According to DraftKings, Kyle Busch has the best odds to take the Quaker State 400 on July 9. He sits at 10-1, which puts him just ahead of defending Quaker State 400 winner Chase Elliott (11-1), Ryan Blaney (12-1), defending spring Atlanta winner Joey Logano (12-1), William Byron (14-1), Denny Hamlin (14-1), and Brad Keselowski (14-1).
Busch has two career wins at the Georgia track, both of which were on the previous configuration. He won the spring race in 2008 and then returned to Victory Lane during the lone Atlanta race in 2013.
The first season of the mini-superspeedway configuration was not what Busch wanted. He crashed and finished 33rd in the first Cup Series race and then he finished 20th overall in the summer. His lone start at Atlanta Motor Speedway since the move to Richard Childress Racing resulted in a top-10 finish.
Multiple Drivers Have Atlanta Wins
Busch is not the only driver near the top of the DraftKings’ odds that has previous success at the Georgia track. Elliott, in particular, narrowly beat out Ross Chastain (16-1), Erik Jones (30-1), Austin Cindric (20-1), and Blaney in what was a hectic finish.
Of course, Blaney won the final spring race at Atlanta Motor Speedway before the reconfiguration while Byron won the first spring race after the major change. Logano is the most recent winner at the 1.540-mile track after he beat out Keselowski, who was trying to win for the third time.
Hamlin also has a win of his own at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which he delivered 11 years before Sunday’s race. He captured the September race at the Georgia track and celebrated in Victory Lane after leading 105 laps in the No. 11 Toyota.
Like Busch, Hamlin has experienced highs and lows since the track underwent a massive reconfiguration. He finished 25th in the summer 2022 race after getting caught up in back-to-back incidents, but he finished sixth in the spring 2023 race after securing bonus points in the first two stages.
A Wild Card Could Stun the Field
The July 9 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway has a recipe for chaos. It’s a primetime event at a track that races like a superspeedway, and it’s one of eight races remaining before the start of the playoffs. Oh, and the forecast calls for thunderstorms and rain.
The Atlanta race is one that could deliver wild results. It is entirely possible that a winless driver could break through and shake up the playoffs. After all, Corey LaJoie was in a position to do so during the 2022 race before a Chase Elliott block and contact with the wall led to him crashing.
Some of the names looking for wins in 2023 include rookie Bubba Wallace (25-1), Noah Gragson (60-1), Harrison Burton (80-1), Cole Custer (60-1), Todd Gilliland (60-1), Justin Haley (50-1), Austin Dillon (40-1), LaJoie (35-1), Daniel Suarez (35-1), Aric Almirola (30-1), and rookie Ty Gibbs (22-1).
All of these drivers have the ability to contend for a win with skills behind the wheel. They could easily do so once again if their respective teams bring the right setup for the plate race. Custer winning would not disrupt the playoff picture due to his full-time Xfinity Series schedule, but the other drivers could make the final seven races of the regular season even more intriguing.