Aric Almirola – Aric Almirola will be a driver to watch at Michigan. He’s consistently performed well at intermediate tracks in 2018 and at this point in the season I think his team is really starting to click. This year at high-speed intermediate tracks minus Texas (crashed) he has a 12.6 average finish and an 11.8 average running position. Chicagoland is one of the most recent intermediate tracks visited and at that venue he led 70 laps and arguably had the best car but his race wasn’t incident free. At Michigan, Almirola has been respectable. In 3 of the last 5 races he’s finished between 11th to 14th. This spring he ran well. He finished 11th, earned the 9th best driver rating and had a 13th place average running position. I will note that’s his best result ever at Michigan. Last summer he had his next best finish and came home with a 12th place result. I will note pit strategy helped him and his 17th place average running position is a better indicator towards his level of competitiveness. Last spring he missed the race due to injury. On Sunday I would look for Almirola to compete for a top ten.
Alex Bowman – Alex Bowman should run well at Michigan. Performance Wise I would look for him to be a low-double digits to mid-teens performer. That said I wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes in the top ten. At Michigan he has a very underwhelming track record but for fantasy purposes I would only put stock in his performance this spring. Earlier this year at Michigan the number you need to know about him is 16. He finished 16th, had a 16th place average running position and earned the 16th best driver rating. Auto Club Speedway is the other 2.0 mile on the schedule and at that venue this spring he finished 13th.
Jimmie Johnson – Jimmie Johnson is a good performer at Michigan. He’s a past champion and performance wise he’s been good enough to win about 5 races here, but it’s one of those tracks where trouble is often brewing. With the current state of the #48, I’m going to project him as a low-double digits driver who’ll compete for a top ten. In the last two races on this track type he has back to back 14th’s. This spring at Michigan, Jimmie Johnson didn’t run well and was never competitive. He finished 20th, earned the 20th best driver rating and had a 22nd place average running position. He didn’t have problems, he was just that bad. Last summer he wasn’t very good either. He started in the rear of the field in a backup car and he just never seemed to run well. When the checkered flag waved he finished 19th, had a 19th place average running position and earned the 22nd best driver rating. In the two races prior to that he had back to back top tens. In spring 2017 he had a good race. He started in the rear of the field but crossed the finish line in 10th. I will note he charged up thru the field pretty quickly (finished 10th Stage #1), but at times he really didn’t run that well. In August 2016 he had a good performance. He earned the 4th best driver rating, had a 5th place average running position, finished 6th and led 37 laps.