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With the race for Playoff spots heating up, the NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the second time this season.
The Credit Karma Money 250 will be the last on the degraded asphalt at the 1.54-mile track, which will undergo a major reconfiguration project after this weekend’s events.
Saturday’s race will be contested over 163 laps (251.02 miles), with stage breaks scheduled after 40 and 80 laps. There are three former Atlanta winners in the field—Kyle Busch, AJ Allmendinger and Justin Allgaier.
|Credit Karma Money 250 Information|
|Race||Credit Karma Money 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race|
|Location||Atlanta Motor Speedway|
|Time||Saturday, July 10, 3:30 p.m. ET|
|How to Watch||NBCSN|
As a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver, Busch is limited to five Xfinity starts per season, and the Credit Karma 250 will be his last of the year—and perhaps the last of his career now that he has extended his series record to 101 victories.
Busch has won in each of his previous starts this season, and we think he’ll be a perfect 5-for-5 after Saturday’s race. So even though the potential return is puny (-140 at DraftKings Sportsbook), you have to remember the mantra:
Don’t bet against Kyle Busch in an Xfinity Series race.
Even though Martin Truex Jr. led 103 laps and swept the first two stages of the March 20 Atlanta race, Justin Allgaier took control in the closing stages and beat Truex to the finish line by 1.449 seconds.
If Kyle Busch falters, or something untoward happens to the Joe Gibbs Racing driver, Allgaier (+700) is an excellent choice to pick up the pieces at a track where veteran experience and car control can be decisive.
In addition to his earlier win at Atlanta, Allgaier picked up a victory this season at Darlington, another challenging track that puts a premium on driving talent.
Accordingly, we like Allgaier as a strong second choice for those who don’t think Busch can win all five races he has entered this year.
On June 6 of last year, road course ace AJ Allmendinger scored his first NASCAR victory on an oval track, beating Noah Gragson to the checkers at Atlanta Motor Speedway by 1.848 seconds.
Earlier this year, Allmendinger proved the Atlanta win was no fluke when he triumphed on the 1.5-mile oval at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Like Allgaier, Allmendinger is a veteran driver with consummate skills, and he likes the slick, abrasive surface at Atlanta. So if you don’t like Busch to keep winning, and you don’t like Allgaier to sweep, go with AJ at +1000.
Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]More info on Reid Spencer
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