It was a mistake, plain and simple. If Kevin Harvick had taken on just two new tires on his final pit stop, as the rest of the leaders did, as opposed to taking on four new tires, he would have won in Phoenix. His team made the miscalculation with just three laps of racing remaining. It was too little time for Harvick, even running slightly faster on the new set of tires.
He lost, William Byron won for the second consecutive week, and NASCAR has now ended the west coast start to its Cup Season by moving across the country to Atlanta.
Favorites to Win Ambetter Health 400
William Byron (+900)
Kyle Busch (+1200)
Kyle Larson (+1200)
Ross Chastain (+1200)
Joey Logano (+1200)
Ryan Blaney (+1200)
Denny Hamlin (+1400)
Christopher Bell (+1400)
Alex Bowman (+1600)
Brad Keselowski (+1800)
Bubba Wallace (+1800)
Atlanta gave us a wild race last spring – 46 lead changes and 13 cautions – as the repaving of Atlanta Motor Speedway caused it to race much faster and wide open. The winner last spring was William Byron, who comes into Ambetter Health 400 riding a two-race winning streak. Naturally he is the Ambetter Health 400 favorite, and a much-deserved one at that.
Kyle Busch had wins in Atlanta in 2008 and 2013, and he was the Ambetter Health 400 runner-up in 2021. But in the two races last year on the remade Atlanta Motor Speedway he finished 20th and 33rd.
Ross Chastain was the runner-up in both of the Atlanta races last year and he led for a total of 75 laps. He was only 24th in Phoenix last week, but he was ninth at Daytona and third in Fontana. He could very easily get a victory on Sunday.
Ryan Blaney is also one of the favorites to keep an eye on. He has led laps in five of the last six races in Atlanta for a total of 85 laps. He was a winner here in 2021 and he has four top-five finishes at this track since 2020. It’s also worth noting that Blaney just finished as the runner-up in Phoenix.
Best Value Bets
Chase Briscoe has been consistent at Atlanta, finishing 15th and 16th in the two races last season. But he’s coming off a seventh-place finish in Phoenix, he’s a driver on the rise, and a top-five finish this week pays +850. An outright win pays +3300.
Those are the same odds you can get for Erik Jones, who loves drafting tracks like Atlanta. He has finished in the top-10 in three of the last five drafting tracks, which includes a fourth-place Ambetter Health 400 finish here last July. At +850 for a top-five Ambetter Health 400 finish makes him an excellent value play.
Pay Per Head Software
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