Hotlanta might live up to its nickname on Sunday at the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The temperature is going to be 87 degrees, but with the humidity it’s going to feel more like 95 degrees.
There is a reason the race hasn’t been in June since 1965. It was moved from Labor Day weekend five years ago, and its usual date on the calendar is late February or early March. Both dates were more desirable than the hot, sticky summer months.
With the heat the track is going to be hot and slick. This could be one of the wildest races of the year. Expect to see loose driving, and there could be a multitude of caution flags. Oddsmakers have the over/under at 5.5 caution flags.
Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Odds
|Martin Truex Jr.||17/2||8/1|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||66/1||125/1|
Who should thrive with these conditions? We take a look at some we think will do well, as well as some drivers that gamblers might want to avoid Sunday at the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.
Drivers To Back at Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Brad Keselowski 8/1
There is no hotter driver in NASCAR right now than Keselowski. He has won two of the last three races, including last week at Bristol. He is also the defending champion of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500.
Chase Elliott 6/1
Elliott is another driver that has been on a tear recently, with five top-10s in his last seven races. Throw out last week’s 22nd-place finish because of his crash with Joey Logano. He told reporters he enjoys Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“The track hasn’t changed a ton these past few years,” Elliott said. “It has a lot of wear to it, a lot of character and a lot of bumps. There is a fine line of getting your car right. I’m excited about that.”
Kurt Busch 16/1
Busch has a solid body of work at Atlanta Motor Speedway, finishing third here last year. He has also led 802 laps in his career here, second only to Kevin Harvick’s 1,197.
Value is the biggest attraction here, though. If gamblers are hunting for a good longshot, this might be the pick.
Drivers to Avoid
Martin Truex Jr. (17/2)
The record at Atlanta has been strong for Truex, but he can’t seem to get in the winner’s circle here. He finished second last year, and has six other top-10s in his last eight races at Atlanta.
This is going to be a speed burners track, and I don’t feel confident that a Toyota car can keep up with Chevy or Ford this Sunday. Plus, Truex finished 20th last weekend at Bristol.
Alex Bowman (15/2)
There is no doubt that Bowman is fast, but he is mired in a slump at the moment. He hasn’t finished better than 18th in his last four races. Bowman, however, believes the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 could be the race where he turns it around.
“Atlanta should be a good track for our team,” Bowman said. “Our 1.5-mile program is really good right now and I feel confident that we can continue that momentum from Charlotte. This track is one where you have a lot of options. It’s worn out and you can move around a lot, which gives drivers a lot of choices. Everyone appreciates options, so this weekend should be a good one.”