Anticipation Building at Atlanta Motor Speedway

HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) _ Qualifying for the Kobalt Tools 500 is
scheduled for later today at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Defending
Nextel Cup champ Jimmie Johnson comes off last weekend's win at Las
Vegas Motor Speedway.
Kasey Kahne (kayn) has had recent success in Georgia, having won
last year's Golden Corral 500. Kahne held off Mark Martin's late
run 12 laps from the end of the 325-lap event.
Dale Earnhardt Junior is hoping to continue his success on the
Atlanta surface after getting off to a rough start this season.
Earnhardt has had three straight top-five finishes at the track but
finds himself in 28th in the Nextel Cup standings. He opened the
year with finishes of 32nd and 40th but moved up the standings by
finishing eleventh at Las Vegas.
Tight finishes have become the standard in Atlanta. Of the
eleven closest finishes since the Advent of electronic scoring 14
years ago, three have occurred at Atlanta.