Race: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Date: June 7th 3:00pm
Venue: Atlanta Motor Speedway
2019 Winner: Brad Keslowski (3:30:33)
Atlanta Motor Speedway. Opened in 1960, this 1.54 mile quad-oval track is among the fastest tracks on the NASCAR circuit. It underwent a few renovations including nearly rebuilding the track in 1997 and switching the frontstretch with the backstretch. There are grooves along the track and familiarity is almost as important as success in higher speed tracks. This was once one of the fastest tracks on the circuit but has since fallen below Texas, Talladega and Daytona.
Brad Keslowski (third selection this year) — Back in March I posted this with Brad Keslowski as my favorite to win. He’s won twice in the last three races and granted he’s been lucky but he’s also poised himself in a position to be lucky. He won here last year so it still seems like a smart pick.
Kevin Harvick (third selection this year) — I stick by my other favorite for the same reasons as well. Arguably the best active driver at Atlanta, Kevin has been in the top ten here the last three years with a win here in 2018 and a 4th place finish in 2019.
High Risk/High Reward
Kurt Busch (first selection this year) — After starting off this year with consecutive finishes outside the top 20, he’s hit a hot streak of six out of the last seven races inside the top 10. Add to that he’s been in the top 10 each of the last four years here. This is more of a reward play than risk so consider this an adjacent favorite.
Ryan Blaney (second selection this year) — He finished dead last due to a wreck last week. That made two races in the last four where he finished outside the top 20 and 3 in the last six. His back to back top 3 finishes at the two Charlotte race showed promise as did his laps led at Bristol.
The Dark Horse
John Hunter Nemenchek (first selection this year) — The rookie has now posted top 20 finishes in three consecutive races. He started out a bit rough but he’s finding a consistent groove right now and I think he could show another solid start at Atlanta.
Fun Fact: From 1987 – 2001 this was the last race of the year helping to determine who won the season.
Favorite: Avg Finish 11th (29th Percent)
High Risk/High Reward: Avg Finish 21st (55th Percent)
Dark Horse: Avg Finish 15th (39th Percent)