Fantasy NASCAR Preview: Atlanta

Fantasy NASCAR Preview: Atlanta

The Daytona 500 has come and gone and it’s time to head to Hampton, Georgia for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Atlanta’s aged surface allows the drivers to slide around and really “wheel” the cars more than some other 1.5 mile tracks allow. Drivers love worn-out surfaces and fans do too. It should be exciting to see everyone race hard for points at the ends of the Stages as well as the race itself.

Contenders:

This list, as well as my fantasy team, starts with Kevin Harvick. In the past five races at Atlanta, Harvick has led an astonishing 543 laps. Although he hasn’t won there since his emotional maiden victory in 2001, Harvick will still be fast on race day and will likely have the car to beat.

Jimmie Johnson is the active winningest driver at Atlanta and has won this race two years running. He, like Harvick, should be considered a favorite.

Value Picks:

Kasey Kahne has a solid track record at Atlanta with three career victories. Kahne is starting deep in the field (29th) and could earn you a nice haul of points on place differential.

Like Kahne, Erik Jones starts fairly deep in the field in 23rd. Furniture Row Racing showed elite speed on 1.5 mile tracks last year and Jones could provide you excellent value.

Ones to Watch:

Ryan Newman has been extremely quick all weekend and will start second. While place differential will be limited, he should be quick during the race and might be able to provide some solid value to your roster as well. Kyle Larson’s dirt racing roots give him an affinity for sliding around and that might be crucial today. He’s an interesting option and one you should consider for your roster.

Bottom Line:

Harvick and Newman have been the among best cars this weekend, but anything can happen. Each of the drivers I mentioned should be good additions to your team. I consider Harvick and Johnson must-owns if your salary cap allows for it.

Disclaimer: Remember, these are just my opinions as far as who I think will perform well and you should still do your own research before setting your team. At the end of the day, you’re responsible for your own team and remember: anything can happen in racing.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Huff (apertureone.net)