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Five drivers to watch

Times Staff Writer
Published March 14, 2004

ELLIOTT SADLER

CAR: No. 38 Ford.

STARTING POSITION: Fifth.

BEST ATLANTA FINISH: Sixth (spring 2003).

NOTES: On the weekend Sadler's car returns to its customary yellow from the black and white it bore the first three races, it could very well finish the race draped in black and white checkers. Seventh at Daytona and sixth at Las Vegas, Sadler is inching nearer his first win in 105 races.

JEFF GORDON

CAR: No. 24 Chevrolet.

STARTING POSITION: Fourth.

BEST ATLANTA FINISH: First (fall 1998, 2003; spring 1995, '99).

NOTES: Won the fall race last season, giving him more points at the track (1,905) than any driver in the 13 races since it was reconfigured to 1.54 miles in November 1997.

BOBBY LABONTE

CAR: No. 18 Chevrolet.

STARTING POSITION: 10th.

BEST ATLANTA FINISH: First (spring 1998, 2003; fall 1996, '97, '99, 2001).

NOTES: Labonte has six victories and 11 top-five finishes in his past 15 races at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

TONY STEWART

CAR: No. 20 Chevrolet.

STARTING POSITION: 19th.

BEST ATLANTA FINISH: First (spring 2002).

NOTES: Another part of the strong Joe Gibbs Racing contingent (with Labonte) that has won three of the past five at Atlanta, Stewart has five straight top 10s there. He has led a lap at each of those races.

RYAN NEWMAN

CAR: No. 12 Dodge.

STARTING POSITION: First.

BEST ATLANTA FINISH: 10th (Spring 2002, '03; fall 2002).

NOTES: The only driver to produce top-10 starts in the past four Atlanta races, Newman is due for some positive results after finishing 27th or worse in two of three races this season.

- Compiled by Brant James.

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