Thursday, June 11, 2015

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan

Track Classification: Superspeedway
Similar Tracks: Daytona International Speedway •  Auto Club Speedway (Fontana)  
Indianapolis Motor Speedway • Pocono Raceway • Talladega Superspeedway
Distance: 2 Miles

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Both with 4 - Tony Stewart and Clint Bowyer 
All with  3 -  Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Joey Logano 

By Track
Clint Bowyer - 8
All with 5 - Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle and Paul Menard
All with 4 -  Brad Keselowski, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson

Recent Pole Winners:
2014 Kevin Harvick
2013 Carl Edwards

2013 Flashback
This season may come down to the Jimmie and Kevin show, but it sure has been interesting to see how long is has taken some drivers to get adjusted to this new rules package with less horsepower and downforce. And then there are the drivers who haven't gotten a handle on it yet. If you have been following this column, you know that I am not placing much emphasis on last year's statistics. In fact, when doing final picks I weigh 2013 much more heavily.

Top 15 Finishers at Michigan International Speedway on June 16, 2013:
  1. Greg Biffle           
  2. Kevin Harvick
  3. Martin Truex Jr.           
  4. Kyle Busch           
  5. Tony Stewart           
  6. Matt Kenseth           
  7. Clint Bowyer           
  8. Carl Edwards           
  9. Joey Logano           
  10. Jeff Burton           
  11. Austin Dillon           
  12. Brad Keselowski           
  13. Danica Patrick
  14. Paul Menard           
  15. Trevor Bayne            
The Likely Suspects: This two-miler has been a very good track for these drivers: Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Paul Menard. 

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is Kevin Harvick. My next picks are Matt Kenneth, Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, Greg Biffle and Paul Menard. I will complete my team with (gulp) Ryan Blaney and Danica Patrick. Starting position is crucial this week, so pay careful attention to the starting lineup when doing your final picks. Think top 10!

My final four: Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle, Paul Menard and Danica Patrick.

Points to ponder:
  • The Coors Light pole position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (18) than any other starting position at Michigan International Speedway.    
  • Of the 91 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Michigan, 26 (28.5%) have been won from the front row: 18 from the pole and eight from second place.
  • Three-quarters of the Sprint Cup races at Michigan (69 of 91) have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • Carl Edwards leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Michigan with a 9.714.
  • Jeff Gordon leads the series in runner-up finishes at Michigan with eight, followed by Darrell Waltrip with seven and Kevin Harvick with five.
Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter @purplecatpr.


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