Following a crash-filled Daytona 500, NASCAR moves to Atlanta’s weathered 1.54-mile asphalt trail.
As the surface allows for side-by-side racing in grooves the track is favored by many NASCAR drivers. Tires wear out setting a higher importance.
Kevin Harvick won the first two phases at Atlanta last year, but a punishment allowed Brad Keselowski to swoop in for the checkered flag. Keselowski passed Kyle Larson for the lead with six rebounds to go for his first win of 2017.
All eyes will be on Georgia native Chase Elliott this weekend gets he looks to capture his first Cup Series win at his hometown track. Back at the No. 9 car, a number made famous by his Hall of Fame father Bill, Chase has a fair shot to win according to last year’s numbers.
NASCAR in Atlanta: Upgraded weather forecast, radar for Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Elliott listed two second-place endings, seven top fives, and nine top-10s at 1.5-mile tracks in 2017. The Dawsonville, Ga., native also averaged the third-best average finish of Cup drivers (9.82) on 1.5-mile monitors last year.
Before Keselowski’s win last year, Elliott’s teammate Jimmie Johnson was victorious in two Atlanta races that are consecutive. Johnson, who owns a Cup Series record 28 wins on 1.5-mile paths in his career, has five wins, 14 top fives along with a series-best motorist evaluation of 105.4 at Atlanta.
While Johnson has been the old king of 1.5-mile tracks, our choice to win Sunday is reigning champion Martin Truex Jr., who has been nearly unbeatable at intermediate ovals.
Truex won seven of those 11 1.5-mile speedway races last year with nine top fives for an average finish of 2.5. He is still looking for his first win at Atlanta but we expect him to get the job done Sunday (if the rain holds off) despite starting from the back of the field.
Read more: thefootballconcepts.com