Congratulations to Ryan Blaney who won his first ever Cup race this past weekend at Pocono for Wood Brothers Racing. Kyle Busch dominated this race once again, but a caution with about 15 laps left cost him the win when he stayed on the track and the rest of the field pitted behind him. When the race was re-started it was only a matter of time before new tires would prove to be too much for Kyle and Ryan passed him and then held off a hard charging Kevin Harvick over the final 8 laps for his first victory.
FIREKEEPERS CASINO 400
Kevin Harvick: I am going to pick Kevin to win his first race of the season and second at Michigan. He has finished second here in five of the last eight races and of those other three races he finished in the top five in two of those. This team has looked better and better every week and this is the week they break into the win column for the year. It’s hard to keep a team like this out of the win column as long as he has been out of it and this week that changes.
Chase Elliott: Now that we have two first time winners on the circuit this season why not make it three? Chase finished second in his only two starts at this track with both of those races coming last year. This team is going to give Kevin everything he can handle once again and could very well pick up that elusive first win. Chase also led over thirty laps in each of those races last year, so we know he can get the job done here.
Matt Kenseth: Matt has three career wins at this track tying him with Kurt Busch for the most wins at Michigan by active drivers. He won here in August of 2015 and although he has had some pretty poor luck this year, this is the type of track where I expect him to always run well. I think he is going to be the best of the Joe Gibbs drivers this weekend and is worth taking a shot at and you should place him on your roster.
Jimmie Johnson: Despite having only one win at this track in his thirty starts, Jimmie always runs well here and leads all active drivers in laps lead at this track. He has also won on tracks similar to Michigan this season. After taking a hard hit into the wall last week at Pocono, I hope Jimmie is alright and won’t be suffering any lingering effects as he heads into this weekend’s race.
Kurt Busch: Kurt picked up the last of his three wins at Michigan in this race in 2015. I think that with the new Ford engines that Stewart-Haas is using this year Kurt has another great shot at picking up another win here. The extra speed will come in handy on the long straightaways on this track and both he and Kevin Harvick showed how well that speed works at Pocono last weekend.
Kyle Larson: Kyle finished third in this race last year and then followed it up by winning the August race at this same track. This team has been fast and solid all year and he should have no problem keeping that pace up this weekend. This looks to be one of the most competitive years across the board that we have seen in a long time in this series and it is only going to get more exciting.
Martin Truex Jr.: This team has found the speed and handling they had last year when Martin was dominating races through the middle of the season. He is a contender each and every week and this is the type of track where he has really excelled lately. He had another great run at Pocono and will follow that up with another top ten finish this weekend and might even make the right call late in the race and pull off another win.
Brad Keselowski: Brad is another driver looking for his first win at this track which is also his home track as he hails from Michigan. Brad has finished in the top ten here in each of his last six starts and almost pulled off an upset last week when a late race caution gave him the track position he needed to contend for the win at Pocono. However, he didn’t get a good restart and faded back to finish fifth.
Joey Logano: Joey won this race last year and has always run well here amassing two wins, four top five, and eleven top ten finishes in his career. He has finished in the top ten here in his last eight starts too. The only thing that is bothering me about him right now is they don’t seem to be getting the handling on his car right lately and he hasn’t finished well because of it for a month now. I think this team is going to get that straightened out soon, but I won’t take a chance on him yet.
Ryan Blaney: Now that he has a win under his belt he will be even more hungry to get back to victory lane and he has the speed and skill to do it. He has started in the top ten in three of his four starts here and finished fourth in the race last August. He impressed me by racing Kyle clean last week even after Kyle blocked him and almost ran him off the track. This kid is growing up in a hurry in this series and the future looks very bright for him.
YAHOO! FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
Yahoo Driver Group A
- Kevin Harvick
- Martin Truex Jr.
Yahoo Driver Group B
- Chase Elliott
- Ryan Blaney
- Kurt Busch
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Yahoo Driver Group C
- Erik Jones
- Darrell Wallace Jr.
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
- Kevin Harvick
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Chase Elliott
- Matt Kenseth
- Jimmie Johnson
Dark Horse: Erik Jones
Stay Away From: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Big 18: Chase Elliott