Chase Elliott did it again. This time he came from the back of the pack to win at a road course again and he did it by pulling away after taking the lead on the final restart of the race at Road America. He had over a six second lead as the drivers headed into the final lap and cruised home from there for his seventh road course victory in twelve starts.
QUAKER STATE 400 PRESENTED BY WALMART
This week the series heads to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the running of the Quaker State 400 presented by Walmart. This is another of the intermediate tracks on the circuit and the pressure is starting to mount for drivers who don’t have a win yet this season as we are only six races away from the start of the playoffs. If we get a new winner who isn’t in the top sixteen in points it takes away another spot for someone to get in on points.
Kyle Larson: Larson has been the driver to beat on almost every track other than the road courses lately. I have to give him the nod to win again this weekend. The issue I have is I’m starting to run out of starts for him and might want to save him for some tracks where I think he has a better chance of winning, so I might not have him in my lineup this week. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use him. It is all dependent on if you can use him unlimited times or if you have a lot of his starts left.
Martin Truex Jr.: Martin was the fastest driver on the intermediate tracks earlier this year, but has since cooled off a bit. He could turn it back on at any time. I don’t know if they have been experimenting a little bit to get ready for the playoffs or if they are just a bit out of sync right now. I can’t believe they could have made that big of changes that made him the person to beat to being a top ten driver on these tracks now.
Kevin Harvick: Kevin is one of those drivers who has a pretty good cushion to get into the playoffs on points without a win, but I’m sure that’s not how he wants to try and qualify. He has been very good at Atlanta lately with two wins in his last four starts and ten top ten finishes in his last eleven races at this track. This team just doesn’t seem to have the speed they need to compete with the Hendrick teams at this point of the season.
Denny Hamlin: Denny’s lone win at Atlanta came back in the 2012 season. He along with Kevin who were probably the top two drivers at this point in time last year is still looking for his first win of the season too. He is usually very good at this track also and has finished in the top five in three of his last four starts here. Once again he has a solid points cushion and should make the playoffs that way unless things really go south for him in the next six races.
Alex Bowman: Alex is really good on these intermediate tracks and won at Pocono a few weeks ago. He has three wins on the season and finished third here last season. We have seen that the Hendrick drivers seem to have more speed than all of the other teams although the Gibbs teams seem to be making some headway. Still, I think it’s a good idea to stick with some of the Hendrick drivers until they show vulnerability.
Chase Elliott: Wins on road courses, but doesn’t quite have what his teammates have on the intermediate tracks right now. I expect this to change quickly though. This team has so much confidence after last week’s win that they could carry that through this weekend and give the rest of the Hendrick drivers some competition this week too.
Kyle Busch: Kyle has been getting better every week and if he can win in the Xfinity series as much as he does he can win in the Cup series too. He did win at Kansas earlier this season which is a little bit like Atlanta. He has two career wins at Atlanta and has finished in the top ten in seven of his last nine starts there. This team could surprise at any time and go on a streak of winning.
Joey Logano: Don’t ask me what it is, but I just have this feeling that Joey is going to be fast this weekend and be a contender. There really isn’t anything in his stats that should make me think what I do. It’s just a feeling that I have. He has never won here, although he did finish second back in the 2013 season. Maybe it’s just that I need to make up some ground in my leagues and I want to take a shot at someone who I don’t think anyone else will have.
Aric Almirola: That feeling hit me again with Aric as he has run pretty well the last three races. Once again, there really isn’t anything in the stats that tells me he could run well this weekend and most of his finishes have been pretty dismal this year. He’s another driver I don’t think a lot of people will have on their rosters this week and could help you make up ground.
William Byron: William had his best finish here last season although he has only run four races at Atlanta. We know the Hendrick cars have the most speed and that gives them an advantage at a track like Atlanta. I’m think he is going to run in the top ten most of the day and could very well be a contender at the end of this race.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Joey Logano
Driver Group Game Group B
- Alex Bowman
- Kyle Busch
Driver Group Game Group C
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
- Kyle Larson
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Kyle Busch
- Denny Hamlin
- Alex Bowman
Dark Horse: Matt DiBenedetto
Stay Away From: Ross Chastain
Big 18: Joey Logano