Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway Preview
Four races down, 32 to go! Stop #5 on the NASCAR tour is the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Atlanta underwent a major facelift over the past 9 months. The configuration is a tri-oval with a high degree of banking like Daytona or Talladega but in a 1.5-mile size. A single, 3 car test session for the Next Gen car was run at this track in early January. Kurt Busch, Chris Buescher, and Ross Chastain ran on this new configuration. The weather may play in as a factor to starting lineups this week, so keep that in mind. A 45-minute practice session is scheduled for Friday, with qualifying on Saturday.
I'm giving heavy weight to Daytona speeds and to the 3 drivers that ran the test results to look for drivers with an edge this week. With that in mind, here is who I like, with some information to back it up.
|Bubba Wallace has been one of the best at the high-downforce speedway package. With a win last fall at Talladega and a second-place finish at Daytona earlier this year, Look for Wallace to shine again on this style of racing. His teammate Kurt Busch was one of three drivers that tested here, and you can bet on the communication lines being open between the two.|
|Chase Briscoe won last week and finished 3rd in the Daytona 500 earlier this year. As the ultimate momentum play, roll with the hot hand this week and lock in the #14 car. The Next Gen car seems to suit his style and this type of racing Chase has always excelled at as he moved up the ranks to the Cup series.|
Dark Horse Differentiators:
Ross Chastain has been hot this season, and he also is one of the 3 drivers that tested here in January. Look for the #1 car to be near the top of the speed charts. Kurt Busch also tested here in January. He is also the last winner at this track before the reconfiguration. Look for him to be partnered with teammate Bubba Wallace near the front all day. Chris Buescher was the third driver to run the test in Atlanta. He and teammate Brad Keselowski showed very well in Daytona 500 qualifying and look for him to have a solid effort.
|Race Winner||Denny Hamlin|
|Best Bets||Joey Logano, Bubba Wallace, Brad Keselowski|
|Dark Horse Picks||Ross Chastain, Chase Briscoe, Aric Almirola|
|Drivers I'm Fading||Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick|
Driver Group Game:
Since practice will happen before rosters partially lock Friday, and some leagues offer qualifying bonus points, you have to have your line-ups set before Saturday 3/18 at 8 am EST. Here's who I have for the week, subject to practice times:
We'll break down practice and qualifying as well as starts/sits and DFS lineups on race day!
If you are interested in playing any of these games, sign up before the green flag drops at the links below:
Coming soon will be more content. Please follow me at @DirtyAirFC on Twitter, search for DirtyAir Podcast on every platform where podcasts can be found, and DirtyAirFC on YouTube for more content throughout the season.