Jamie McMurray – Jamie McMurray is a strong performer at 1.5 mile tracks. Last year at tracks of this length he scored the 9th most points, had a 10.8 average finish and an 11.2 average running position. On Sunday I would look for him to likely finish somewhere around 10th. In recent races at Atlanta he’s been good. In 4 of the last 5 races “Performance Wise” he’s been a low double digits performer. Last year McMurray had a solid performance. He finished 10th, had an 11th place average running position and earned the 11th best driver rating. In 2016 he didn’t run well at all. He finished 21st and had a 19th place average running position. The “Lowest Down Force Package” threw a lot of teams for a loop in that race and he was one of them. In 2015 he finished a misleading 40th after wrecking with 70 laps to go while running in 13th. In the two Atlanta races prior to that he had results of 11th and 12th.
Clint Bowyer – Don’t overlook Clint Bowyer at Atlanta. His track record is full of misleading results, but he’s very capable of performing well here. Last year at Atlanta he had a strong showing and finished 11th. I will note he was better than his result and was likely a top five contender but with 47 laps to go he had a tire go down and nailed the wall hard. Ten laps prior to his problem he was running in 5th. In the six Atlanta races prior to that he finished 24th or worse. In 2016 when he wasn’t in a competitive situation he finished 35th. In 2015 he walked away with a misleading 24th place result. Strength wise he was about 10th place good but with 21 laps to go he was involved in the “Big One.” In 2014 he broke his shifter and finished 38th. In 2013 Clint Bowyer was a serious contender to win. He earned the 4th best driver rating and led 48 laps, but unfortunately his engine blew up while he was leading. Last year at 1.5 mile tracks in 8 of the 11 races Bowyer finished between 9th to 14th. Look for him to likely finish around that range on Sunday.
Alex Bowman – Alex Bowman was pretty good in 2016 when he drove the #88 at intermediate tracks, and I think he’ll pick up right where he left off. I think he’ll be a low double digits driver who’ll compete for a top ten, as long as he avoids problems. In 2016 on this track type in the #88 he had some really good performances and almost always competed for a top ten, even though many of his results don’t show it. His incident free average finish was 11.5.