The EchoPark 250 is this week’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race down at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This is the eighth race of the Xfinity Series season and will once again be run without practice or qualifying. The drivers will just get to go out there and give it to old college try, which is ironic since a lot of these guys are around college-aged.
In any event, we’re back to a 1.5-mile track here. It’s 1.54 miles to be exact and The drivers will do 251.02 miles or more in order to pick a winner. Last week’s race went a few extra laps as Noah Gragson took down his second race of 2020. Justin Allgaier led the most laps and won Stage 2, but finished 18th, which opened the door for Gragson, who managed to hold off Chase Briscoe.
What’s in the past is in the past. Let’s look ahead to the EchoPark 250 and odds from our pals over at 5Dimes Sportsbook:
|Field (any other driver)||+4000|
|Joe Graf Jr||+200000|
Briscoe is the favorite and Allgaier is the second favorite as we get ready for this one. There are no active winners in this race. A lot of Cup Series guys have wins here. Christopher Bell won last year in a race without Cup Series guys. That is the case this year, so somebody points-eligible will have to get the win.
Briscoe was 15th here last year. Atlanta is a once-a-year stop and he was a rookie driver last season, so we don’t really have a whole lot of data for him. There are a lot of 1.5-mile tracks and he had top-five finishes at Texas, Kentucky, and Kansas. He won at Las Vegas earlier this year, but was sixth at Phoenix and 20th at Charlotte. Maybe 1.5-mile tracks aren’t going to be his bread and butter. Time will tell and he should be out there with a chance to win, but the +250 price isn’t going to tickle my fancy this week.
Allgaier won Stage 2 at Las Vegas and Stage 1 at Phoenix, but his only top-five finish on a 1.5-mile track this season came at Charlotte. Allgaier did not have a win on a 1.5-mile track last season, though he was third at Atlanta and second in the first Charlotte race. He was fifth at Las Vegas the second time and fifth at Kansas the second time. He didn’t have a 1.5-mile win in 2018 either. Allgaier could very well win this, but the +500 price doesn’t do it for me there.
With the two short prices out of the way, who do I like? Harrison Burton tops the list at +800. Burton won at Auto Club Speedway on the big track for one of his five top-five finishes this season. The rookie runs for Joe Gibbs Racing and those cars tend to do rather well on the 1.5-mile tracks. It seems like maybe the Supra hasn’t been as good as the Camry, but Burton comes from a serious NASCAR bloodline and is off to an excellent start in 2020. He ran seventh at Texas and 10th at Homestead last year when he finished out the playoffs. He’s running Bell’s #20 car this year and he’s clearly got the goods most weeks.
Daniel Hemric is also on the list at +1300 this week. Hemric did not run in the Xfinity Series last year and actually has never won an Xfinity race, but back in 2018, he had top-five finishes at Texas, Chicagoland, Kansas, and Homestead. He was second at Charlotte a couple races ago. JR Motorsports is a strong team and Chevy has shown excellent speed this season. He’s the only other outright winner I’d add to the list this week.
Coverage of the EchoPark 250 will be at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday June 6 on Fox, as the Xfinity Series gets some airtime on network TV for the first time this season.