NASCAR Cup Series 2021 Race at Atlanta Motor Speedway: Preview and Prediction

Published 03/20/2021, 4:30 PM EDT
Mar 14, 2021; Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski (2) leads the way at the start of the NASCAR Instacart 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports


The NASCAR Cup Series field moves to the Atlanta Motor Speedway this Sunday for another showdown on a 1.5-mile track. After a stunning start to the season with three surprise winners in the first three races, wins by Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. have restored some normalcy.

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The regular winners are looking to make the most of their experience and skill, with the race for the playoffs gathering pace rather quickly. Starting on the pole this weekend is Denny Hamlin, with his teammate gaining front row honors after his latest win.

Hamlin has been the most consistent driver so far this season, with four top-5 finishes already. It seems the win is not far away for the Joe Gibbs Racing superstar, and Atlanta, where he has a good record, is a great opportunity for him.

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Truex Jr has also shown consistent speed all season and he has all the momentum towards his side heading into Sunday’s race.

Mar 14, 2021; Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (19) celebrates after winning the NASCAR Instacart 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Can Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick return to winning ways?

Truex and Hamlin’s JGR teammate, Kyle Busch has also endured some frustration with his car so far, and with two wins in Atlanta, Busch will look at the race as a good opportunity to bag an early win in 2021.

One of the bigger surprises this season has been the form of Kevin Harvick. The driver, who won nine races last year, has not looked close to his best so far and has struggled to return consistently top performances.

His crew chief, Rodney Childers, recently said that the change in certain rules has affected their speed quite a bit, and they are working towards the same. Atlanta thus comes at the right time for the no. 4 driver, who has three wins at the track.

Mar 7, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick (4) and driver William Byron (24) lead the field for the start of the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Which other drivers have a chance in the NASCAR Cup Series race in Atlanta?

Brad Keselowski has won two of the last four races at Atlanta and has looked good for wins in multiple races already this year. Team Penske is always a force to reckon with and Keselowski could give them that win they are looking for.

His teammate, Ryan Blaney, has also found some decent form lately and he can spring a surprise on Sunday. Amidst all this, Kurt Busch is always a threat at Atlanta and he equals Harvick’s record with three wins at the track. He will look to bolster Chip Ganassi Racing’s chances with a big run.

Meanwhile, the Hendrick cars are on a roll in 2021. They already have two wins, courtesy of Kyle Larson and William Byron, and with every race, Chase Elliott will keep getting hungrier to keep up with his stellar run from last season.

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Feb 21, 2021; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Christopher Bell (20) leads the field during the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

All in all, the race expects to be another thrilling one. The last few races have produced some impressive on-track battles, and the drivers would certainly be keen to go into next week’s much-awaited Bristol dirt race with a win under their belt.

PREDICTION: Brad Keselowski to win at Atlanta Motor Speedway

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DIVE DEEPER

Weather Conditions for NASCAR Cup Series 2021 Race at Atlanta: Will Rain Play Spoilsport on Sunday?

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Aayush Majumdar

1002 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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