After a crash-filled Daytona 500, NASCAR proceeds to Atlanta’s weathered 1.54-mile asphalt track.
Since the surface permits for side-by-side racing in grooves, the track is favored by most NASCAR drivers. Tires wear out putting a higher importance on speed.
Kevin Harvick won the first two phases at Atlanta, This past year, but a punishment allowed Brad Keselowski in for the checkered flag. Keselowski passed Kyle Larson for the lead with six rebounds to go for his first win of 2017.
All eyes will be on Georgia native Chase Elliott this weekend has he seems to capture his first Cup Series win in his hometown track. Back at the No. 9 car, a number made famous by his Hall of Fame father Bill, Chase has a fair shot to win based on last year’s figures.
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Elliott listed two second-place finishes, seven top fives, and nine top-10s in 1.5-mile paths in 2017. The Dawsonville, Ga., native also averaged the third-best average end of Cup drivers (9.82) on 1.5-mile tracks this past year.
Before Keselowski’s win last year, Elliott’s teammate Jimmie Johnson was victorious in two Atlanta races that are consecutive. Johnson, who owns a Cup Series record 28 wins 1.5-mile paths in his profession, has five wins, 14 top fives together with a series-best motorist evaluation of 105.4 in Atlanta.
While Johnson has become the older king of 1.5-mile tracks, our pick to win Sunday is reigning champion Martin Truex Jr., that has been nearly unbeatable at intermediate ovals.
Truex won seven of those 11 1.5-mile speedway races last season with nine top fives for an average end of 2.5. He is still searching for his first win at Atlanta but we expect him to have the job done Sunday (if the rain holds off) despite starting from the back of the field.
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