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Joe Gibbs Racing: 2014 Oral-B USA 500 weekend preview

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NASCAR’s Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series spend Labor Day weekend this year at Atlanta Motor Speedway, home of the Oral-B USA 500 for the Cup Series and the Great Clips 300 to benefit Feed the Children for the Nationwide Series. Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch will do double duty for the team this weekend, joined by Denny Hamlin on the Cup side and Elliott Sadler on the Nationwide Series side.

Kenseth, in the No. 20 Home Depot/Husky Tools Toyota Camry Sunday night, has 14 top 10 finishes in 25 starts at Atlanta, but has yet to get a win – he came closest in the spring of 2010 (the last season the track hosted two races) with a second-place finish. On Saturday, he’ll race the No. 20 SunEnergy1 Toyota Camry in the Nationwide Series race, making his first NNS start at Atlanta since 2010. Kenseth has two wins in the series at the 1.54-mile track – fall 2004 and spring 2008.

Busch will drive the No. 18 M&Ms Toyota Sunday night, heading to the track as the defending champion of the race. Busch also won at Atlanta in spring of 2008, his first start at the track for JGR. In spite of having two wins in 16 starts, Busch only has five total top 10 finishes at Atlanta. On Saturday, Busch will drive the familiar No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota in the Nationwide Series, hoping to pick up his first win in the series at Atlanta. Busch has four poles, including the last two, and five runner-up finishes, including four in the last five races at Atlanta.

Hamlin, in the No. 11 SportClips Toyota Sunday, won the 2012 race at Atlanta, one of five top 10 finishes in 14 starts at the track. Last year, Hamlin finished 38th.

Sadler, in the No. 11 OneMain Financial Toyota on Saturday, has four top 10 finishes in eight Nationwide Series starts at Atlanta. His best finish came in 2012, finishing fourth after starting seventh.

Qualifying for the Great Clips 300 takes place Saturday at 4:10 p.m. ET, followed by the green flag at 7:30 p.m. ET. Qualifying for the Oral-B USA 500 takes place Friday at 7:10 p.m. ET, with the race getting underway Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET. Keep up with the action at joegibbsracing.com.

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