Race: Firekeepers Casino 400 & Consumers Energy 400
Laps: 156 (Firekeepers) & 400 (Consumers)
Date: August 8th & 9th
Venue: Michigan International Speedway
2019 Winner: Joey Logano (2:56:50); Kevin Harvick (2:40:59)
Michigan International Speedway — Created in 1968, this two mile asphalt D-shaped Speedway has 18 degree banked turns and 12 degree banked front stretch and 5 degree back stretch. It serves as a sister track to Texas World Speedway and hosts two NASCAR races (Firekeepers Casino 400 and Pure Michigan 400). It is not a restrictor plate race and is among the faster tracks on the circuit. The Auto Club Speedway and Dayton would be the best comparison tracks here.
Brad Keselowski (7th and 8th selections this year) — Keselowski has finished 2nd and 1st in the two races leading into Michigan. He has a handful of top five finishes at Michigan over the last four years, plus an impressive eight top five finishes this season including three wins.
Kevin Harvick (7th and 8th selections this year) — Back to back wins here. Harvick has been absolutely dominant. He now has seven consecutive races finishing in the top five, that is just unbelievable.
High Risk/High Reward
Chase Elliott (5th and 6th selections this year) — Elliott averaged a top 10 position in 2017 and 2019 at Michigan. He slipped a bit to 15th last year but I think he can rally. He hasn’t been terrible lately but he has just one top 10 finish in the last five races.
Martin Truex Jr. (5th and 6th selections this year) — Truex finished 3rd in back to back races (and he finished 2nd four races ago) going into Michigan. He’s had trouble a few years at Michigan but he did finish 4th here last year, my trust is more on his recent work than anything else.
The Dark Horse
Ryan Newman (2nd and 3rd selection this year) — In 12 races here over the last six years, Newman has finished outside the top 20 just once. He’s been inside the top 12 six times. The part to be nervous is that he’s still working his way back to full racing force since the crash. He has just two top 20 finishes in his last four races.
Fun Fact: In 1974, this race was shortened by 10% due to the Fuel Crisis
Favorite: Avg Finish 11th (29th Percent)
High Risk/High Reward: Avg Finish 18th (46th Percent)
Dark Horse: Avg Finish 16th (40th Percent)