NASCAR Sunday: Mark Eckel and "The Eckel 4" pick the Folds of Honor 500 — is it Kevin Harvick time in Atlanta?
Kevin Harvick, last year’s NASCAR point champion, has done everything this season except win a race.
That could change Sunday when NASCAR heads to Atlanta for the Folds of Honor 500.
Harvick, the 11-2 favorite in the race, has won here two of the last three years sandwiched around a fourth-place finish in 2019.
Thus far this season, while he has not driven down Victory Lane, Harvick has finished in the top six four times in five races. His only blemish this year was a 20th place finish in Las Vegas, when ironically enough he started on the pole.
The history in Atlanta combined with this year’s start made Harvick the top pick of the three of “The Eckel 4’’, which as always includes Scott “Tobacco Road’’ Baker, Mike “Left Turn’’ Sweeney, and Barry “Dr. NASCAR’’ Davis.
Here are the selections to be used in picking your winner, top three, top five or in your fantasy leagues.
Kevin Harvick (11-2): As mentioned above Harvick is really good in Atlanta and has been good thus far this year. He’s overdue for a win, however, and this looks like as good of a week as any.
Kyle Larson (13-2): The one non-Harvick pick came from “Left Turn’’ who is looking for Larson to get his second win of the young season. Larson would have been looking for his third win, but last week in Phoenix he had more penalties than the Eagles offensive line, costing him dearly.
Martin Truex Jr. (13-2): The New Jersey native will look to be the first driver to win twice this year and he has a good shot. Truex has eight top eight finishes in his last nine Atlanta races, including a third-place finish in this race a year ago. He also finished second in this race in 2019 so a win is certainly in his reach.
Denny Hamlin (15-2): Hamlin, who will start on the pole, is looking for his first win of the season. Despite no wins, like Harvick, he has driven well with four top five finishes in five races and he also leads the circuit with three stage wins. Hamlin finished fifth here a year ago and fourth in 2018.
Longshot Play: Ryan Blaney (16-1): That’s a good price for the driver who finished fourth here in 2020 and after a slow start to 2021 has two top 10 finishes in his last two races (Vegas and Phoenix).