Chase Elliott goes back to back at Watkins Glen holding off Martin Truex Jr. for the second straight year to win his second race of the season. Other than those two, there really wasn’t anyone who was in contention for the win this week. The Toyota teams had a great amount of success overall taking four of the top six spots in the race.
CONSUMERS ENERGY 400
This week the series heads back to the Michigan International Speedway. There are only four races left before the playoffs start and they are going to be run on four very different tracks. This week the drivers will be on a two-mile D-shaped oval track where speeds should reach over 200 miles per hour. This track really showcases the new aero package the series is running this season.
Joey Logano: Joey won the race here in June and I will pick him to repeat once again this weekend. He has only finished outside of the top ten here once in his last thirteen starts, winning three of those races. after the showing he put on here the first time this year it is hard to pick anyone else to win this race.
Kyle Busch: Kyle hasn’t won here since winning back in the 2011 season. However, he has reeled off three straight top five finishes and five straight top ten finishes here. After having a few run ins at Watkins Glen last weekend I think this team will be itching to get back on the track and see if they can pick up some more playoff points.
Martin Truex Jr.: Martin is still looking for his first win at Michigan in his career although he has numerous second and third place finishes at this track. He has been one of the better drivers with the new aero package and finished third here in June. This team could really use some more playoff points and you need to win stages and races to get them. His first win here couldn’t come at a better time.
Kevin Harvick: Kevin has lead more laps at this track in the last five races run here than any other driver. He has also finished in the top five in nine of his last thirteen starts here. This team has looked good early on at these types of tracks this season only to have pit issues or fade towards the end of the race. Those are two things they will have to eliminate if they want to win a championship this season.
Chase Elliott: Chase finished second in his first three career starts and in the top ten in his first six starts before finishing 20th here in June. The Hendrick teams struggled with speed early in the year, but they seem to have found that speed lately. After winning last week at Watkins Glen this team will have a lot of confidence heading into this weekend and should be in contention throughout this race.
Brad Keselowski: Brad is looking for his first win at what he considers his home track. He almost pulled that off in this race last year when he finished second. In the August race two years ago he lead over 100 laps, but finished a disappointing seventeenth in that race. The Penske teams have shown speed all year and Brad is going to win here before the end of his career and this might be the weekend.
Ryan Blaney: In his three starts here since moving to Penske Racing, Ryan has finished in the top ten in all of them. This is the type of track where he excels because of how wide it is. He can make moves and run in different grooves here without getting himself in too much trouble. He just needs to have a little more patience and let his crew adjust the car throughout the race so he has a shot at the end.
Kurt Busch: Kurt finished second here in the June race and has shown a lot of potential in this his first season with Chip Ganassi Racing. He already has a win and is qualified for the playoffs. If they can have another good showing this weekend that will make them a legitimate contender for the championship this season as the majority of the last ten races are on intermediate tracks. A few more playoff points would help too.
Kyle Larson: Let’s not forget that Kyle won three straight races here not too long ago. This team has struggled quite a bit this year, but most of that is due to bad luck. They have shown flashes of what they can do recently and this might be the track where he can break out of his slump. I think he is worth taking a chance on if you need to make up ground in your league.
Denny Hamlin: Denny has really been consistent this season and though he really seems to run better on the flat tracks and the restrictor plate tracks, he can still get the job done on the intermediate tracks. This is the race before the start of the playoffs where they might really do some experimenting on set ups and such to see if they can improve heading into the playoffs and all of those intermediate tracks.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Joey Logano
- Martin Truex Jr.
Driver Group Game Group B
- Ryan Blaney
- Kurt Busch
- Denny Hamlin
- Erik Jones
Driver Group Game Group C
- Daniel Hemric
- Chris Buescher
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
- Joey Logano
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Kyle Busch
- Brad Keselowski
- Kevin Harvick
Dark Horse: Kyle Larson
Stay Away From: Jimmie Johnson
Big 18: Joey Logano