NASCAR: 5 drivers most likely to win the Quaker State 400 at Atlanta

Quaker State 400, Atlanta, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Quaker State 400, Atlanta, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

Atlanta Motor Speedway is set to host its second race of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season and its fourth race since the repave and reconfiguration.

The Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart is scheduled to get the second half of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season underway this Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The four-turn, 1.54-mile (2.478-kilometer) Hampton, Georgia oval is set to become the first venue to host multiple Cup Series races this season. Team Penske’s Joey Logano won the race there back in March.

Following the repave and reconfiguration of the track ahead of the 2022 season, races at Atlanta Motor Speedway have been a lot more along the lines of “wild card” races like we see at the other superspeedways.

This style of racing is effectively an equalizer, and as a result, there is no clear favorite, with nobody listed with shorter odds than +1000 to win Sunday’s 260-lap race.

DraftKings Sportsbook, which is currently offering fans who sign up and bet $5 an instant $150, has a three-way tie for the fifth spot behind the top four, a top four which are barely separated from one another.

Here are the favorites to win Sunday’s Quaker State 400 NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, according to the odds.

There is perhaps no way better to describe how unique the 2023 season has been than the fact that Kyle Busch is a favorite to win a superspeedway race. In February, he led the scheduled final lap of the Daytona 500, and in April, he earned his first superspeedway race since 2008 at Talladega Superspeedway. His move to Richard Childress Racing has certainly paid off thus far.

Is he worthy of being the favorite, however? Atlanta Motor Speedway definitely drives a lot more like a superspeedway now than a regular 1.5-mile oval, but it is still quite different than Daytona International Speedway and Talladega. Busch has been a huge critic of the racing style and has posted an average finish of 21.0 since the repave.

Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott is the reigning winner of this race and is currently riding a streak of three straight top five finishes. While he can still get into the playoffs on points, a win would make things a whole lot easier.

A second straight summer win at his home race track — and really second straight overall win at the track, since he didn’t compete in the March race with a broken leg — would make an eighth straight playoff berth that much better.

Speaking of second straight wins, don’t count out March winner Logano. Teammate Ryan Blaney has also historically excelled in superspeedway races, and he is the only other Ford driver with a win this season. Can he become the first driver to win both at old and new Atlanta?

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The Quaker State 400 Presented by Walmart is scheduled to be broadcast live on USA Network from Atlanta Motor Speedway beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 9. Be sure to begin a free trial of FuboTV now and don’t miss it!