Five races in the books and five different winners so far. Will that trend continue this coming week or will we have our first repeat winner of the year?
FOLDS OF HONOR QUIKTRIP 500
The series now heads over to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the running of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. This is the third mile and a half track on the young season and so far we have had two different winners. Both of those drivers run for Hendrick Motor Sports, so we will probably stick with as many of them as we can this week.
Chase Elliott: I’m picking Chase to be the third Hendrick driver to win on a mile and a half track this season. He has been very good at Atlanta through his young career only having run five races at this track. In those five races he has come away with four top ten finishes. This team just keeps improving every week and I think they are due to win at Atlanta this week.
Kyle Larson: Let’s not forget the winner of the Las Vegas race a couple of weeks ago. Kyle has also run pretty well at this track and now that the Hendrick teams are showing a lot of speed on the track he should be able to improve on his average finishing position at Atlanta and could well give Chase a battle for the win.
William Byron: After a dominating performance when he won at Homestead-Miami, we can’t forget about William this week either. All of the Hendrick cars have been fast so far this season and Atlanta is a track built for speed. I have a feeling all of the Hendrick drivers are going to run towards the front of the pack this week. The question is which one can pull out the win?
Kevin Harvick: Kevin won the first race he ever ran in the Cup series at Atlanta back in the 2001 season. After that he seemed to struggle a bit at this track until three years ago. He has won two of the last three races at Atlanta and has also finished in the top ten here in nine of his last ten starts. You can really never count this team out on any track and he will give the Hendrick teams some competition this week.
Martin Truex Jr.: Martin is still looking for his first win at this track which is a bit surprising seeing how he dominated on this type of track for a couple of years running. That’s not to say that he doesn’t run well here. He just hasn’t gotten to victory lane yet. He has finished in the top five in five of his last nine starts here and the top ten in eight of those starts. He will be another non Hendrick driver to give them some competition.
Brad Keselowski: Brad has six straight top ten finishes at Atlanta and that includes two wins. That tells you that the Penske teams are going to be very competitive this week too. Brad has lead laps here in seven of his last eight starts which tells you that he is usually towards the front of the pack in every race he runs here. This is going to be a very competitive race this week at one of the fastest tracks on the circuit.
Kyle Busch: Kyle has six top ten finishes in his last eight Atlanta starts including a win back in the 2013 season and a runner-up finish last year. This team might not be back to dominating like they did a few years ago, but they are getting better and once they do start winning again they could go on a streak of wins. I might hold off on him a bit longer on this type of track, but I think by the middle of the year we will know how good they will be.
Kurt Busch: Another surprising thing to me is that Kurt has finished no worse than thirteenth in his last eleven Atlanta starts. That in itself isn’t so surprising, but that he did it with four different teams is. If he can run that well with that many different teams it tells me he has a great feel for this track and can communicate to his crew chief exactly what adjustments he needs to make his car better as the race progresses.
Denny Hamlin: This track hasn’t been all the great for Denny. He hasn’t been very consistent here throughout his career. In fact, in his last eight starts here he has finished in the top ten three times, but also finished thirty-eighth three times. Those aren’t the kind of stats I’m looking for when I want to set my lineup here.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Chase Elliott
Driver Group Game Group B
- Kyle Larson
- William Byron
Driver Group Game Group C
- Chase Briscoe
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
- Chase Elliott
- Kyle Larson
- Kevin Harvick
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Brad Keselowski
Dark Horse: Aric Almirola
Stay Away From: Denny Hamlin
Big 18: Kyle Larson