The forecasted rain has thus far stayed away at Michigan International Speedway, and now we just have 400 miles to race on Sunday. Looking at the forecast, there shouldn’t be any concern for rain (thanks to the 3 pm start time), but there could be a stray shower or two that delays the event. Michigan is a big 2-mile race track that is very similar to Fontana, where we raced at earlier this year. And honestly, with the way practice and qualifying went this weekend, it wouldn’t be surprising if we saw the same drivers up front here on Sunday that we did back in March.
There were two practice sessions on Saturday this weekend, but keep in mind that the first session was in the morning with track conditions nothing like what we will have on Sunday. Even the Happy Hour session wasn’t exactly like what we’ll have during the race. Anyway, the practice speeds from those two sessions can be found here: Practice #2 — Happy Hour, and, as always, our in-depth notes can be found here: Practice #2 — Happy Hour.
Final Top 25 Ranking For The Michigan FireKeepers Casino 400
1. Kyle Busch – Starts 4th – DraftKings Price: $9,500 – Yahoo! A Group
**Risk Factor: High Risk**
With unexpected winners happening on a pretty regular basis as of late, why would Michigan be any different? We have seen races come down to fuel mileage here in the Irish Hills before, so who’s to say that won’t happen again this weekend? Kyle Larson and Martin Truex, Jr. have the two best cars heading into Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400, but Kyle Busch’s #18 Toyota is right there, too. Rowdy was 2nd-fastest in every single practice session this weekend and ranked P1 in ten-lap average on Saturday morning. Kyle is a former winner here at Michigan (back in 2011), but since then his record at this track has been horrendous; Rowdy’s best finish over the last seven MIS races has been 11th, and five of those seven ended with him outside of the top 30 entirely. However, this little slump is something that Kyle Busch is going to break out of sooner rather than later, and with the amount of speed he has had over the last month or so, I think it’s going to be this weekend. Plenty of Fantasy NASCAR players are going to avoid Kyle Busch this weekend–and rightfully so–but he has a car that can win here on Sunday.
2. Kyle Larson – Starts 1st – DraftKings Price: $10,200 – Yahoo! B Group
**Risk Factor: Low Risk**
Kyle Larson might have the ugliest race car on the track this weekend but he also has one of the fastest. The #42 Chevrolet has been at or near the top of the speed charts since the team unloaded it on Friday, including P1 when qualifying was over. Starting position has always meant quite a bit here at Michigan, and lately it has translated into wins, as four of the last seven Michigan winners have started from the pole. Larson is the most recent race winner here and finished 3rd in this race one year ago. He was 7th-fastest in Practice #2 on Saturday morning and wound up 3rd on the Happy Hour speed chart. As far as ten-lap average, Larson ranked 2nd and 1st in those two sessions, respectively. Fontana is the sister track to Michigan, and Larson won from the pole when we raced there earlier this year. He’ll be a contender this weekend, too. He’s the most likely driver to lead the most laps on Sunday.
3. Martin Truex, Jr. – Starts 2nd – DraftKings Price: $10,000 – Yahoo! A Group
**Risk Factor: Low Risk**
Martin Truex, Jr. is a master at racing on 1.5-mile race tracks, but 2-mile tracks have given him some problems over the years. However, it looks like he may be turning a corner there. Back in the Fontana race, Truex started and finished 4th while leading 73 of the 202 laps, and he finished 3rd in both Michigan races two years ago. In other words, just ignore Truex’s five finishes outside of the top 10 in the last seven races here in the Irish Hills. This weekend, the #78 Toyota has been very strong, just like it has been all season. Truex will start from the outside pole on Sunday and should have a chance at leading a bunch of laps because of it. He topped the speed chart in Practice #2 on Saturday morning and then wound up 7th-fastest in Happy Hour. He never made a long run in either session but that’s not uncommon when Truex has a very fast race car capable of winning. He is a viable option in all Fantasy NASCAR formats this weekend.