Following a crash-filled Daytona 500, NASCAR proceeds to Atlanta’s weathered 1.54-mile asphalt track.
Most NASCAR drivers favor the monitor since the surface permits for side-by-side racing in numerous grooves. Tires wear out very quickly on the oblong, setting a greater importance on long-run rate.
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 catch 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 does have a fair shot to win based on last season’s figures.
NASCAR in Atlanta weather forecast, radar for Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Elliott recorded 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 tracks this past year.
Ahead of Keselowski’s win Elliott’s teammate Jimmie Johnson was successful in two straight Atlanta races. Johnson, who possesses a Cup Series record 28 wins on 1.5-mile paths in his profession, has five wins, 14 top fives together with a series-best motorist evaluation of 105.4 at Atlanta.
While Johnson has become the older king of 1.5-mile tracks, our pick to win Sunday is reigning champion Martin Truex Jr., who has been nearly unbeatable at intermediate ovals.
Truex won seven of the 11 1.5-mile speedway races last season with nine top fives for an average finish of 2.5. He’s still looking for his first win in Atlanta but we expect him to have the job done Sunday (if the rain holds off) despite starting from the back of the area.
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