NASCAR DFS: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
And you thought NASCAR was boring.
After last week's exciting finish to the Daytona 500, the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season is in full swing. The series now moves on this week to the Atlanta Motor Speedway, where those who began the year on a good note will look to keep that momentum up as the circuit hits up Hotlanta. Sunday's race will also feature the smallest Sprint Cup Series field in years, as 39 cars will take the green flag. When it comes to the Daily Fantasy Sports Circuit, there are still numerous names you should take a look at, and some you should avoid...
Race: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Laps: 325 (500.5 miles)
Venue: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA (1.54 miles)
TV: 1 PM, FOX
Active Winners: Jimmie Johnson (3, defending winner), Carl Edwards (2), Kasey Kahne (2), Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch
Hotlanta is known for its high speeds, though restrictor plates are not required. The speeds are mostly thanks to a 1997 renovating project. Atlanta has had interesting spots in NASCAR history. From 1997-2001, it served as the season finale, before it was later moved to a Labor Day Weekend spot. Now the follow-up to the Daytona 500, the race will have a lot to live up to following last week's exciting finish.
Three to Start
Kevin Harvick (Starting 6th)-Harvick hasn't won any of his past couple of Atlanta start, but he has led 311 laps over those past two. Harvick has also a win in the past in Atlanta, winning his first career race at the track in 2001 in most dramatic fashion over Jeff Gordon, just three races after he took over for Dale Earnhardt. Harvick hasn't won since at Atlanta, but lately he's been solid at the track. He has finished in the Top 10 in 4 of his past 5 visits to Georgia, and 7 of his past 9. This includes a runner-up finish in last year's race.
Kasey Kahne (Starting 11th)-If Hendrick Motorsports were The Beatles, then Kahne is probably Ringo Starr. That's no knock on either of them, but it's just a case of talented guys who are stuck with more well-known teammates. Kahne, fresh off a solid 13th place run at Daytona, can separate himself from his flashy teammates with a win at Atlanta, where he has visted Victory Lane three times before, most recently in the 2014 race. Part of Kahne's success has been strong starts, as his he averages a starting position of 9th at Atlanta.
Jimmie Johnson (Starting 19th)-One of Kahne's more popular Hendrick bros, Johnson has 4 Top 5 finishes over his last 6 Atlanta starts. Johnson's average finish of 11th at Atlanta not only tops all active drivers, but is the best of all time (among drivers with at least 10 starts). Johnson's starting position isn't the best but that irrelevant when you consider he came from the 37th position to win last year's race.
Three To Park
Austin Dillon (Starting 8th)-Dillon's numbers in the famed #3 have been disappointing so far, and Atlanta has not been a friendly track to him. Dillon has an average finish of 27th of Atlanta, where he's resembled one of the famed walkers from the Atlanta-based series The Walking Dead. Since taking over full time duties in the Sprint Cup Series, Dillon has had finishes of 24th and 39th. Many hope that his Top 10 at Daytona last week is the start of something better for young Austin, but Atlanta doesn't seem like the place it'll happen.
Casey Mears (Starting 15th)-It's always nice to see Mears do well in the #13 car at the small budget single car Germain Racing team. However, Atlanta has never been kind to Mears, who has just 7 Top 20 finishes in 20 Hotlanta starts. Mears also has never finished in the Top 10 at the track and has not finished on the lead lap in an Atlanta race since 2008.
Paul Menard (Starting 21st)-Another Childress car on this list, Menard has led a mere two laps in 14 career Sprint Cup starts at Atlanta. Over his last six starts at the track, he has finished in the Top 10 only once. Menard is looking to improve a season that saw him end up in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, but, again, Atlanta may not be the best place to do it. His struggles at the track were also apparent in his Xfinity Series days, where he had 3 Top 10s in 7 races. Better, but still not worth a spot in your lineup this week.
Enjoy the race, everybody.
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