NASCAR rolls into Atlanta Motor Speedway

GamingToday.com is an independent sports news and information service. GamingToday.com has partnerships with some of the top legal and licensed sportsbook companies in the US. When you claim a bonus offer or promotion through a link on this site, Gaming Today may receive referral compensation from the sportsbook company. Although the relationships we have with sportsbook companies may influence the order in which we place companies on the site, all reviews, recommendations, and opinions are wholly our own. They are the recommendations from our authors and contributors who are avid sports fans themselves.

For more information, please read How We Rank Sportsbooks, Privacy Policy, or Contact Us with any concerns you may have.

Gaming Today is licensed and regulated to operate in AZ, CO, CT, DC, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MD, MI, NV, NJ, NY, PA, TN, VA, WV, & WY.

The 10th race of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season takes us to Atlanta Motor Speedway Sunday for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. It will be the fourth race of the season on a 1.5-mile layout and seventh using the race package with engines producing 550 horsepower. In the previous six, a different driver has won making Sunday’s race wide open.

Of course, there won’t be any practices or qualifying again in the modified schedule that has already squeezed out five races in two weeks. Atlanta was originally scheduled as the fifth race of the season on March 15 until our country was shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Despite no practices, I feel as if there is enough data from the four races using the 550 HP race package to make some educated decisions at the betting window. We saw two races at Darlington when NASCAR first came back and then we saw two more at Charlotte which were almost identical  as its sister track in Atlanta with its high bankings.

The teams that were good at those two tracks will be good again at Atlanta and we also have the two races at Las Vegas and Fontana that raced before the shutdown that can be applied to a betting equation.

Joey Logano got this race package started with a win at Las Vegas, a race where his crew chief told him to pit late and Logano pretended to not hear him and it proved to be the right move as his older tires held up. At Fontana’s 2-mile layout, Alex Bowman led 110 of the 200 laps to put himself in another category of drivers becoming elite and having odds to win numbers dropped to single digits.

Check Out More NASCAR Here

Kevin Harvick led 159 laps at the first Darlington race followed by Bowman and then Denny Hamlin won the weekday race at Darlington aided by runner-up Kyle Busch pushing a hard-charging Chase Elliott with fresher tires out of the way during the final laps. Brad Keselowski would win the Coca-Cola 600 with Elliott runner-up, and then Elliott would win the Thursday night Charlotte race.

So there we have it. Six different races with the 550 horsepower package, six different winners. Between the nine races total including the superspeedway package at Daytona and the 750 horsepower at smaller tracks like Phoenix and Sunday’s Bristol race, we have Hamlin, Keselowski, and Logano with two wins each. Team Penske has four wins, Joe Gibbs Racing has two wins, Hendrick Motorsports has two wins and Stewart-Haas racing has one win. 

Noticeably absent from the winner’s log is two-time Cup Champion Kyle Busch and 2017 Champion Martin Truex Jr who both drive for Joe Gibbs Racing. Busch hasn’t led many laps this season but does have five top-five finishes while Truex doesn’t have any. Truex led the series with seven wins last season and the sharp turnaround for the worse this season can be mostly attributed to crew chief Cole Pearn quitting after 2019 and being replaced by James Small.

Although Elliott has joined the multi-time winners club yet this season, he’s the driver that stands out the most for Sunday’s race and it’s not just because Atlanta Motor Speedway is the Dawsonville, Georgia native’s home track. He’s raced there four times and has a 10th-place average finish which is the best among active drivers. He could have won the last four races and proved he’ll have a strong car anywhere with any race package. He’s had top-fives in four of the six races on 1.5-mile tracks. He looks like the 2020 Cup Champion to-be.

But we’re only a quarter of the way through the season and other teams are going to get better. It’s kind of cool seeing rookies like Tyler Redick, Cole Custer, and Christopher Bell running in the top-10s. Or how about Ricky Stenhouse Jr. chasing top-fives? It seems that there is a lot more parity than last season which was top-heavy with Joe Gibbs Racing drivers winning 19 of the 36 races.  

This could be the week that Kyle Busch finally wins, which would be his third Atlanta, but I like two of his teammates better; Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones. I also like Ryan Blaney, who finished third in both Charlotte races last week. Brad Keselowski has won two of the last three Atlanta races, but I have to go with Elliott and Bowman as the top plays.

About the Author

Get connected with us on Social Media