DFS NASCAR: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

DFS NASCAR: Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.

Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500

Location: Hampton, Ga.
Course: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Format: 1.5-mile quad-oval
Laps: 325

Race Preview

Martin Truex Jr. swept past Joey Logano on the outside last week at Phoenix to win his first race of the season. It was the second win for Joe Gibbs Racing this season, which has been one of the three quickest teams every week so far this year. His win marked the fifth race to be won by a different driver in as many races this season. Neither Brad Keselowski nor Kevin Harvick have won yet this year, and those two have split the last four Atlanta Motor Speedway wins. Both drivers will start in the top 10 this week, along with four other drivers who have yet to win in 2021. 

Harvick won last year's Atlanta visit in June. He started ninth and led the most laps. Truex was next on the lap leader board that day and finished third behind teammate Kyle Busch. Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin finished out the top five. This week's race is the last one before drivers test the dirt and then take a much-needed one-week break. 

Key Stats at Atlanta Motor Speedway

  • Number of races: 113
  • Winners from pole: 14
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 62
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 88
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 8
  • Fastest race: 166.633 mph

Previous 10 Atlanta Winners

2020 - Kevin Harvick
2019 - Brad Keselowski
2018 - Kevin Harvick
2017 - Brad Keselowski
2016 - Jimmie Johnson
2015 - Jimmie Johnson
2014 - Kasey Kahne
2013 - Kyle Busch
2012 - Denny Hamlin
2011 - Jeff Gordon

Atlanta Motor Speedway has one of the oldest surfaces on the calendar. The track produces very high speeds, which degrades tires very quickly. Drivers will need to find the lane in which their cars work best and which is easiest on tires. Running high and against the wall will be one of the best way to preserve grip as long as possible. The lap speeds on fresh tires will be significantly faster than those later in the stints. Any chance for drivers to head to pit lane for fresh rubber will be taken, and that limits the ability of teams off the pace to use pit strategy to get ahead. As the race wears on, track position will be a significant factor, and late cautions could upend an otherwise smartly run race. However, the 1.5-mile oval has produced just 10 cautions in the last three races. The long green-flag runs will separate those who can manage grip the best.

DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kevin Harvick - $11,000
Kyle Busch - $10,700
Kyle Larson - $10,400
Brad Keselowski - $10,200

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Chase Elliott - $9,800
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,600
Joey Logano - $9,400
Ryan Blaney - $9,200

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Alex Bowman - $8,800
Tyler Reddick - $8,400
Kurt Busch - $8,300
Aric Almirola - $8,000

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Christopher Bell - $7,800
Bubba Wallace - $7,400
Austin Dillon - $7,300
Ross Chastain - $6,600

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Larson - $10,400
Joey Logano - $9,400
Kurt Busch - $8,300
Aric Almirola - $8,000
Bubba Wallace - $7,400
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,300

Kyle Larson (DK $10,400, FD $12,500) does not come with the hefty price of Harvick this week, which is a bit surprising considering how fast he has been each week so far. He led 142 laps in his last series start at the track, starts fifth and has two top-fives on the two 1.5-mile ovals raced already this year. Were it not for bad luck, Logano (DK $9,400, FD $11,300) might have a few wins already this season. He lost another one last week when Truex passed him on the final restart. Logano may not be the favorite Penske Racing driver this weekend but he was 10th in this race last season and starts third. Kurt Busch (DK $8,300, FD $10,700) was fast on old pavement earlier last month at Homestead Miami Speedway and has three prior wins at Atlanta. He finished sixth in this race last season and hasn't finished lower than eighth in the last five races at the track. Harvick's teammate Aric Almirola (DK $8,000, FD $8,000) could be a value choice this week, too. He has the benefit of Harvick's advice and has two prior top-10 Atlanta finishes, including an eighth-place finish in 2019. Bubba Wallace (DK $7,400, FD $6,000) still has some growing to do with his new team, but the potential appears to be there initially. He has the 15th-place starting position for Sunday's race and should be in store for his best finish at the track after picking up a 16th-place finish and racing strongly one week ago at Phoenix. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (DK $6,300, FD $6,500) makes another interesting option. He has been a reliable top-15 finisher at Atlanta with four in the last five races there. He starts 12th Sunday and hasn't finished lower than 13th in the last three weeks.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Brad Keselowski - $10,200
Chase Elliott - $9,800
Tyler Reddick - $8,400
Christopher Bell - $7,800
Ryan Newman - $7,100
Ross Chastain - $6,600

Penske Racing's speed has been evident this season, but work needs to continue for long runs. Keselowski (DK $10,200, FD $13,000) will start fourth this week, which is where he finished in Phoenix,  and has won two of the last four Atlanta races. He also has top-10 finishes in each of the last six at the track. Defending series champion Chase Elliott (DK $9,800, FD $12,000) has yet to visit Victory Lane this season, but a trip home may be an extra boost for him. He starts fifth this week and led 26 laps before finishing eighth in last year's race. Tyler Reddick (DK $8,400, FD $7,500) only has one series start at this track, but he was exceptionally fast and finished second at Homestead. Atlanta's surface is rough like Homestead's, and that could signal another above average race for Reddick. Christopher Bell (DK $7,800, FD $9,500) already has three top-10s and a win this season. He will start eighth on Sunday and should be able to better his finish of 18th from last season. The Roush Fenway Racing teammates were surprisingly competitive at Homestead, and Ryan Newman (DK $7,100, FD $6,000) grabbed a seventh-place finish. Fantasy players might be able to expect the same from them this week on a similar surface, and Chris Buescher would be an equally good choice for rosters. Ross Chastain (DK $6,600, FD $5,500) may not be a favorite for the win Sunday, but he should be expected to snag another top-20 finish this weekend. He will start 21st and was 17th at Homestead. He has two series starts at Atlanta, but this will be his first with Chip Ganassi Racing.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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