This past weekend, all three national touring series rolled their way into Atlanta. Normally known as “Hotlanta”, but that was not the case over the weekend. It was a very cool and chilly weekend that affected the track heavily. Some fans are still not fully satisfied with the new product of racing that is displayed in Atlanta. But there is one driver in the NASCAR Cup Series that is very happy with the racing in Atlanta.
Logano Finally wins at Atlanta:
For years, Joey Logano has wanted to win at Atlanta. Logano used to run on the quarter-mile track in the infield Jordhoping to make his way to a top ride in the NASCAR Cup Series. Finally, after 19 tries at Atlanta, Logano can check Atlanta off the checklist. This win should come as no surprise to anybody. Logano easily had the dominant car throughout the weekend. Logano won the pole on Saturday and made it obvious that he was going to be tough to beat on Sunday. Throughout the race, there wasn’t a ton of side-by-side racing as there would be at Daytona or Talladega. Much of the first and second stages were run single file and in the draft. In the first stage, there was one natural caution and the entire second stage was run under green.
Throughout the course of the final stage, it looked like Daytona and Talladega. It was fun to watch in the final stage, but the first two stages were not fun to watch. As the laps would wind down in the final stage, it looked like Brad Keselowski was going to break his career-long winless streak. But Joey Logano was able to pull off a last-lap pass on Keselowski to finally get his first Atlanta win. The 2022 Cup Series champion showed that he can still be a factor on the drafting tracks. Speaking of Brad Keselowski, will he or his teammate, Chris Buescher, make the playoffs this season?
Will RFK Racing have a driver in the playoffs this year?
In late 2021, it was announced that Brad Keselowski would be leaving Penske Racing to take partial ownership of Roush Fenway Racing as an owner-driver. The team would then rename to Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing. Last season, Keselowski’s teammate and driver, Chris Buescher, was able to pull off a huge upset at the Bristol night race in September. This win ended a six-year winless streak for Buescher and a five-year winless streak for team owner, Jack Roush. Throughout the final stage on Sunday, Keselowski led for a good portion and looked to break his two-year winless streak. However, that didn’t come to fruition. Both RFK drivers have the potential to make the playoffs this season. The team has been very consistent throughout the season so far. The possibility of Keselowski or Chris Buescher making the playoffs this season is high if they keep their current pace.
What to expect from COTA:
This coming weekend, all three series will travel down to Austin, Texas to take on the first Road Course of the season. Circuit of the Americas is a very technical track that requires constant awareness and focus from all drivers. It will be interesting to see how the new rule changes will change the outcome of all three races throughout the weekend. Those rule changes include the addition of the choose cone rule at Road Courses and no caution flags at the end of stages. These will play a huge role in the varying strategy and could have COTA play out like an old-school road course race. The Cup Series will be running the new aero package that was run at Phoenix. All eyes will be on the Cup Series this weekend.
This is not just for the rule changes and the new aero package, but for the diversity of drivers that will be racing this weekend. Jordan Taylor, four-time IMSA champion, will sub for Chase Elliott in the #9 car this weekend. Conor Daly, a full-time IndyCar driver, will race in the #50 car. Jenson Button, 2009 Formula One World Champion, will race in the #15 car. Kimi Raikkonen, 2007 Formula One World Champion, will race in the #91 car. And Jimmie Johnson, seven-time Cup Series champion, will race in the #84 car. If you told someone that this was going to happen five years ago, they would’ve said that you’re crazy. The amount of diversity of drivers from different series around the world that the Cup Series is drawing in is fantastic. This will be a must-watch race for any race fan this coming Sunday at COTA.
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