There are certainly others drivers who still have a chance to make a series run at the NASCAR Nationwide Series title, but two drivers have separated themselves from the pack: points leader Sam Hornish Jr. and Austin Dillon.
Hornish, who finished third in Saturday’s Atlanta race, extended his lead over Dillon from six to 10 markers. Through 24 races, he was the highest-finishing NASCAR Nationwide Series regular in eight of the events, including a victory at Las Vegas in the third race of 2013. His average finish in those eight races is an amazing 2.125. The three-time IndyCar Series champion and 2006 Indianapolis 500 champion has a best finish of fifth at Richmond in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with a pair of seventh-place performances in six starts.
Dillon finished eighth at Atlanta to stay in close proximity to Hornish in the standings. Dillon, who won the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title, has not found Victory Lane this season, but has 15 top-10 finishes and six poles, including four that came in consecutive weeks. In four starts at the 0.75-mile track, Dillon has two top 10s – a ninth- and sixth-place finish. In the April race earlier this year, an accident ended his day early and left him 35th.
Dillon is followed by Elliott Sadler (-26), Regan Smith (-29) and Justin Allgaier (-47) in the standings. Brian Vickers (-52), Kyle Larson (-67), Brian Scott (-67), Trevor Bayne (-71) and Parker Kligerman (-118) round out the top 10.