The NASCAR Cup Series is back in Atlanta for the second time this season with the Quaker State 400. And for the last time, they will be racing on the oldest surface on the circuit. The last time the track at Atlanta Motor Speedway was resurfaced was 1997, and after this Sunday’s race, there will be major changes coming.
New and improved asphalt is a big part of the construction project, but also coming to AMS are new widths and banking angles. Currently, the track is 55 feet wide throughout. When construction starts next week, it will be narrowed to 52 feet on the front stretch, 42 feet on that back, and 40 feet in the turns. And those turns are going from 24 degrees of bank up to 28 degrees.
This year’s configuration of the speedway or next year’s, there is one favorite that everyone is watching.
Favorites to Win Quaker State 400
- Kyle Larson (+200)
- Kyle Busch (+750)
- Kevin Harvick (+800)
- Chase Elliott (+800)
- Denny Hamlin (+900)
- Ryan Blaney (+1000)
- Martin Truex, Jr. (+1000)
- William Byron (+1200)
- Joey Logano (+1200)
- Brad Keselowski (+1200)
The biggest headline involving Kyle Larson last week is that he didn’t win. But it was a road race, so he wasn’t the favorite. Now that we’re back on a speedway, he is once again the driver to beat. When the Cup Series first stopped in Atlanta in March, he was paying +650 and finished second. Since then, he has four wins and four second-place finishes, and he’s now paying +200.
The other Kyle is also drawing some betting heat for this weekend. Kyle Busch has finished in the top-three in each of the last three races, including a win at the Pocono 350 to end June. He also loves to race in Atlanta, with two wins, seven top-five finishes, and 10 top-10 finishes in 23 career starts. The last time Busch finished outside the top-seven in Atlanta was in 2017.
Chase Elliott is coming off a win at Road America, but so far this season, he’s only won on road courses. And prior to last week, he went three straight races with finishes of 39, 12, and 27. The +800 on Elliott is reflective of his win last week but not of his chances to win on Sunday.
If you’re looking for better value, give Ryan Blaney (+1000) a thought. He was the winner at Atlanta in March, and that followed up a fourth-place finish at the previous Atlanta race in 2020. Blaney was average last week, finishing in 20th. But he was sixth and fifth in two races at Pocono and finished fifth in Texas.
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