Joey Logano picks up his second win of the season and Kyle Busch moves into the top thirty in points and is now eligible for the Chase with four races left to go before it starts. Right now we have eleven different winners and that means there are five spots open for people to qualify on points. Of those five drivers there is a fifty point cushion from the sixteenth spot to the seventeenth spot. The real problem comes if we get a new race winner in the next four races. If we do that will knock out another of those trying to get in on points and there is only twenty-three points separating all five of those drivers. One bad race could knock out any of them.
PURE MICHIGAN 400
This week the series heads back to Michigan International Speedway. Kurt Busch won the rain shortened race here in July when he took the lead on lap 133 and three laps later the rains came and the caution came out. Two laps after that the red flag was shown and the race was eventually called with Busch in the lead.
This two-mile track is very similar to California Speedway in its configuration and is not much different from the mile-and-a-half tracks that the series runs on quite regularly. It seems that the teams that can find a little more speed on the straightaways have the advantage at this track and right now that means the Joe Gibbs and Stewart-Haas teams are the teams to beat.
Kevin Harvick: Kevin didn’t win the race in June but, he was the dominant car, leading almost half of the laps run. If he wouldn’t have had to pit for fuel just before the rains came he would have been out in front like he was for most of the rest of the race. I think he is going to come back to this track with a great setup and will come away with another victory as we get closer to the Chase. He has also finished in the top five in four of his last five starts here.
Joey Logano: Joey picked up a win here two years ago and has finished in the top ten in his last five starts here. After his second win of the season last week at Watkins Glen, this team has a lot of confidence and momentum on their side. If they can qualify in the top ten and make the correct adjustments to their car this week during the race they might just win back-to-back races.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Dale has won two races at this track and finished third here in June this year. He has also finished in the top ten in his last three starts at this track and seems to be running very well consistently on this type of track this season. I look for this team to run well here once again this weekend as they gear up for the Chase and try to make sure they are doing what they need to do to keep up with changing track conditions.
Carl Edwards: Carl has been hit and miss this year with his new team on a weekly basis but, the way the Joe Gibbs teams are running right now this could be the week Carl picks up another win. He has two career wins at Michigan and has finished in the top ten in two-thirds of his twenty-two starts at this track. That is an outstanding stat and I think this team could come away with another great finish this weekend.
Matt Kenseth: Matt also has two wins at this track and runs for Joe Gibbs Racing. He also has some very impressive stats finishing in the top ten in nineteen of his thirty-two starts at this track and his numbers are equally impressive at California where he has fifteen top ten finishes in twenty-three starts. These are two of Matt’s best tracks to run on and this weekend should be no different.
Kyle Busch: Now that Kyle has made it to the top thirty in points he just needs to stay there over the next four weeks to make the Chase. Michigan hasn’t been one of his better tracks to run on as he has only six top ten finishes in twenty-one starts. This team can try to continue to win races and run well but, they really need to look at the big picture and make sure they don’t take any chances that could knock them back out of the top thirty in points.
Jeff Gordon: Jeff has won three times at this track during his career and has finished in the top ten in twenty-seven of his forty-one starts here. Right now he can make the Chase on points but, I don’t think anyone wants to take the chance we get another new winner this season and they have a bad race and get knocked out of the Chase and a chance to win a championship.
Ryan Newman: Ryan has won two races at this track during his career but, he has only finished in the top ten in seven of his twenty-eight starts. Ryan is currently in the Chase on points and hasn’t won a race in the past two seasons. However, that didn’t keep him from coming close to winning his first championship last season when he finished second to Kevin Harvick at Miami in the last race of the season with the championship on the line.
Brad Keselowski: Brad has yet to win a race at this track in his home state. However, he hasn’t finished worse than thirteenth in his last eight starts at this track and will do everything he can to win a race here. If his teammate, Joey Logano, always runs well here there is no reason to think Brad can’t do the same thing. I think he might be pressing a little too hard to win at this track and just needs to try and relax a little bit this weekend.
YAHOO! FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
Yahoo Driver Group A
- Kevin Harvick
- Matt Kenseth
Yahoo Driver Group B
- Kasey Kahne
- Carl Edwards
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Paul Menard
Yahoo Driver Group C
- Danica Patrick
- Justin Allgaier
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
- Kevin Harvick
- Matt Kenseth
- Joey Logano
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.
- Jeff Gordon
Dark Horse: Clint Bowyer
Stay Away From: Greg Biffle