NASCAR at Atlanta 2018: Odds, fantasy advice, prediction, sleepers, drivers to watch

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After a crash-filled Daytona 500, NASCAR proceeds into Atlanta’s weathered 1.54-mile asphalt trail.

As the surface allows for racing in numerous grooves the track is favored by most NASCAR drivers. Tires wear out setting a greater importance.

This past year, Kevin Harvick won the first two stages at Atlanta, but Brad Keselowski was allowed by a punishment in for the checkered flag. Keselowski handed 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 at his hometown track. Back in the No. 9 car, a number made famous by his Hall of Fame father Bill, Chase does have a fair shot to win based on last year’s figures.

NASCAR at Atlanta weather forecast
Elliott recorded two second-place endings, seven top fives, and nine top-10s in 1.5-mile paths in 2017. The Dawsonville, Ga., native also averaged the third-best average finish of Cup drivers (9.82) on 1.5-mile monitors last year.

Before Keselowski’s win last year, Elliott’s teammate Jimmie Johnson was victorious in two Atlanta races. Johnson, who owns 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 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 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 holds off) despite starting out from the rear of the area.

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