Photo Credit: NASCAR

Kasey Kahne – I wouldn’t count out Kasey Kahne at Atlanta. He’s won here three-times and last season he closed out the year on a strong note at 1.5 mile tracks. In the Chase at these venues he finished in the top ten in 4 of the 5 races. At Atlanta Kasey Kahne has largely proven himself to be a hero or zero driver. He’s finished in the top five 35% percent of the time, in the top ten 45% percent of the time and 50% percent of the time he’s finished south of 20th. His average finish when he’s finished outside the top twenty is 32.1. Last year at Atlanta Kahne didn’t have a good race and wasn’t competitive. He finished 23rd and had a 24th place average running position. In 2015 Kasey Kahne had a good car and finished 14th. It should be noted he performed better than his result. With about 30 laps to go while he was running around 7th he had a tire violation on pit road and had to serve a pass through penalty. In addition to finishing 14th it should also be noted Kahne earned the 7th best driver rating and had an 8th place average running position. In 2014 Kahne raced his way to victory lane following a late restart. Additionally in the race he earned the 6th best driver rating and led 25 laps. (Yahoo B Driver)

Austin Dillon – Austin Dillon should have a strong showing at Atlanta. 1.5 mile tracks are a strength of his and if he has an incident free race I see no reason why he shouldn’t run well. Last year at 1.5 mile tracks he scored the 12th most points and finished in the top sixteen in 8 of the 11 races. In the Chase at 1.5 mile tracks “performance wise” he was 6th to 14th place good every race. Last year at Atlanta Austin Dillon had a solid afternoon. He finished 11th, had a 13th place average running position and earned the 14th best driver rating. It was a race full of long runs so he worked hard and didn’t take any short cuts to earn his good result. In 2015 at Atlanta he had a tough afternoon and finished 39th after having multiple cut tire issues. His first was on lap 60, he didn’t hit anything but the infield covered his car with mud and as a result he had to take his car to the garage which was essentially a knock out blow. In his first two Atlanta starts before he became a competitive performer on this track type he had results of 19th and 24th. (Yahoo B Driver)

Further Recommended Reading – Atlanta Top Tier Elite Picks, Atlanta Mid Pack Predictions, Atlanta Scouting Report

Ryan Newman – Atlanta has been a solid track for Ryan Newman. In 3 of the last 4 races he’s finished in the top ten. Last year he had a great chance to finish in the top ten but his race wasn’t incident free and he finished a misleading 24th. His first problem in the race happened with 40 laps to go when he was running in 10th but was penalized for his crew going over the wall too soon. Since not many drivers were on the lead lap that only dropped him back a few positions. Then with 3 laps to go while he was running in 12th he had a cut tire and spun. The damage from that incident was pretty bad. Additionally from the race it should be noted he had a 9th place average running position and earned the 13th best driver rating. In 2015 Newman had a solid afternoon and the number you need to know about him is 10. He finished 10th, had a 10th place average running position and earned the 10th best driver rating. In 2014 he also had a solid performance. He started 4th, finished 7th, earned the 9th best driver rating and had a 12th place average running position. Performance wise he finished a little better than how he ran. Some late pit strategy helped him get near the front at the end and then he hung on for a good result. In 2013 at Atlanta Newman finished 5th, that tied his all-time best Atlanta finish. Also in the race he earned the 7th best driver rating and had a 10th place average running position. (Yahoo B Driver)

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