Race: FireKeepers Casino 400
Date: August 22nd @ 3:00pm
Venue: Michigan International Speedway
2020 Winner: Kevin Harvick (2:34:55)
Michigan International Speedway. Created in 1968, this 2 mile asphalt D-shaped Speedway has 18 degree banked turns, 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.
Denny Hamlin (fifth selection this year) – Kevin Harvick should be the favorite here but I’m going to gamble on Hamlin who is having a stronger season, especially on some of the equivalent length normal oval tracks.
Joey Logano (fifth selection this year) — Similar to Denny, Joey has been solid at Daytona (2nd), Las Vegas (9th), Charlotte (3rd & 17th), but he did struggle a bit at Kansas and Atlanta.
High Risk/High Reward
Matt DiBenedetto (fourth selection this year) — Matt finished 11th here last year and now has five consecutive top 12 finishes, which might be the longest such streak in his career.
Christopher Bell (third selection this year). The winner at Daytona earlier this year is currently 15th place in points (with two races to go until the playoffs). He was 7th at Las Vegas, 17th at Talladega, and most recently 8th at Atlanta. He was 15th at Michigan last year.
The Dark Horse
Bubba Wallace (third selection this year) — Bubba finished 15th here last year and he has been solid on some of the longer non-road tracks this season: 16th at Atlanta, 19th at Talladega, 14th at Charlotte, and 14th in the second race at Atlanta. Bubba gets an extra race in with Xfinity where he is returning for the first time since 2017, giving him some added time on track.
Fun Fact: In 1974 this race was shortened due to the gas crisis.
Favorite: Average Finish 13th (34th Percent)
High Risk/High Reward: Average Finish 16th (41st Percent)
Dark Horse: Average Finish 18th (47th Percent)