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Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Picks & Odds

by | Last updated Feb 27, 2019 | nascar

Race: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500
Date: Sunday February 24, 2018
Track: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Time: 2pm ET

What We Learned From Last Week

What a nostalgic day for the Gibbs racing team as Denny Hamlin took home his second victory in the Daytona 500. His car was memorializing JD Gibbs, who was actually the one who discovered Hamlin. It was a bittersweet victory as Joe Gibbs thanked the Lord for the victory and for the team. Hamlin managed to hold off Kyle Busch in the closing laps that finished in overtime after a few chaotic restarts, leading to many in the field wrecking out, including DiBenedetto, who really had quite the impressive start here at Daytona. He led a very good portion of the race before being knocked out late after a restart. There is a very long list of drivers who suffered damage from one or more wrecks. Those drivers included Chase Elliott, Clint Bowyer, William Byron, Jamie McMurray, Brendan Gaughan, Landon Cassill, Kevin Harvick, Tyler Reddick, Matt DiBenedetto, Paul Menard, David Ragan, Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola, Daniel Suarez, Daniel Hemric, Martin Truex Jr., Matt Tifft, Chris Buescher, Bubba Wallace, Cody Ware, and Casey Mears.

It was pretty neat seeing the cars back on track, but perhaps maybe the best part was seeing all of the rookies running up front throughout a good portion of the day. I don’t know if it was beginner’s luck or simply the fact that it was Daytona (so anything can happen really), but there was no shortage of young guns making their presence known. Unfortunately, many succumbed to the wrecks, as did many veterans, but I think that there is a lot of talent in the field that we will continue to see throughout the year.

Where Are We Headed This Week?

This weekend approaching, we are heading to a much different track but still one with a lot of speed. Atlanta Motor Speedway never leaves us fans disappointed. Although it’s a mile and a half track, it has some uniqueness about it, being one of the fastest tracks on the circuit. This track is a 1.54-mile quad-oval. It has 24 degree banking in the turns and 5 degrees through the straights. Interestingly enough, we typically don’t hit Atlanta until a little later in the season, so coming so early changes the temps of the track that the drivers are used to and might make it even faster. That being said, we are also contending with the drivers running a completely new aero package in 2019. There were numerous changes that NASCAR made across the board to the packages this year for all tracks, not just the super speedways.

Potential Winners and Odds Heading To Atlanta

When it comes down to picking a winner, it is going to be tricky this time around. Now that we are moving onto tracks that aren’t so unpredictable, you’d think we’d be gravy, right? Wrong. With this new aero deal that NASCAR rolled out, I think that we are going to see some differences and some aspects of the package that drivers and teams will have to get used to. We can, of course, continue to look at historically who the best drivers are at Atlanta, which is going to be our best indicator in primarily picking the winner moving forward this season. Let’s take a look at your potential winners heading into Atlanta:

My Pick to Win: Kevin Harvick (4.5-1)

Middle of the Road Pick: Paul Menard (66-1)

Dark Horse Prediction: Erik Jones (22-1)

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So, basically, I’m throwing a Hail Mary for Menard to pull anything out with odds like that. Being that he’s with a new team, it’s going to be more of a race to gauge how his season is going to go. His ratings aren’t that great here, with an average finish of 18.2. But, hey, if he pulls off the win with odds like that, there’s a whole lot of money in your pocket! To be honest, Menard was running well in the Clash until Jimmie Johnson spun him, and he was half decent in the 500 until an accident took him out again. Menard has had strength in the past, so we’ll see how he fares with a relatively small team and a new package. Erik Jones is a cool dude. He finished 3rd in the 500, and this is his 3rd fulltime year in the Cup series. This kid is going places. Although he’s only gotten 2 races under his belt here, he finished in the top 15 both times. That’s indicative of a strong team, and his momentum from Daytona will only drive him further this weekend. Overall, these guys are going to be chasing the favorite Kevin Harvick. Although he’s not going to give you a big payout like Menard would, Harvick is a solid pick. Harvick has an average 7.4 finish at this track, which seems to be a little skewed being that his average running position is 2.8 here. He’s one of the best intermediate track racers out there and dominated this race last year, claiming his first victory of the season. Kevin is also the driver with most laps led at a whopping 915 total. That’s impressive to say the least. Although caught up in an accident at Daytona, it was clear that Harvick was a force to be reckoned with. He’s the guy to beat this weekend and also the one to get back to the top of the leaderboard. Let’s take a look at the leaders heading into Atlanta this weekend:

Here are your current top 16 after last week’s race:

Odds Taken from 5Dimes & Bovada Sportsbooks. Bettors are strongly advised to price shop among the top sportsbooks before betting on your driver.

1. Denny Hamlin  16 to 1
2. Joey Logano   6.2 to 1
3. Kyle Busch  22 to 1
4. Ricky Stenhouse Jr  11 to 1
5. Erik Jones   22 to 1
6. Alex Bowman   88 to 1
7. Kyle Larson   8.2 to 1
8. Jimmie Johnson   27 to 1
9. Michael McDowell  52.5 to 1
10. Ty Dillon  55 to 1
11. Brad Keselowski  8.2 to 1
12. Ryan Preece  22 to 1
13. Chase Elliott   11 to 1
14. Kevin Harvick  4.5 to 1
15. Ryan Blaney   22 to 1
16. Clint Bowyer  16 to 1

Ryan Newman is floating right outside the top 16 right now. It’s going to really take a solid month of racing to get any sort of consistency out of the points. We need to race through this new package and see how it does while also seeing how the new Ford vision fits in with things and also if Chevy found any speed after last years’ challenges. Stay tuned for a great weekend of racing