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

Coming out of Daytona, two things were clearly the lead stories once the checkered flag waved.  First, seeing Austin Dillon bring the No. 3 back to victory lane in the biggest race of the year, 17 years to the day after the sport lost Dale Earnhardt.  The second, the newest feud to hit the sport that started because of a wreck and a comment.

Now that the plates are no longer on the engines, that feud alone is heating up, but in ways that normally have nothing to do with the racing itself.

But, the focus needs to be on the racing because the second event of the season puts so much on the driver, simply because it’s a driver’s track.  Ever since it was redone between events in 1997, the Atlanta Motor Speedway has been fast, wide, and fun for every driver.  But now, going on over 20 years on the same surface, for many it’s even more fun since the worn out asphalt brings out the true driver.  In a sense, it’s almost like Atlanta is channeling the old surface of Darlington.

It may not be as rough as that old surface, but it has the same characteristic in that after just a few laps, tires are worn down, the track gets slick, and drivers have to ride a fine line between being in control, and sliding towards the barrier at the top of the speedway.

Not one driver wanted to have this surface redone after last season, and track owners heard those pleas, waiting another year until deciding if the surface will get redone again.

For now, the old asphalt is getting another triple-header weekend of action, as all three national series are taking to the track.  But the League members only have to worry about one race.  Here’s a look at who they decided on for victory in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500:

 

Misan Akuya:  Kevin Harvick

Gotta make up for last year.  After leading all those laps and not winning due to speeding on pit road, Harvick is out for redemption.

Rob Blount:  Martin Truex Jr.

No reason given.

Billy Fellin:  Chase Elliott

Dude is due.  Ran well at Daytona, feel like it’d be poetic for him to get his first Cup win at his home track.

Ashley Hobbs:  Kevin Harvick

Happy has a good history at Atlanta.  I’d like to see what that team is made of early on this season.

Ashley Hull:  Jimmie Johnson

No reason given.

Klarissa Mitchell:  Ryan Blaney

No reason given.

Dustin Parks:  Kyle Busch

The No. 18 car has always been a strong machine at this track dating back to when Bobby Labonte drove for Gibbs.  This is where Toyota got it’s first Cup victory, with Kyle Busch at the wheel.  I got a feeling the “candy man” is out for victory in the ATL.

Patti Rodisch:  Kevin Harvick

No reason given.

Sal Sigala Jr:  Brad Keselowski

No reason given.

Rob Tiongson:  Kyle Larson

It’s rare that I go with the same pick two races in a row. However, with a track that has a worn out surface and multiple racing grooves, Kyle Larson is my top choice.

Penny Whitecotton:  Kevin Harvick

No reason given.

 

Standings following Daytona:

Ashley Hull – 48 – Ryan Blaney finished 7th (0) 1

Rob Blount – 41 – Joey Logano finished 4th (0) 0

Misan Akuya – 21 – Jamie McMurray finished 16th (0) 0

Klarissa Mitchell – 21 – Jamie McMurray finished 16th (0) 0

Rob Tiongson – 18 – Kyle Larson finished 19th (0) 0

Ashley Hobbs – 10 – Kevin Harvick finished 31st (0) 0

Penny Whitecotton – 10 – Kevin Harvick finished 31st (0) 0

Dustin Parks – 7 – Chase Elliott finished 33rd (0) 0

Trisha Rodisch – 7 – Chase Elliott finished 33rd (0) 0

Billy Fellin – 5 – Brad Keselowski finished 32nd (0) 0

Sal Sigala Jr. – 5 – Brad Keselowski finished 32nd (0) 0

 

Summary of Picks:

Kevin Harvick-4

Ryan Blaney-1

Kyle Busch-1

Chase Elliott-1

Jimmie Johnson-1

Brad Keselowski-1

Kyle Larson-1

Martin Truex Jr-1

 

About Dustin Parks

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