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QuikTrip 500 Preview Article

VirginiaCavs

Man Crush on Kyle Guy
Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Preview and Best Bet

NASCAR Cup Series: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 3 p.m. ET (FOX) at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia

Race Info

The QuikTrip 500 is so-called because, in completing 325 miles, drivers will have accumulated 500.5 miles.

There are three Stages for this event.

Stage 1 and Stage 2 both require 105 laps.

Stage 3, the final Stage, requires 115 laps.

As in previous weeks, an entry list has already been posted for this event. Right now, 39 drivers are named.

As for the starting lineup, there is no practice or qualifying for this race.

The starting lineup has still not been determined.

It’s important to ask ourselves, though, whether we should really care about the starting lineup.

Is this the kind of event where we should adjust our wager size if a driver or drivers whom we like start closer to the front or closer to the back?

The Track Info

Details about the track for this event, the Atlanta Motor Speedway, lead me to believe that starting position is not a factor that we should account for.

Given the length of every lap and the number of laps, the QuikTrip 500 represents the longest race of the season up to this point.

Atlanta’s tri-oval Motor Speedway requires 1.5-miles per lap.

So there is plenty of time for drivers to pass each other.

There is considerable banking — at 24 degrees — along each of the four turns while the straights are banked at five degrees.

This banking allows for drivers to collect more momentum as they navigate the turns.

Instead of starting position, you should worry about other things that are specific to this track.

Most notably, the Atlanta Motor Speedway is notorious for being hard on tires.

This fact is a product of the track’s relatively worn, old asphalt with its characteristic bumpiness and abrasiveness.

So a successful driver that you’ll want to bet on should absolutely have a good crew, a good tire management strategy.

Drivers To Avoid

Kyle Busch continues to disappoint me. He had a good history at last week’s track in Phoenix, but couldn’t even crack the top 20.

In five races so far this season, Busch has finished better than 10th only once.

So he needs to string together some positive performances before he can re-earn my trust.

Sometimes you have to put drivers on the “no-bet list” and Busch’s poor form places him on this list.

Ideally, we want to marry good form with good track history.

Whereas Busch has the latter but not the former, the reverse is true for Logano.

Logano has been driving well overall. But there’s little reason to like him at this specific track.

His average finishing position in Atlanta is 16.64, an average which has been exacerbated by numerous clunkers.

He finished 10th and 23rd, respectively, in his last two races here. His last top-five finish was in March of 2015, just over six years ago.

I like Denny Hamlin a bit more than Busch and Logano. Hamlin’s overall racing form has been positive. But he’s historically so up-and-down in Atlanta. There are better options out there to invest in.

Let’s find a driver who, in addition to good recent form and good track history has a third component: consistency.

My Almost-Favorite Drivers

With Kevin Harvick you will always have a chance to win especially at this track.

This fact alone would justify an investment in Harvick, given the nice potential payout at plus odds.

Atlanta’s Motor Speedway is Harvick’s second-favorite track lately. He has accrued six consecutive top-10 finishes and three consecutive top-four finishes.

Harvick has also win here in two of his last three tries.

Overall, he’s been racing well this season, finishing top-six in every race but one.

The only reason why Harvick isn’t my favorite driver is that it’s statistically rare both for Harvick and in general to win consecutive times here.

The same thinking applies to Martin Truex Jr. He consistently performs well in Atlanta, especially lately, and he’s rounded into superb overall racing form.

But he won his last race and it’s statistically difficult to win consecutive races.

My Favorite Driver

Brad Keselowski has it all: good form, good track history, and consistency.

He’s finished top-four in two consecutive Cup Series races. Keselowski also has six consecutive top-nine finishes in Atlanta. During this span, he’s finished top-two in Atlanta three times.

The Verdict

Given the possible payout and the number of drivers competing, it makes sense to invest in multiple drivers to win.

Harvick and Truex Jr. are good bets because they will at least be in the thick of things, so maybe they can buck the trends that indicate any statistical unlikelihood of their victory.

Given their unlikelihood to win but given their chances of finishing strongly, a small wager at plus odds on each of them to win makes sense.

At the very least, you should consider backing both drivers in match-up betting.

But my favorite driver, the one you should unequivocally invest your usual betting unit in, is Brad Keselowski because of his strong overall racing form and his positive and consistent history in Atlanta.

For the above reasons, at least bet on Keselowski to win.

Best Bet: Keselowski To Win (Odds TBA)
 

CPA-hole

Well-Known Member
Big race for Harvick IMO. Has consistently run in the top 10 all year, but really hasn't had the speed to win. After his 9 race win last season, he really needs a win here.

You're where I was on Kyle Busch last week. Need to see more before I back him again.

Hamlin is so damn consistent. Big threat again.

Down to Kezelowski and Larson for me. Larson probably should've won Phx but two speeding penalties derailed that. Last time he ran Atlanta in 2019, he won both stages, before another speeding penalty in the last stage detailed that. He's obviously in better equipment now and IMO right now, he's the favorite to win the championship after 5 weeks. He's that fast right now.
 

DaRaiders

Well-Known Member

2021 NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta Grid​

Grid | Race Results
Starting Grid
POSDRIVERMANUFACTURER
CAR​
SPEED​
1Denny HamlinToyota
i
N/A​
2Martin Truex Jr.Toyota
i
N/A​
3Joey LoganoFord
i
N/A​
4Brad KeselowskiFord
i
N/A​
5Chase ElliottChevrolet
i
N/A​
6Kyle LarsonChevrolet
i
N/A​
7Kevin HarvickFord
i
N/A​
8Christopher BellToyota
i
N/A​
9William ByronChevrolet
i
N/A​
10Ryan BlaneyFord
i
N/A​
11Kurt BuschChevrolet
i
N/A​
12Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Chevrolet
i
N/A​
13Austin DillonChevrolet
i
N/A​
14Alex BowmanChevrolet
i
N/A​
15Bubba WallaceToyota
i
N/A​
16Aric AlmirolaFord
i
N/A​
17Chris BuescherFord
i
N/A​
18Michael McDowellFord
i
N/A​
19Kyle BuschToyota
i
N/A​
20Matt DiBenedettoFord
i
N/A​
21Ross ChastainChevrolet
i
N/A​
22Erik JonesChevrolet
i
N/A​
23Ryan PreeceChevrolet
i
N/A​
24Chase BriscoeFord
i
N/A​
25Daniel SuarezChevrolet
i
N/A​
26Justin HaleyChevrolet
i
N/A​
27Cole CusterFord
i
N/A​
28Ryan NewmanFord
i
N/A​
29Tyler ReddickChevrolet
8​
N/A​
30Corey LaJoieChevrolet
i
N/A​
31B.J. McLeodFord
i
N/A​
32Anthony AlfredoFord
i
N/A​
33Cody WareChevrolet
i
N/A​
34James DavisonChevrolet
i
N/A​
35Quin HouffChevrolet
00​
N/A​
36Joey GaseChevrolet
53​
N/A​
37Josh BilickiFord
i
N/A​
38Timmy HillToyota
i
N/A​
39Austin CindricFord
i
N/A​
 

He Hate Me

Award Winning Blogger
So far I have:
Larson -130 over Hamlin
Larson to win at +640

I like Kurt Busch and Byron to do well today (Top 10), but my book has them paired against one another.

If you have Draft Kings sportsbook you can get Byron -115 over Bell

I will probably fade Kyle Busch against Blaney, but waiting to see if it will get to even money.
 
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