The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 after an exciting race weekend at Phoenix as Joey Logano captured his second win of the season. Logano is once again among the drivers leading the top of the odds list heading into the race weekend.
There are two things to remember about racing in the ATL – tires and gas mileage. The surface in Atlanta is old and eats tires. Drivers love it and crew chiefs hate it.
Also, the track is known for being one of the few gas mileage races that are exciting. You never know when a car will drain the gas tank during the closing laps.
NASCAR Cup Series: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 HIGHLIGHTS | 2/24/19 | Motorsports on NBC
As for manufacture stats; Ford has won the last three races in a row in Atlanta with Chevrolet winning the three prior. You have to go back to 2012 and 2013 for the last two Toyota victories at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Picks for the 2020 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Kurt Busch +2200
I rarely dive down into the +2000 range for a pick, but Kurt Busch is worth a look.
One thing that seems to have stayed the same with Busch as he’s moved from team to team and changed manufactures, is his ability to race at Atlanta.
The elder Busch brother is second behind Kevin Harvick for laps led with 803, he has three wins at the track and he’s done it while driving a Dodge, a Chevrolet, and a Ford.
In the last ten Atlanta races, he’s finished in the top-ten eight times.
Chase Elliott +700
There are plenty of reasons to like Chase Elliott in Atlanta. First, it’s his family’s home track. The siren at the Dawsonville Firehall will sound when an Elliott wins a race. It’s an Elliott version of Auburn fans rolling a tree when the Tigers win.
Also, he’s raced at the track as a Cup Series driver four times, has three top-ten finishes, one top-five, and has never had a DNF. Plus, he and his fellow Chevrolet drivers look much stronger than in seasons past.
Kevin Harvick comes in at +400 at Atlanta where he has won twice. He won here in 2018 with his other checkered coming in 2001.
I know, that’s several years apart for wins at a venue and probably is not the best indicator. But there are a few other statistics to consider! He’s raced at the track 29 times in the Cup Series and only has four DNF’s. He also has 8 top-five and 14 top-ten finishes.
Here’s the big stat for Harvick, he has 1,197 laps as the leader in Atlanta. If you’re wondering why he’s not won the last five or more races at Atlanta with those numbers? Just remember what I said about the track surface, tire wear, and gas mileage! Those outliers could ruin the day for anyone.
Others I Like to Win the 2020 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Ryan Blaney and Jimmie Johnson: Ryan Blaney started the season with a second-place run at Daytona but has slid back to a 37th run last week at Phoenix where he suffered a DNF because of another driver wrecking. Blaney has consistently run upfront but his finishes have been lacking.
Among active drivers, Johnson has the most wins at Atlanta in the Cup Series. He has five wins, 14 top-five and 16 top-ten finishes. Atlanta would be a great place for him to add to his number of NASCAR Cup Series wins which is currently sitting at 83 checkered flags.
2020 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Odds*
Kevin Harvick +400
Joey Logano +650
Kyle Busch +700
Brad Keselowski +700
Chase Elliott +700
Martin Truex Jr +750
Alex Bowman +800
Ryan Blaney +900
Kyle Larson +1200
Denny Hamlin +1600
William Byron +2200
Kurt Busch +2200
Jimmie Johnson +2200
Erik Jones +3500
Aric Almirola +6000
Clint Bowyer +6000
Matt Dibenedetto +6600
Tyler Reddick +8000
Christopher Bell +10000
Cole Custer +15000
Ricky Stenhouse Jr +15000
Chris Buescher +20000
Ross Chastain +20000
* Note: Ross Chastain will once again be the replacement driver for Ryan Newman following Newman’s wreck at Daytona.
Kent Whitaker is an award-winning author, culinary writer and
sports writer. Whitaker's books range from BBQ, Grilling, Tailgating and additional
culinary titles to WWII history books, books about NASCAR and racing and titles
Whitaker, known as “the Deck Chef,” has a culinary, history
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Whitaker can also be found on TV, Radio, Print, and as a
celebrity spokesperson. He has appeared on radio and TV including Food Network.
He’s the Emeril Live Barbecue Contest winner and columnist for the National
Whitaker has covered NASCAR, IndyCar, ARCA Racing, The NFL,
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as well as Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, West
Virginia, Alabama, and Florida.
·The USS Alabama - The History of the Mighty A
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Kent has worked with several brands as spokesperson. Companies
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Kent and his wife Allyson live in Tennessee and have one ARMY
Strong son, Macee. You can visit him online at www.thedeckchef.com and Twitter/Instagram