Ryan Newman – At Michigan I don’t have very high expectations for Ryan Newman. Realistically I think a high-teens to low-twenties finish should be expected. This year at high-speed intermediate tracks he hasn’t performed well and at the two 2.0 mile ovals visited he’s finished 21st (Auto Club) and 22nd (Michigan). At Michigan in many of the recent races Newman has been respectable. Over the last six Michigan races he sports a 12.8 average finish and a 15.0 average running position. This spring Newman finished 22nd but I thought he was better than his result. His average running position was 14th and if the race didn’t come to an early conclusion I think he was poised to finish in the high-teens. Last August, Newman finished 4th, but he certainly wasn’t as good as his result. His average running position was 18th and he earned the 18th best driver rating. Pit strategy really helped him late. In spring 2017 he finished 15th, had a 21st place average running position and earned the 20th best driver rating.
AJ Allmendinger – At Michigan I would look for AJ Allmendinger to likely be a high-teens to low-twenties driver. Over the last four MIS races he has a 17.5 average finish, a 22.0 average running position and has finished between 15th to 20th every race. Earlier this year at Michigan when the checkered flag waved he finished 17th, had a 22nd place average running position and earned the 22nd best driver rating. Last summer he had a pretty similar performance, which isn’t anything to get excited about. He finished 20th, had a 24th place average running position and earned the 24th best driver rating. In spring 2017 he finished 18th and had a 25th place average running position. This year at high-speed intermediate tracks on good days, Allmendinger has typically performed within the range I’m projecting (high-teens to low-twenties).
Trevor Bayne – Trevor Bayne has largely been “missing in action” this spring/summer and that includes missing the spring race at Michigan in June. In his place Matt Kenseth looked about low-twenties good but had trouble and finished 33rd. In Bayne’s recent Michigan races he’s been respectable. In the combined 2016 & 2017 races he had a 15.3 average finish. In August 2017 Bayne had his best Michigan race and finished 5th. I will note it’s a misleading result. His average running position was 18th and he was aided by a late caution during a favorable time of a pit cycle. I would say his average running position is a good reflection of his level of performance. In spring 2017 he was a high-teens driver. He finished 17th, had an 18th place average running position and earned the 19th best driver rating. In August 2016 he finished 24th and had a 23rd place average running position. In spring 2016 he was a solid teen’s driver. When the race reached its conclusion he finished 15th, earned the 17th best driver rating and ran 50% percent of the laps inside the top fifteen. On Sunday I would look for him to likely be a high-teens to low-twenties driver.