For the second time this year, we’re at a 2-mile track this weekend as Michigan International Speedway plays host for the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday. The 200-lap race will cover 400 miles at some of the fastest speeds at any track this season, even with the 550-horsepower package in place.

The banking and design of this track allow for the carrying of speed throughout the entirety of the laps if the driver can keep the momentum going well enough. During practice on Friday in race trim, speeds were routinely up over 195 mph in traffic so expect to see race pace pretty close to that on Sunday. For more on the design of the track, check out the Track Breakdown for this week and for speeds check out the Practice Notes.

Laps led will be a stat to capitalize on this week with usually a couple of guys leading the bulk of the laps, or one taking over, and then position differential will be key too. This track has historically not been a great one for position movement, but this package should help that. If you look at the starting spots for winners in the track breakdown, you’ll see that 52 winners have come from the top-four starting spots out of 99 total winners, however 10-percent have also come from 20th or worse as well. The stage breaks should provide some chances to shift up the field as well as they will come at laps 60 and 120.

Prop Bet Challenge

  1. Will Sunday’s race winner be over the age of 33? I’m going to say YES even though I’m hoping Logano wins on Sunday for the sake of my DFS lineups. However, I’m not ruling out guys like Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr. to pull out a win either. So yeah, give me an old guy to win today.
  2. Which Chip Ganassi driver will finish higher? Kurt Busch or Kyle Larson? Busch qualified 7th and Larson qualified 22nd, but if you checked out the practice-to-qualifying table the practice results are relatively close while still favoring Busch. Anything can happen on the track. As we saw last week you can have a great car like Martin Truex and then blow an engine. Plus both of these drivers have nearly identical results in the last five June races at Michigan. Both have wins, two top five finishes, and three top ten finishes. It’s a tossup, but I’ll take Kurt Busch.
  3. Will the race winner lead O/U 70.5 laps? I’m going to say NO. Matt and I touched on this on the podcast and talked up how one driver could lead around 90 of the 200 laps. However, this question is asking if the winner will lead that many laps. Basically by saying we’re covering ourselves in a few different areas. If nobody leads 71 or more laps, we’re right. If the driver that does win leads less than 70 laps then we’re still gold. This requires too many moving pieces so lets be logical and say no.
  4. Stewart-Haas Racing drivers swept the Michigan races last year. Will one of them win on Sunday? Alright so saying ‘yes’ would mean that Kevin Harvick, Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer, or Daniel Suarez will win. They’re all in my DFS lineups today, but I’m going to take the field and say NO. As much as I like these guys I don’t have much faith in them winning. Suarez, Harvick, and Bowyer have great cars heading into the race and Almirola is starting second. But I’m taking the field here.
  5. O/U 28.5 stage points for Team Penske? I’m taking the OVER on this one. This only includes the first two stages which make up the first 120 laps. I briefly mentioned a Penske stack of Logano, Keselowski, and Menard. Menard’s been sneaky good at Michigan, Keselowski is a hometown driver, and Logano has a solid history here. Give me the over.
  6. Will the eventual race winner hold the lead with 20 laps to go? I’m going to say NO. Anything could happen in the last 20 laps. If there’s a caution, a wreck, a blown tire or engine then the door is open for movement in the last 20 laps. Plus it’s a 200-lap race. The last 10% of the race will be quite exciting so I expect some drama in those moments.
  7. O/U 5.5 Fords finish in the top 10 on Sunday? I’m taking the UNDER. I know there are a lot of Fords in the field and there is a lot of pressure on the Fords to perform well at the Michigan track. So if I took the over and thought six could finish then that’s a bit risky because Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, Alex Bowman, Erik Jones, and Denny Hamlin could all finish in the Top 10 with Toyotas and Chevy’s. A Ford could certainly win on Sunday, but I’ll take the under on this prop.
  8. Kevin Harvick & Martin Truex Jr. have each won three stages at Michigan. Does either driver score a stage win? This is where I’ll get a little contrarian and say YES even though the logical thing is to say no. But Harvick’s knocking on the door of his first win and prior to last week’s blown engine, Truex had one hell of a car and I think he’s flying a bit under the radar because of last week. I think one of them will win a stage this week.
  9. O/U 18. Lead lap finishers? I got burned on this one last week by going over, but I’m going back to the well and taking the OVER once again.
  10. Which Hendrick Motorsports driver will finish higher? Jimmie Johnson or William Byron? I’m actually going to take William Byron. He has a small sample size at this track, but last June he finished 13th and Johnson doesn’t have an other-worldly history at Michigan especially the last couple years. Byron’s a little more contrarian so I’ll roll the dice on him.
(Max 3)