Atlanta Motor Speedway is known for some of its legendary finishes like Carl Edwards beating out Jimmie Johnson or Kevin Harvick scoring his first win after only his third start. This can be the most exciting race to watch all year; an odd feat for a 1.5-mile oval.

Still no practice or qualifying to gauge the driver’s cars. We know that this can be a great track for drivers like Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., and Brad Keselowski, but this is a place where lesser names can make their way to the front here.

I’ll give three drivers names, and each will be classified differently. A Favorite, who is a big name driver who is my favorite to win. A Dark Horse, a driver who would be considered an underdog but has just as much chance as anyone to win. Lastly, a Longshot, a driver who nobody would ever guess would even be contending. Guys who are generally running in the twenties each week.

Favorite: Brad Keselowski

He has arguably been the best driver in NASCAR since we restarted at Darlington with an average finish of 5th and 2-wins in the five races since the restart. Going to Atlanta is the best case for him after winning his last time out at Bristol.

In the last two trips to Atlanta, he has finished 1st and 2nd. With as well as he’s been running, I’d be shocked if he wasn’t hanging around the top five near the end of the race.

Dark Horse: Jimmie Johnson

We’ve seen flashes of his former self in small spurts this year. He’s still only averaging a finish of 20th since the return, but coming off a 3rd place finish at Bristol and going to a place he holds 5 wins leans in a positive direction.

He’s been running well at other 1.5-mile tracks like Las Vegas, Fontana, and Charlotte prior to disqualification. There will be another top ten finish for Johnson if he can keep any bad luck from reaching him like it has been plaguing him at times this year.

Longshot: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

In the usual Stenhouse fashion, he has been a mixed bag of mediocrity. The only bright spots coming at Las Vegas and Charlotte where he finished 3rd and 4th respectively. The 47-car has shown flashed of being able to compete for top tens consistently.

At Atlanta, he’s only managed to scrounge up 6 top 20’s in 7 starts and 1 top ten. Again, it’s hard to judge without seeing the cars. But, Stenhouse shows the speed at odd times and I think he’ll have a good run on Sunday.

Fantasy:

I break my favorites down into three tiers. Upper-tier drivers worth $11,700-$9,000. Mid-tier worth $8,999-$7,000. Lower-tiers $6,999 and under. All based on DraftKings price ranges.

Upper:

  1. Chase Elliott – $9,900
  2. Kevin Harvick – $11,700
  3. Jimmie Johnson – $10,200
  4. Martin Truex Jr. – $9,600
  5. Kyle Busch – $11,200

Mid:

  1. Brad Keselowski – $8,900
  2. Matt Kenseth – $8,100
  3. Ryan Blaney – $8,500
  4. Clint Bowyer – $8,700
  5. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – $7,600

Low:

  1. Erik Jones – $6,600
  2. Aric Almirola – $6,800
  3. Austin Dillon – $6,400
  4. Chris Buescher – $5,900
  5. John Hunter Nemechek – $6,000

Best Line-up:

  1. Chase Elliott – $9,900
  2. Martin Truex Jr. – $9,600
  3. Brad Keselowski – $8,900
  4. Matt Kenseth – $8,100
  5. Aric Almirola – $6,800
  6. Erik Jones – $6,600

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