After ushering in a new era last weekend at Road America, the NASCAR Cup Series will close the book on another this Sunday. For the first time since 2010, Atlanta Motor Speedway welcomes the premier stock car racing circuit back for a second race weekend. After losing its second event to Kentucky Speedway, the Hampton, Georgia track has reclaimed it starting this season. However, Sunday afternoon’s Quaker State 400 will mark the final race on the current track surface and configuration. Speedway officials announced that the track will be repaved for the first time in 25 years following this weekend’s race. It will also undergo a reconfiguration and renovation, including raising the banking in the turns. With an eye on NASCAR betting specifically, a casino is also one of the rumored additions to the Atlanta Motor Speedway grounds.
Graphic from Atlanta. Repave and reconfiguration work begins Monday. pic.twitter.com/ROMVHzLYkT
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) July 6, 2021
For now, the aged, tire-eating surface that many fans have grown to love is still the focus of this week’s NASCAR betting handicap. Along with historical stats and data, we also have an in-season data point to work with, referring to this spring’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. The following outlines some of the best NASCAR picks for Sunday’s Quaker State 400 race. Analysis of the top outright odds to win is also included.
Quaker State 400 Best Bets
The following sections detail the top NASCAR betting picks for Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Top 10 Finish: Kurt Busch (+105 at DraftKings)
Momentum is a real thing in NASCAR, like any other sport. Kurt Busch is right up there with NASCAR betting favorite Kyle Larson at this point in the season. His fourth-place finish at Road America last week marked his fourth top-10 in the last five points races. Busch has raced his way into the top-16 in the NASCAR Cup Series points standings and would qualify for the postseason as it stands today. Considering all of the bad luck and horrendous finishes the No. 1 team endured earlier this season, the points standings greatly reflect how well they have been running.
In addition to momentum, there is a lot to love about Busch’s stats and history at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He ranks fourth among all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers with an average finish of 10.8 over the last ten races at the Georgia track. Given the rough surface, drivers must find the balance between maintaining speed and taking care of the tires. The veteran Busch is one of the best at doing so. He won this very race the last two years it was held in Atlanta in 2009 and 2010. While it was still a 500-mile distance in those years, Busch also found victory lane in the Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway in 2019. Both race and track history are on his side. Look for Busch to be among the top-10 finishers on Sunday.
Race Matchup: Tyler Reddick (+105 at Fox Bet) vs. Austin Dillon
This head-to-head matchup pits the two Richard Childress Racing teammates against one another. While neither Tyler Reddick nor Austin Dillon has won a race this season, both have run very well in the majority of starts. Each is currently positioned to qualify for the NASCAR Playoffs on points if the season ended today. All that being said, Reddick has the momentum advantage coming into the Quaker State 400. He is not known for his ability to run on road courses, yet he qualified well, scored his first stage win, and finished in the top-10 at Road America last weekend.
Reddick’s patented maneuver on the track is running the high line. He did this very effectively at another rough track, Homestead-Miami Speedway, on his way to a runner-up finish earlier this season. While Atlanta Motor Speedway has differing dimensions than Homestead, the improvements Reddick and the No. 8 team have been making this season speak for themselves. He has now finished 11th or better in each of the last three races. With this being his second start at Atlanta this season, look for Reddick to make the necessary adjustments to beat out his teammate, Dillon, once again.
Best Finish in Group D: Ross Chastain (+270 at DraftKings)
Like his Chip Ganassi Racing teammate in Kurt Busch, Ross Chastain has been very fast for several weeks. He once again displayed his ability to run well on road courses, scoring a top-10 finish at Road America last weekend. The No. 42 car has quietly been making a push of its own to be among those in the hunt for a spot in the playoffs. At +270 odds, Chastain is well worth a look to win Group D in the Quaker State 400.
— Chip Ganassi Racing (@CGRTeams) July 4, 2021
In his first start at Atlanta driving for CGR this spring, Chastain scored a slid 14th-place finish. That was before either of the Ganassi teams really hit their stride. His three opponents in Group D include Austin Dillon (+170), Aric Almirola (+300), and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (+300). Dillon has largely struggled at this track during his NASCAR Cup Series career, although he did finish sixth in the spring. While Almirola and Stenhouse have more respectable stats in terms of average finish, neither can claim to have Chastain’s momentum or equipment power in recent weeks. We’ll back both Chip Ganassi drivers among this week’s NASCAR betting picks.
NASCAR Betting Odds to Win | Atlanta
The table below offers a comparison of the NASCAR betting odds to win the Quaker State 400 across three major U.S. sportsbooks. The top 20 drivers in terms of odds are included.
|Martin Truex Jr.||+1000||+1000||+1000|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||+10000||+12500||+10000|
Favorite: Kyle Larson (+225)
Why wouldn’t Kyle Larson be a massive Quaker State 400 betting favorite? Don’t be fooled by his second-place finish in the spring Atlanta race. Larson absolutely dominated the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. Only on an extended green flag run was Ryan Blaney able to track him down and get by him in the closing laps to steal the win. Larson leads all drivers with four victories on the season and has finished top-2 in seven of the last nine points races. Add in his All-Star Race victory, and that number becomes eight out of ten. He was on his way to winning another one of those at Pocono before a last-lap flat tire saw him wind up ninth. The No. 5 car has been dominant all season long. Based on what we saw in the spring, Larson could very well destroy the field on Sunday.
Hendrick Motorsports driver Alex Bowman sits just behind his teammate, Kyle Larson, with three wins this season. Although he hasn’t dominated any race in terms of laps led, Bowman seems to have a way of being there when it counts. His most recent victory came courtesy of Larson’s flat tire on the final lap of the first Pocono race. All four Hendrick cars have been the class of the field this season, and the No. 48 has been no exception. He finished third at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the spring race. In terms of a value bet to win the Quaker State 400, he’s a great option.
Longshot Hopeful: Kurt Busch (+3300 at FOX Bet)
We documented the recent momentum and promising history that Kurt Busch brings with him to Atlanta above. For those looking to take a shot on an outright winner this week, it’s hard to beat the No. 1 car. While he has climbed into the top-16 on points, Busch would certainly love to remove all doubt and lock himself into the playoff field with a victory.
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