The NASCAR Cup Series is back at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend for the Quaker State 400. Yep, “back.” Remember back to late March of earlier this year, and it was the Kyle Larson show here, as he won both Stages, led 269 laps, and absolutely dominated the field before Ryan Blaney grabbed the lead late by being able to preserve his tires better and ended up (somewhat) stealing the win. Atlanta is a high-wear 1.54-mile race track, with the other high-wear venues also raced at this season being Homestead and Darlington. After his win at Road America last weekend, Chase Elliott will lead the field to the green on Sunday, but the real question is, how fast will it take for Kyle Larson to get back out front?
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How the algorithm works: There are quite a few statistics that go into the Power Index formula, including recent performance both overall and at this week’s track specifically, similar track performance, projected strength of the car, practice speeds (when applicable), starting position, and a few other variables.
Before We Get To The Algorithm Results…Thoughts On A Couple Drivers
Tyler Reddick – This week, the algorithm has Tyler Reddick predicted to finish 18th in Sunday’s Quaker State 400 at Atlanta, which makes sense if you’re looking solely at his record at this track specifically: 16th his rookie year and 26th earlier this season in the first race. However, the upside with Reddick is much greater than 18th this weekend. In the 550hp package on intermediates this year, Reddick has posted finishes of 2nd (at Homestead), 7th (at Kansas), and 9th (at Charlotte). Additionally, this #8 team is on a roll right now, with three straight finishes of 11th or better, and nine results of 12th or better in the last eleven points-paying Cup Series races. Reddick has legitimate top 10 potential on Sunday.
Daniel Suarez – Another guy that I think is a bit under-valued by the algorithm this weekend is Daniel Suarez. Focusing on the 550hp intermediate tracks this year, Suarez finished 15th at Homestead, 17th in the first Atlanta race, 11th at Kansas, and 15th at Charlotte. He also had as 26th-place finish at Las Vegas. Here at Atlanta specifically, Suarez has only one finish worse than 21st, and that was last season when he was in that Gaunt Brothers Racing junk machine. His 10th-place finish here back in 2019 with Stewart-Haas is his best result so far. Suarez has top 15 potential on Sunday for sure.
Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Algorithm Predicted Finishing Order
|5.||Truex, Jr., Martin||36.46|
|14.||Stenhouse, Jr., Ricky||20.89|