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Horsepower Fantasy Racing: Picks for the Folds Of Honor QuikTrip 500

Change is constant.  It happens every day, every moment, and can instantly make things quite a bit different.  A couple of those moments happened a year ago when NASCAR, after listening to the drivers, decided to do some experimenting.

This Gen-6 car has seen three different ideas for aerodynamics outside of the plate speedways.  A year ago, the package seemed to work in theory, but thanks to reduced horsepower it caused an issue where momentum can easily be taken away when the leader gets in clean air.  Drivers could see it, and they wanted to see what would happen if NASCAR listened to their ideas.

On two occasions, the sanctioning body decided to experiment, and made some changes.  The spoiler was shortened, the splitter was given a smaller edge, and the radiator pan was cut down.  On two occasions, this package was given a test run and the tracks were entirely different.  One was newer, only seeing Cup competition for a few seasons.  The other, older, worn in, and one of the staples of the sport.

But both times, the package was met with rave reviews, excited drivers, and intense racing.

NASCAR saw this, and made the call to add this design package to the 2016 cars, and immediately it was met with praise.  A 3.5-inch tall spoiler, 1/4-inch splitter edge, and 33-inch radiator pan are what the cars are equipped with for this season, and the first test they get is at a track that has been worn in, and has not seen new asphalt in nearly 20 years.  There will be some sliding, along with high speeds, plus multiple grooves.

There is a reason they call it “Hot-Lanta” and it is responsible for breaking in the new look package.  The spectacle of Daytona is over, and now the Atlanta Motor Speedway is ready to get rolling with the second race of the season.

Every writer is looking forward to seeing what these cars will do in their new looks, and each have their own idea of who is going to figure it out first.  Let’s take a look at the current standings after last weekend, plus a summary of this League’s picks to win Sunday’s Folds Of Honor QuikTrip 500:

 

Misan Akuya:  Jimmie Johnson

Do I need to explain myself?  Won this race and both Texas races last year.  Different package.  But I expect similar results out of this 48 team.

Rob Blount:  Joey Logano

No reason given.

Mary Jo Buchanan:  Carl Edwards

Cousin Carl at Hot-Lanta!

Stephen Conley:  Carl Edwards

No reason given.

Billy Fellin:  Kevin Harvick

Harvick is just good at Atlanta. He had top-10s in 8 of his last 11 Atlanta starts, including second last season.

Ashley Hobbs:  Jimmie Johnson

No reason given.

Ashley Hull:  Jimmie Johnson

No reason given.

Kara Martin:  Kevin Harvick

No reason given.

Ashley McCubbin:  Kyle Busch

No reason given.

Klarissa Mitchell:  Martin Truex Jr.

Lost by inches last week.  Pretty sure he will ride the momentum into Atlanta!

Dustin Parks:  Carl Edwards

Last season when the new low-downforce package was run, both races were won by JGR.  I’m sticking with that group and going with the last winner to run this set of rules, the man that won the Southern 500.

Patti Rodisch:  Kevin Harvick

The king of intermediates the last few season will look to continue his dominate performances at Atlanta this weekend. Look for Harvick to win his first race of 2016 on Sunday.

Sal Sigala Jr:  Kyle Busch

No reason given.

Rob Tiongson:  Joey Logano

NASCAR’s making its season debut at the intermediates and who was one of the best racers at these tracks last year?  Joey Logano – I’m thinking that this is the time for the No. 22 car to be No. 1!

 

Standings following Daytona:

Ashley Hull (45) Denny Hamlin WON – 1

Rob Tiongson (45) Denny Hamlin WON – 1

Dustin Parks (39) Kyle Busch finished 3rd – 0

Sal Sigala Jr (39) Kyle Busch finished 3rd – 0

Ashley McCubbin (26) Jimmie Johnson finished 16th – 0

Misan Akuya (24) Jamie McMurray finished 17th – 0

Klarissa Mitchell (24) Jamie McMurray finished 17th – 0

Rob Blount (6) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 36th – 0

Mary Jo Buchanan (6) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 36th – 0

Stephen Conley (6) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 36th – 0

Billy Fellin (6) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 36th – 0

Ashley Hobbs (6) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 36th – 0

Kara Martin (6) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 36th – 0

Patti Rodisch (6) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 36th – 0

 

Summary of Picks:

Carl Edwards-3

Kevin Harvick-3

Jimmie Johnson-3

Kyle Busch-2

Joey Logano-2

Martin Truex Jr.-1

About Dustin Parks

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