The NASCAR Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 will take place this weekend from the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. On the heels of Kurt Busch's huge win at the Daytona 500, NASCAR fans will now switch gears to Atlanta as drivers prep for race number two of the season.
According to NBC Sports, Kevin Harvick is the favorite to win this weekend's Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, but it has been quite a while since Harvick has tasted victory at the Atlanta Speedway. In fact the Atlanta Speedway has been one of the few tracks where Harvick has not done very well.
Entering his fourth season with Stewart-Haas Racing, Harvick prepares to return to Atlanta this weekend for the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500, the scene where he earned his first win of his career. Since that win back in March of 2001, Harvick has won 94 races, but he hasn't claimed the checkered flag at the Atlanta Speedway since.
While he loves the track, Harvick wants to change the results this Sunday.
"It's definitely one of my favorite racetracks and we've led a ton of laps there," said Harvick, who has led 679 laps at Atlanta.
"For whatever reason, on Sundays, we haven't been able to put the finishing touches on it. Fridays and Saturdays in the Truck Series and the Xfinity Series, we've won a ton of races but, hopefully, we can end that Cup Series streak this weekend."After the initial win back in 2001, Harvick has failed to finished better than 19th in 11 of his next 12 Atlanta starts. That is an insane stat for a driver that is nearing 100 career victories.
"You can't ever win the first one twice," Harvick said in a team release.
"To come back here and know everything that was attached to that first win is something you look back on and realize the magnitude of the situation. I guess the second thing is I can't believe we haven't won there since."Harvick may not have had much luck at capturing the checkered flag in Atlanta since 2001, but Las Vegas experts have him listed as the man to beat this Sunday. Harvick is currently sitting at the top of the Vegas odds board at +450. Two reasons he may be sitting so high are his great finish last week at Daytona (4th overall) and he finished second in this race last year - his best finish at the ATL Speedway since 2001.
Behind Harvick is Joey Logano at +550, followed by the 2015 winner Jimmie Johnson (+650), Kyle Busch at +700 and rounding out the top five favorites is Carl Edwards at +800. Jimmy Johnson looks like a solid play in Atlanta for the upcoming Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 race.
With his win last year, Johnson became the first driver to repeat here in Atlanta since Bobby Labonte accomplished the feat in 1997. A Johnson three-peat is not that far out of the question as he seems to perform well at the Atlanta Speedway.
How about Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin?
Hamlin will attempt to carry over his momentum from his incredible photo finish victory at the Daytona 500 last Sunday afternoon. Hamlin is sitting at a nice +900 heading into this Sunday's race.
Another driver to consider this week is Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Junior finished third in the race last year and will be looking to rebound after a disappointing day at Daytona. Add to that, he is at a solid +1000 on the Vegas odds board and he is worth taking a shot on.
The 2017 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 will take place on Sunday, March 5 from the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. The race will be aired live on FOX nationally and will also stream live through the FOX Sports Go App. The start of the race is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET. Fans can see a complete list of odds for the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 by clicking here.
[Featured Image by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images]