Here is who the NBC Sports staff is picking in today’s NASCAR Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Kevin Harvick. He had the best car in Saturday’s Xfinity race and seems finally to have figured this track out over the past few seasons (just before it’s repaved). After leading more than 100 laps in four of the past five races here, he breaks through from the pole to capture his first Cup victory at the 1.54-mile oval since March 11, 2001.
Kyle Busch takes the win with the help of a fast pit crew and crew chief Adam Stevens’ strategy.
Jamie McMurray hasn’t won in a while. But the Chip Ganassi Racing driver starts seventh today after being the only driver to have a top five 10-lap average in both Cup practice sessions. McMurray earns his first Cup win since 2013 at the track that gave him his first NASCAR win in the Xfinity Series in 2002.
Winning at Atlanta is an Elliott family tradition. Father Bill won there five times. Son Chase has come close three times there, with an eighth-place finish in his lone Cup race and two fifth-place finishes in the Xfinity Series. Sunday, it’s a perfect storyline: Like father, like son — Chase Elliott breaks through for his first NASCAR Cup win — and at his hometown track to boot.