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Tuesday, June 18
The Indiana Daily Student

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NASCAR Cup Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for Quaker State 400


The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the second time this season for Sunday’s Quaker State 400. Just last Sunday, Trackhouse Racing’s Shane van Gisbergen was victorious in his first career NASCAR start at the inaugural Chicago Street Race. 

Earlier this season at Atlanta, Team Penske’s Joey Logano won the Ambetter Health 400 and will look to win consecutive races at the 1.5-mile track. Prior to the 2021 season, Atlanta Motor Speedway was repaved and reconfigured, altering the banking in the corners from 24 to 28 degrees.  

The reconfiguration has turned the races at the track into those of superspeedway races like Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. The Series’ most recent superspeedway race was at Talladega on April 23. Although the Quaker State 400 could have a surprise winner, there are a few storylines to keep an eye on this weekend. 

Personal thoughts: 

Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott 

After missing several races due to injury and a one-race suspension earlier this season, Chase Elliott currently stands outside of the NASCAR Playoffs with eight regular-season races remaining. The Dawsonville, Georgia native was victorious last July at Atlanta and will look to secure a berth in the playoffs with a victory on Sunday. 

Richard Childress Racing’s Kyle Busch 

Entering this weekend, Kyle Busch has three victories to his name this season. Busch finished fifth last weekend in Chicago, rebounding after being involved in an incident early in the race. Although Busch has already clinched a spot in the playoffs with his three victories this season, another win on Sunday would give him a valuable additional five playoff points. 

RFK Racing 

RFK Racing, comprised of Brad Keselowski and Chris Buescher, has had just one victory since its rebranding took place prior to the 2022 season. Although they haven’t ended up in victory lane often, Keselowski and Buescher have had solid seasons so far. 

Buescher finished 10th in Chicago last weekend and is currently 104 points above the cutoff line for the playoffs, while Keselowski is right behind at 91 points above the cutoff line. With Keselowski being one of the most successful active drivers on superspeedways with seven victories, Atlanta could be the site of RFK Racing’s first victory of the season.  

My prediction to win: Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott 

My long shot to win: Spire Motorsports’ Corey LaJoie 

The Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be at 7 p.m. EST Sunday. The race will be televised on USA Network. After NASCAR’s first street race in its 75-year history last weekend in Chicago, the drivers of the Cup Series are set for an intense race at the narrowest superspeedway on the circuit.  

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