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Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Preview

NASCARMedia.com

NASCAR

This weekend, NASCAR’s finest head to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. This is the second race of the 2017 season and the first under a new downforce package. In last year’s race, Jimmie Johnson began the drive for 7 championships here with a win at NASCAR’s fastest track.

New Rules Alert.: As noted above, this weekend’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 marks the debut of NASCAR’s new downforce package. The aero package will be lower from the 2,100 lbs used last year, to now 1,600 lbs. Additionally, rear deck fins are tapered to match spoiler height and splitter outboards are reduced by 3 inches.

Johnson Goes For Six Atlanta Wins.: Defending race winner Jimmie Johnson has shown a good spot for Atlanta in the past. On top of his 5 career wins at the track, he has 14 top 5’s and 16 top 10’s. Can the defending Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start the season strong again this weekend?

Young Stars Rising.: The Daytona 500 last weekend was the platform once again for young drivers to shine. Ryan Blaney surged to a runner up finish, while Chase Elliott nearly won before running out of fuel. Even surprises like Matt DiBenedetto had no problems dodging the chaos for a shock top 10. But, Atlanta is a different monster and this is a hometown race for Chase Elliott. Can he or the other rising stars take it to victory lane for the first time?

Ford The Win.: Stewart Haas Racing and Ford wasted no time starting their relationship with Kurt Busch’s win at the Daytona 500. However, the same partnership now looks to end Ford’s 8 year winless drought at Atlanta. It has been since Fall 2008 since Carl Edwards gave Ford it’s most recent win there. SHR has one win in the past ( September 2010 w/ Stewart) and Kurt Busch has 3 career wins at Atlanta.

Fantasy Insider.: This weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway marks the first true fantasy test for 2017. Here are some drivers to use, avoid, and even some sleepers to watch out for. Must use drivers include Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, and Kurt Busch. Sleepers include Aric Almirola, Paul Menard, Ryan Newman, and Ty Dillon. Must avoid drivers include Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer, Matt DiBenedetto, and Denny Hamlin.

When And Where To Watch.: The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 Starts Sunday at 2:30pm EST on your local FOX affiliate.