The Daytona 500 is in the books and the 2019 NASCAR season is in full swing. Once again it ended up being a wreck fest which is why we say don’t take chances on your better drivers in this type of race. I hope everyone got to join all of their favorite leagues and hopefully you started out with a good week last week. This week the series heads to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the running of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.
FOLDS OF HONOR QUIKTRIP 500
This will be the first of the mile and a half tracks that make up most of the races in the series. Over the past couple of seasons there have been three drivers who have dominated most of these races and I don’t see that changing right now.
This is one of the fastest tracks on the circuit and with the race this early in the season the temperatures might be low enough to make it even faster. However, this will also be the first race with the new aero package that NASCAR has implemented this season for some of the races. That means we won’t really know how each team is going to run at this point of the season with this new package. We will have to watch and see who has this figured out the best and who is improving as the season progresses.
Kevin Harvick : I am going to pick Kevin to win this race. He has been one of the fastest over the past couple of seasons and seems to be one of the best at running in multiple grooves as the races progress. I think that is going to have a lot to do with winning with this new package. He won this race last season which will give him a lot of confidence heading into the weekend.
Martin Truex Jr. Martin is another of the drivers who have been very good on this type of track over the past few seasons. Martin has finished in the top ten here in six of his last seven starts. He is on a new team this year and I think that is only going to help him get better.
Kyle Busch Kyle is the other driver who has been dominant over the past couple of seasons. He hasn’t been the greatest at Atlanta in his career, but I think we can throw that out this week with the new aero package. I think the drivers who can drive their cars the best when they don’t handle all that well and I think that will be huge with this new package.
Jimmie Johnson Jimmie has won two of the last four races he has run here, but he hasn’t done all the well the last two seasons. I think it is a little early in the season to tell how well he is going to run with a new crew chief and we don’t really know if the Hendrick teams have found any speed for this season either.
Chase Elliott: Chase was the best of the Hendrick drivers last season and we will assume he is going to improve even more this year. He has only run three races at this track and has finished in the top ten in each of them. Once again, I want to wait a bit to see how well the Hendrick teams will run as a whole before I start using them if I can help it.
Brad Keselowski Brad won this race two years ago and then followed that up with a runner-up finish last year. We have seen how fast the Ford’s have been over the past two seasons and that gives us a little confidence on staying with those drivers who are driving for that manufacturer.
Joey Logano Joey has finished in the top six in four of his last six starts at this track. He looked like he kept up with the changing track positions last week at Daytona which always seemed to be his nemesis in the past. He also showed a lot of patience early in the race last week and that is something else that helps drivers as the race progresses.
Kurt Busch Kurt is now driving for Chip Ganassi Racing which is a team that hasn’t been as fast as the Stewart-Haas team he had been on in the past, but they have been showing improvement. He didn’t have the best of luck last week in his first race with his new team, but I think he is going to bring a lot to the rest of the Ganassi drivers with all of his experience in this series.
Eric Jones: I think Eric is going to be much improved now in his third full season in this series. He won his first race last season and I think he wins multiple races this season. He has only run two races at this track and finished in the top fifteen in each of those races. I look for him to come away with a top ten finish this year.
Aric Almirola Aric is another driver who won a race last season and is now in his second full year with Stewart-Haas Racing. This team should feel a bit more comfortable with each other and that will improve their communication as they make adjustments to their car during the race. I look for him to be another driver to win multiple races this season.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR THE ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Kevin Harvick
- Martin Truex Jr.
Driver Group Game Group B
- Eric Jones
- Aric Almirola
- Ryan Blaney
- Kurt Busch
Driver Group Game Group C
- Matt Dibenedetto
- Daniel Hemric
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY
- Kevin Harvick
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Kyle Busch
- Chase Elliott
- Aric Almirola
Dark Horse: Eric Jones
Stay Away From: Denny Hamlin
Big 18: Martin Truex Jr.