The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season continues today with the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Read on below to see my prediction for who will win the race, as well as my top 10, dark horse, and driver to fade predictions.
Winner: Denny Hamlin- Hamlin has struggled so far in 2022, as he is still looking for his first top 10 of the season. He’s shown speed in every race, but pit road penalties and being in the wrong place at the wrong time have been his demise thus far. Hamlin has had past success at Atlanta, with 1 win, 6 top 5’s, and 9 top 10’s in 23 career starts. Hamlin was also fast in Practice, with the fastest 10, 15, and 20 Lap Average Speeds. Joe Gibbs Racing as a whole has gotten off to a slow start in 2022, bur this just feels like their type of race today. Denny Hamlin will bring home his first win of the season today at Atlanta!
Top 10: Kyle Busch- After a down year in 2021 by Kyle Busch standards, Busch has gotten off to a blistering start in 2022, with 1 top 5, 3 top 10’s, and a worst finish of 14th across the first 4 races. A two-time Atlanta winner, Busch has had 3 straight top 5’s and 5 straight top 10’s at this track and unloaded off the truck yesterday with a rocket ship, consistently running as one of the fastest cars across the short run and the long run in Practice. Kyle Busch is a lock for a top 10 finish.
Dark Horse: Daniel Suarez- Suarez has gotten off to a nice start in 2022, with 1 top 5 and 2 top 10’s in 4 starts. Although he has just 1 top 10 in 6 career Atlanta starts, Suarez looked bad fast in Practice, consistently running in the top 10 for 5, 10, and 15 Lap Average Speeds. Trackhouse Racing has come to play this season and has looked strong across the first month of racing. A win is always on the peripheral, but I predict that Suarez will bring home his 3rd top 10 finish of the season.
Driver to Fade: Brad Keselowski- A two-time Atlanta winner, Keselowski has struggled since his move to Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing this season, finishing outside the top 20 in each of the last 3 races. Keselowski was consistently slow on both short run and long run speed in Practice yesterday and it still appears he is going through the learning stages with his new team. Keselowski will not be a threat today and will finish outside the top 20.