Saturday, February 24, 2018

Final Atlanta Driver Ratings: 2018 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

Ryan Newman had two really good days of practice and qualifying. Childress back-to-back weeks of winning?
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2018 - 1:16 PM ET (time change due to expected weather)

RATING   DRIVER   ODDS                      PRAC 1    QUALIFIED        PRAC 2   *ATL '17
 1. Kevin Harvick 9/2                    7th            3rd             23rd         9th   
 2. Denny Hamlin 12/1                  6th          12th               4th       38th
 3. Martin Truex Jr 9/2                10th          35th               2nd         8th
 4. Kyle Busch 6/1                       20th            1st              15th       16th
 5. Brad Keselowski 12/1            24th            5th             29th          1st
 6. Jimmie Johnson 12/1             16th         22nd               6th        19th
 7. Ryan Blaney 25/1                   25th         26th               8th        18th
 8. Clint Bowyer 20/1                  11th            9th               9th        11th
 9. Kyle Larson 9/2                       2nd            8th              19th        2nd
10. Paul Menard 200/1                15th          15th               3rd        25th
11. Chase Elliott 8/1                     29th           27th            28th          5th
12. Ryan Newman 100/1             12th            2nd               1st        35th
13. Joey Logano 12/1                     9th           16th               5th          6th
14. Daniel Suarez 60/1                 13th             4th              13th       21st
15. Kurt Busch 30/1                     21st             7th              20th         7th

* Results from the March 5, 2017 Cup race at Atlanta.

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.


Kevin Harvick gets the top rating not only because of dominating this race last season, leading the most laps (971) at Atlanta among active drivers or using a chassis that won at Texas in November. He also had a pretty good set of practices where he used his same bag of regular Atlanta tricks sticking to the yellow line near the apron. It works well for him. And with not much changes to the 2018 Cup cars and Harvick getting top-five finishes in four of the five 2017 playoff races on 1.5-mile tracks, he's got the most attractive resume for Atlanta.

Denny Hamlin got a boost in his rating after posting the best 10-consecutive lap average in both practices. His car is ready to roll just like it closed out 2017 with top-five finishes in six of his final seven starts on 1.5-mile tracks. Gibbs teammate Kyle Busch is almost as good and Daniel Suarez is also someone to keep an eye on.

Chase Elliott won't be as bad as he practiced or qualified and Ryan Newman won't be as good as he practiced or qualified -- just my opinion. Paul Menard in the No. 21 showed lots of speed and I'm expecting them to have a good run after having the third best 10-consecutive lap average during the second practice.

I also like a couple veterans to have a good showing Sunday -- or Monday since it's expected to rain. Clint Bowyer has something cooking similar to his teammate Harvick and Jimmie Johnson loves this old abrasive asphalt at Atlanta.

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