Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta (Cup Series) - Predictions and Odds
- Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski has two factors in his favor as he heads for Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
- With newfound speed, seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson seeks to break career-worst losing streak.
- A chip off the old block? Chase Elliott would love to find some of his father’s Atlanta magic.
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|What||Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR Cup Series race|
|Where||Atlanta Motor Speedway|
|When||Sunday, June 7, 3 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||FOX|
The Atlanta race follows NASCAR’s June 4 announcement of the third installment of its post-hiatus schedule, starting with the first-ever Cup doubleheader at Pocono Raceway. NASCAR will run back-to-back Cup races on June 27 and 28 on a weekend that also includes races in the Xfinity, Gander RV & Outdoors Truck and ARCA series.
After Pocono, the Cup Series will race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on the July 4 weekend without fans in the stands. But before Phase 3 begins, Cup drivers will compete in four more events to complete the second stage of the re-opening.
It’s all but unanimous that Atlanta is a favorite of Cup Series stars. The degraded asphalt makes for slick conditions as the surface heats up and puts more control in the hands of the drivers. That’s why, in the past 15 years, you’ve had such elite talents as Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski all winning multiple races at the 1.54-mile track.
NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta June 7 Odds
The odds for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
|Martin Truex Jr.||+1000|
Brad Keselowski Brings Double Dose of Momentum to Atlanta
Talk about the right place at the right time. Brad Keselowski won last Sunday’s Supermarket Heroes 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway when the two drivers battling for the lead—Chase Elliott and Joey Logano—wrecked in front of him in the closing laps. The victory was Bad Brad’s second of the season and a welcome bonus during the final year of his current contract with Team Penske.
A two-time winner since NASCAR re-opened its 2020 season in May, Keselowski also boasts the best recent record at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He’s the defending winner of the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, his second victory in the event in the last three years. And when the driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford didn’t win in 2018, he finished second.
With Kevin Harvick having taken the checkered flag in 2018, Ford drivers have won the last three Atlanta races. Keselowski’s teammate, Joey Logano, also has won twice this season, and Fords have visited Victory in five of the first nine races.
Jimmie Johnson Seeks to Break Agonizing Career-Worst Drought
Boosted by the improvements delivered by Chevrolet’s new Camaro race car, Jimmie Johnson finished third last Sunday at Bristol. Johnson has posted two top fives in nine races—three if you count the runner-up finish at Charlotte that was followed by a post-race disqualification when the rear end of his Chevy fell outside tolerances.
The number Johnson would love to forget is 104. Astonishingly, that’s the number of times the seven-time champion has raced without a victory in the Cup Series since he took the checkered flag at Dover in the 13th race of the 2017 season. Johnson has been stuck on 83 career victories since then, tied with Cale Yarborough for sixth all-time. One more win and he ties Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison for fifth on the career list. Two more and he’s fourth alone behind Richard Petty (200), David Pearson (105) and former Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon (93).
Johnson is a five-time winner at Atlanta, including back-to-back triumphs in 2015 and 2016. With Johnson coming to Atlanta for his final race there as a full-time Cup driver, the speedway has named a grandstand in his honor. The seven-time champ would like nothing better than to christen the grandstand with his sixth victory at the challenging track.
Chase Elliott Hopes to Borrow from His Father’s Atlanta Prowess
In four starts at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Chase Elliott has never led a lap. On the other hand, his father, NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, led 1,017 laps and won five times at the 1.54-mile intermediate track. Chase, who has succeeded his father and Dale Earnhardt Jr. as NASCAR’s most popular driver, must been wondering when heredity will kick in.
That’s not to say Chase hasn’t run well at Georgia’s marquee speedway. His four starts there have produced three top 10s and one top five, with a best result of fifth in 2017. In each Atlanta race, Chase has improved from his starting spot, converting an average qualifying position of 21.0 into an average finish of 10.5.
So don’t count out the scion of Georgia’s best-known driver. Elliott has been in the mix for victory at the end of four of the nine races since NASCAR’s resumption and already has put a May 28 win at Charlotte on his resume.
Jimmie Johnson (+1800)—OK, this is a sentimental pick. Three years ago, a +1800 line on Jimmie Johnson would have unthinkable, but the current 104-race losing streak may be harder to overcome than the boulder that continually defeated Sisyphus. But Johnson has to win at least once during his farewell season. Doesn’t he?