this weekend.
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