On the heels of the busiest stretch in NASCAR history following the temporary COVID-19 shutdown, the Cup Series schedule will start to slow a little bit.
After five races in 14 days, stock car racing fans have had to wait an entire week before NASCAR’s best are back in action on Sunday.
From Brad Keselowski’s recent hot streak to Chase Elliott’s sudden penchant for the dramatic and everything in between, the past couple of weeks have set the bar excessively high for the remainder of the season.
The big question now is what happens next?
The NASCAR Cup Series resumes this Sunday with the Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500 from Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Without a scheduled Wednesday night race, we had a little more time to focus on what to expect this weekend.
Here is a closer look at the latest odds for the Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500.
Kevin Harvick +450
Harvick is coming off his worst two results of the season so far.
However, the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford has been dominant at Atlanta in recent years, so it’s no surprise he’s the betting favourite to win Sunday’s race.
Harvick has registered five straight top-10 finishes at Atlanta dating back to 2015, including winning the Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500 two years ago in 2018.
His 12 wins on 1.5-mile tracks dating back to 2013 are tied with Martin Truex Jr. for the most in the Cup Series.
Despite a relatively disappointing past two starts by his standards, Harvick has still finished in the top-10 in eight of nine events with a Cup Series-best 391-laps led this season.
The overall points leader should bounce back and contend on Sunday.
Next In Line
Chase Elliott +550
I can’t remember a driver experiencing a stretch as wild as what Elliott has endured over his last four starts.
The fact that those races happened so close together only added to the dramatics.
On May 20 at Darlington, Elliott was pushing for the outright lead when Kyle Busch wrecked him.
He officially placed 38th.
Four days later, Elliott looked like a lock to win at Charlotte, taking a nearly two-second lead with three laps to go.
Then teammate William Byron brought out a caution.
Elliott was ultimately forced to settle for runner-up.
Back at Charlotte on May 28, Elliott seemed to finally break through with his first victory of the season.
However, just three days later at Bristol, Elliott was challenging for the lead with three laps to go when he hit the wall after colliding with Joey Logano.
He officially finished 22nd.
So what’s next for the No. 9 Chevrolet?
Despite just the one win and some terrible luck, Elliott leads all drivers in Average Driver Rating (109.4), Average Running Position (7.7) and Quality Passes (661).
His 368 laps led ranks third among Cup Series drivers.
While his overall track record isn’t as good as Harvick, Elliott does have top-10 finishes in three of his four starts at Atlanta.
Considering he has been in contention to win every single race since the NASCAR season resumed, there isn’t really any reason to expect any different from Elliott on Sunday.
Kyle Busch +650
Busch hasn’t won a Cup Series race at Atlanta since 2013.
However, he does have top-10 finishes in three of his last five starts here.
He’s also produced top-five results in three of his last four starts overall.
Busch is still looking for his first victory of the 2020 season.
Considering he had three wins at this point last season, it’s safe to say that he is overdue.
With a pair of runner-up finishes already, perhaps this is the week the No. 18 Toyota finally gets back to Victory Lane.
Don’t Sleep On
Alex Bowman +750
Eventually, something has to give for the No. 88 Chevrolet.
Bowman’s 215 laps led at 1.5-mile tracks are the most among Cup Series drivers this season.
However, he’s yet to post a top-10 finish in any of those races.
Bowman ranks second behind only Harvick with 369 total laps led and he owns the fifth-best Average Driver Rating (99.8) in the Cup Series.
After placing no better than 18th over his last four starts, Bowman should be able to return to the top-10 at the very least this week.
Brad Keselowski +800
Keselowski benefited the most from Elliott’s bad breaks at Charlotte and Bristol over the past couple of weeks.
Still, it would be a mistake to think his success is based solely on luck.
Keselowski’s fifth-place average finish on 1.5-mile tracks this season is the best in the Cup Series.
He owns the third-best Average Driver Rating (102) this season behind only Elliott and Harvick.
He’s also accumulated the third most Quality Passes (585) behind only Elliott and Logano.
Did I mention Keselowski won last year’s Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500?
Martin Truex Jr. +800
As mentioned earlier, Truex is tied with Harvick for the most Cup Series wins at 1.5-mile tracks dating back to 2013.
He’s also finished eighth or better in seven of his last eight races at Atlanta.
After posting top-10 finishes in four of the five events since the NASCAR season resumed, Truex should be in contention once again in Atlanta on Sunday.
Clint Bowyer +2200
If you’re searching for value in this week’s race, then Bowyer might be a driver to consider.
He’s coming off his best finish of the season as the runner-up at Bristol.
He’s also posted back-to-back top-five finishes at Atlanta.
The No. 14 Ford is listed at +2200 to win outright on Sunday for a reason.
Still, Bowyer has the potential to surprise.
At the very least, a top-10 finish isn’t out of the question.
*All Betting Information appears as listed by Bodog on Friday, June 5, 2020.