FireKeepers Casino 400
Yahoo: Top 30 Drivers
Yahoo / Fox / NASCAR: Quick Picks
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway this weekend, and the 2.0-mile, D-shaped oval is known for its high speeds and wide surface. Fast cars can generally get to the front, and while fuel mileage can come into play, Sunday's FireKeepers Casino 400 should be a race where the drivers with the best cars deliver big performances.
In terms of number of laps, Sunday's 200-lap distance puts this race on the shorter end of the spectrum. As a result, the place differential category will see a slight boost in importance, and at a wide track like Michigan, I won't hesitate to roster any quality driver that happens to underperform in qualifying.
Yes, the points in the dominator categories will be somewhat limited, but you can typically count on one driver leading a decent chunk of laps. Over the last three seasons, there have been six drivers who have led 60-plus laps in a race at Michigan, and two drivers have led 100-plus laps in that span. One trend worth noting is that all six of those drivers have started on the front row.
The August race last year was a bit of an anomaly, but drivers starting near the front still had success when it came to leading laps. Five drivers led 20-plus laps, including both of the front row starters, but no driver led more than 41. All five of those drivers started 12th or better.
Needless to say, you need to pay close attention to qualifying, and you are probably going to want plenty of exposure to the drivers starting on the front row. Qualifying is set for Friday at 4:00 p.m. ET, and in the meantime, here is a closer look at the drivers I'll be targeting at DraftKings.
Kyle Larson ($10,200)
I think it's safe to say that Larson has a good feel for the 2.0-mile ovals. He finished third at Michigan last June and led 41 laps on his way to the win here in August. Earlier this year, Larson delivered a dominant performance at the other two-mile track on the schedule, Auto Club Speedway. Larson has to be one of the favorites to win Sunday's race and win the dominator categories at DraftKings.
Martin Truex Jr. ($10,000)
The bad luck bug struck Truex at both Michigan races last year, but he was still able to showcase his speed, leading multiple laps in both events. He also led 73 laps at Auto Club Speedway back in March, so he still has plenty of speed at the 2.0-mile ovals. Truex has made a consistent impact in the dominator categories all season, and that should continue this weekend.