Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet | 2017 ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY, Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
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2017 ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY, Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

Congratulations to Kurt Busch on winning his first ever Daytona 500 in a crash filled first race of the season. I’m not sure I like the new segment format yet, but it sure did make the drivers more aggressive throughout this race. We will have to wait and see how it goes as the season progresses. One thing for sure is the drivers shouldn’t be complaining because they were involved in coming up with the new format and now they have to live with it.

FOLDS OF HONOR QUIKTRIP 500

This week the series heads to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the running of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. This is a race where we should be able to tell which teams and manufacturers are at their best early in the season. The Ford’s all looked fast at Daytona last week with the restrictor plate package, but will they be just as fast this weekend?

Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie has won the last two races here and has won five times overall during his career. He also has fourteen top five finishes in his twenty-five starts at this track. I like to stick with a driver who has shown that they have been consistent at a track lately and Jimmie is at the top of the list this week. I think he will win his sixth race here and erase the memory of Daytona from his mind.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin won the first race he ever ran at this track back in 2001, but hasn’t won here since. That could all change this weekend if the Ford’s are as fast as they were last week at Daytona. Kevin has finished in the top ten here in eight of his last ten starts and was runner-up to Johnson in this very race last year. I think he will be the driver with the best shot to beat Jimmie this weekend.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Dale has two great runs here last year also as he finished with a second and a third place spot. He looked good at Daytona last week until he got caught up in a wreck and it looks like he is suffering no ill effects anymore from his concussion symptoms which knocked him out of the series last season.

Chase Elliott: After almost coming away with his first ever Cup win last week at Daytona and running well all week long there, Chase looks like he is going to get that first win soon. He ran well at all of the intermediate tracks last season and they look like his best chance of picking up that first win. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him in victory lane this weekend.

Joey Logano: Another Ford driver who has gotten better and better every year. I think you have to put Joey towards the top of the list of drivers who have a chance to win the championship this season at this early stage. Things can change in a hurry in this series, but right now Joey is going to be a contender every week. He has finished in the top five in two of his past four races here also.

Brad Keselowski: Joey’s teammate will have a car just as fast this week and we know that he and crew chief, Paul Wolfe, really are on the same page when it comes to making adjustments to their car as the track changes and the race progresses. Still looking for his first win at this track, Brad has finished in the top ten in four of his eight starts here during his career.

Matt Kenseth: Matt is always good at the intermediate tracks and his calm demeanor during races really helps him when the chips are down. He understands that races are long and it doesn’t really matter how fast your car is at the start if you can stay on the lead lap. It’s how fast your car is at the end and the strategy you use to get to the front then. Matt has finished in the top ten in four of his last six starts here, but he is still looking for that elusive win.

Kyle Busch: Kyle has two career wins here and he has also finished in the top six in four of his last six starts at Atlanta. After winning the first stage of the race last weekend, he cut a tire and spun out causing a wreck that took out four other drivers, including two of his teammates. He will be looking for redemption this weekend, and he just might get it.

Kurt Busch: Kurt has three wins at this track and has finished in the top six in seven of his last ten starts here. With momentum on his side and the new speed of his Ford, he might be able to win back to back races to start the season. He really knows how to get around this track with the best of them and has proven this over his career.

Kasey Kahne: Kasey has also won three races at Atlanta during his career although one of those wins is the only top ten finish he has had here in his last seven starts. I think this is a make or break season for Kasey because if he doesn’t start coming away with better results he might find himself looking for work. He is still a good driver, but he might need a new team or new crew to get back to the top of his game. This year will tell us a lot about his future at Hendrick Motorsports.

YAHOO! FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Yahoo Driver Group A

  • Jimmie Johnson
  • Kevin Harvick

Yahoo Driver Group B

  • Kurt Busch
  • Chase Elliott
  • Kasey Kahne
  • Clint Bowyer

Yahoo Driver Group C

  • Ty Dillon
  • Daniel Suarez

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY

  1. Jimmie Johnson
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Kurt Busch
  4. Chase Elliott
  5. Joey Logano

Dark Horse: Ryan Newman

Stay Away From: Jamie McMurray

Big 18: Jimmie Johnson

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  • Clay

    I think you meant Matt Kenseth has started in the top 6 in 4 out of the last 6 races

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      Thank you for pointing that out. I appreciate my readers who keep me on my toes. I will get that fixed ASAP.

      Reply
  • James

    Forgive my ignorance but what does the “Big 18” stand for?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      The Big 18 is a type of league people are in where you pick one driver each week and get the points he gets in the race. The catch is you can only use a driver twice a year which means you will probably use the top 18 drivers twice each during the season.

      Reply
  • Ted

    First time doing NASCAR fantasy what are some of the stats from the cheat sheet that I should look out for that can help me keep up with the competition ?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      Driver average by track is one of my favorite. Tells you how a driver has done historically at each track.

      Reply
  • Chad

    After practices and qualifying is the 31 still your darkhorse? Is he looking better than the 1,3 & 17?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      Absolutely. He was one of the fastest in all of the practice sessions in both single lap speeds and 10 lap runs.

      Reply
  • Joe

    Kurt or Chase?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      Tough call, but I will go with Chase.

      Reply
  • Doug

    19 or 77?

    Reply
    • Jeff Gutowski

      I am leaning towards Suarez this week.

      Reply

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