Saturday, March 4, 2017

Final Atlanta Driver Ratings: 2017 Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500

Jimmie Johnson didn't look as good as Hendrick Motorsports teammates during practices.
Micah Roberts' Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Driver Ratings
Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500
Atlanta Motor Speedway
Sunday, March 5, 2017 - 2:46 pm ET

RATED DRIVER     ODDS                    PRACTICE 1          QUALIFIED        PRACTICE 2      ATLANTA '16*
 1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 12/1           26th                 12th               8th                 2nd
2004 winner, 11.6 avg finish in 29 starts; second-best 10-consecutive lap avg in final practice.
 2. Chase Elliott 12/1                   19th                 11th               1st                 8th 
Has car dialed in similar to teammate Earnhardt; top-10 finishes on six 1.5-mile tracks in 2016
 3, Brad Keselowski 8/1               10th                  5th                2nd                9th
Career-best third in 2012, ninth past two seasons; won twice on high-banked 1.5s during 2016.
 4, Ryan Newman 80/1                  1st                  2nd               6th                24th
No wins anywhere since 2013, but looks strong; best 10-consecutive laps avg in final practice
 5. Denny Hamlin 12/1                   8th                 10th               5th                16th
2012 winner 18th-place avg finish; best showing among all Toyotas during final practice.  
 6. Jimmie Johnson 5/1                21st                 18th              23rd                 1st
Five-time winner, including last two years. Not very good in practice, but never doubt him here.
 7. Kevin Harvick 6/1                    25th                  1st              27th                 6th
2001 winner, his first Cup win, but none since. Led race-high 131 laps in 2016, 679 in 26 starts..
 8. Kyle Busch 6/1                         3rd                  3rd               15th                 3rd
Two-time winner, the last in 2013, with 15.2 avg finish in 18 starts; won twice on 1.5s in 2016.
 9, Kyle Larson 12/1                      6th                   8th              10th                26th 
Eighth-place as rookie in 2014; closed out 2016 on final 1.5 track leading race-high 132 laps.
10. Jamie McMurray 100/1            2nd                  7th               12th               21st 
No top-5s in 23 career starts, 20.5 avg finish, but practiced extremely well; great long shot play.
11. Martin Truex Jr. 8/1                11th                  9th               25th                7th
Didn't practice well, but leading series-high 883 laps between 11 1.5-mile tracks matters.
12. Kurt Busch 6/1                       14th                 13th               3rd                 4th
Three-time winner with 769 laps led in 25 starts; has 6.7 avg finish over past seven starts.

Note: There were only two scheduled practice session with Saturday's final session being 80 minutes.

* Results from last years Atlanta Cup (Feb 28).

Opening odds courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

Micah Roberts, a former Las Vegas sports book director, has been setting auto racing odds in Las Vegas since 1994. 

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