Congratulations to Martin Truex Jr. who picked up his second win of the season this past weekend at Pocono. So far this year the series has been dominated by three drivers and that doesn’t bode well for NASCAR as far as ratings go or selling tickets to races. Fans want to see some competition or it doesn’t pay to attend or watch a race. I have a feeling we are going to see some new rules implemented soon to level the playing field and make the season a little more interesting for the fans.
FIREKEEPERS CASINO 400
Last week’s race was pretty boring as I suspected it would be as most races at Pocono are. Once a restart was underway it was pretty much the driver in first place took off and nobody could catch them other than a few passes for the lead, but when the first pass was made that driver drove away from the field. There really wasn’t a lot of drama in this race.
This week the series heads to the Michigan International Speedway for the first of two races at this track. This is a two-mile moderately banked D-shaped oval track that is wide enough to pass on either side and will have multiple grooves for the drivers to race in. It is very similar to the Auto Club Speedway in California where Martin Truex Jr. won his first race of the season.
Kevin Harvick: Kevin is still the class of the field and only a mistake where he didn’t pit late in the race for tires and almost the entire field behind him did cost him his sixth win of the season. He and Kyle Larson got caught up together at the Auto Club Speedway earlier this year which took Kevin out of the race and we didn’t get to see him battle with Martin for another win. I think this week will be different with Kevin coming out on top once again.
Martin Truex Jr.: As I stated above. Martin Truex Jr. won the race at the Auto Club Speedway earlier this year on the other 2-mile track that is almost an exact replica of Michigan. We will have to wait and see if the battle between Martin and Kevin materializes this weekend or if someone else battles for the win. Odds are Martin, Kevin, and Kyle Busch will battle each other for the win once again.
Kyle Busch: Funny think about Kyle, if he isn’t winning the race, his car is junk. Sometimes even when he is winning the race his car is junk. The thing is he always thinks he can run faster no matter how anyone else is doing. I do believe that in the races where he gets beat by Kevin he just doesn’t have the speed or his handling is off a little bit, but I believe that Kevin would tell you he could have been better too.
Kyle Larson: Kyle has won the last 3 races at Michigan and has looked very good lately. He came away with a second place finish last week and I think he might have something to say before all is said and done at Michigan this weekend. You can’t win three races in a row at any track and not be considered a contender the next time you race there. He is a great driver to have on your team this week, especially if you are trying to save some starts for the top three drivers.
Chase Elliott: Chase has been great at Michigan in his four Cup starts where he has finished in the top five three times and the top ten all four times. This includes multiple runner-up finishes. Right now the Hendrick teams aren’t at the level where they can compete for wins with the top four right now, but they seem to be getting closer to that point each and every week. I see Chase coming away with another top ten finish this weekend.
Joey Logano: Joey has been very good at Michigan over the past three years where he has picked up a win, three top five, and five top ten finishes. Once again we have seen how fast all of the Ford drivers have been this year and this speed should show once again on the long straightaways at Michigan. If they can keep up with the changing track conditions as the race progresses, they could find themselves in contention at the end of this race.
Jamie McMurray: Jamie is my dark horse of the week. He has finished in the top ten in five of his last six starts at Michigan and has shown some speed lately. He is also Kyle Larson’s teammate and we have already discussed what Kyle has done here lately. I look for Jamie to continue this trend and if everything falls into place for him he could be looking at visiting victory lane this weekend.
Erik Jones: Erik has only run two races at this track, but has fared pretty well in both of them. He has one top five finish and this is the type of track where he is at his best this early in his career. I think he had a tough time last week with the three different type corners at Pocono, but won’t have that problem this week at Michigan. I look for him to run in the top fifteen all day and maybe even come away with another top ten finish.
Ryan Blaney: Ryan had a good week once again last weekend at Pocono. He sat on the pole and finished sixth in the race. We talked about how fast all of the Ford drivers have been all year and we know how well his teammate, Joey Logano, has run here recently. I think Ryan will capitalize on all of the information he can get from Joey and will have a fast car once again this weekend. This is a wide track, so Ryan should be able to use it all and if he can stay out of trouble could compete for a win or a top five finish once again this weekend.
Brad Keselowski: Not to be outdone by too much by Joey Logano, Brad has two top five and four top ten finishes in his last six starts at Michigan. Brad really wants to win at this track as it is his home track as he hails from Michigan. This team just needs to find a little bit better balance to their handling early in the race so they aren’t trying to play catch up and having to go outside the box to gain track position. Once they are good at the beginning of a race they will start to compete for wins once again.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Kyle Larson
- Martin Truex Jr.
Driver Group Game Group B
- Chase Elliott
- Ryan Blaney
- Erik Jones
- Jamie McMurray
Driver Group Game Group C
- William Byron
- Alex Bowman
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
- Kevin Harvick
- Kyle Larson
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Kyle Busch
- Ryan Blaney
Dark Horse: Jamie McMurray
Stay Away From: Darrell Wallace Jr.
Big 18: Kyle Larson