Following a crash-filled Daytona 500, NASCAR proceeds to Atlanta’s weathered 1.54-mile asphalt trail.
As the surface permits for side-by-side racing in numerous grooves most NASCAR drivers favor the monitor. Tires wear out setting a higher significance on long-run rate.
Kevin Harvick won the first two phases at Atlanta, This past year, but a penalty allowed Brad Keselowski in for the flag. Keselowski handed Kyle Larson for the lead with six laps to go for his first win of 2017.
All eyes will be on Georgia native Chase Elliott this weekend gets he seems to capture his first Cup Series win in his hometown track. Back in the No. 9 car, a number made famous by his Hall of Fame father Bill, Chase has a fair chance to win based on last season’s figures.
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Elliott listed two second-place endings, seven top fives, and nine top-10s in 1.5-mile tracks in 2017. The Dawsonville, Ga., native also averaged the third-best average end of Cup drivers (9.82) on 1.5-mile tracks last year.
Before Keselowski’s win Elliott’s teammate Jimmie Johnson was victorious in two consecutive Atlanta races. Johnson, who possesses a Cup Series record 28 wins 1.5-mile paths in his career, has five wins, 14 top fives along with a series-best driver rating of 105.4 in Atlanta.
While Johnson has been the older king of 1.5-mile monitors, our choice 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 year with nine top fives for an average finish of 2.5. He’s still searching for his first win at Atlanta but we expect him to get the job done Sunday (if the rain stays off) despite starting from the back of the area.
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