Thursday, August 13, 2015

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Hot race and engine failures at Pure Michigan 400?

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 - Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle
All with  3 -  Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowksi, Joey Logano, Carl Edwards and Paul Menard

By Track
Clint Bowyer - 9
Paul Menard - 6
All with 5 - Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Joey Logano

Recent Pole Winners:
2014 Jeff Gordon
2013 Joey Logano

The Likely Suspects: Michigan is most likely circled on these drivers' calendars as they usually run strong here: Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Paul Menard, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Greg Biffle, Brad Keselowski, Carl Edwards and Matt Kenneth.

My 2 Cents: NASCAR will again be tinkering with the rules package at The Irish Hills. The results may create an uncomfortable ride for drivers as a much taller nine-inch spoiler and a rear bumper extension will effectively seal off the cockpit from airflow. Air temperatures of at least mid-80s may create more heat-related complications, especially engine failures. For that reason I am going to focus on teams that are strong overall.

My no-brainer pick this week is a three-way tie between Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Paul Menard. My next choices are Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle. I'll complete my team with Danica Patrick and Ryan Blaney.

My final four: Kevin Harvick, Paul Menard, Carl Edwards and Danica Patrick.

Points to ponder:
  • Roush Fenway Racing has the most wins at Michigan in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 13: Mark Martin (four), Greg Biffle (four), Carl Edwards (two), Matt Kenseth (two) and Kurt Busch (one).
  • Jeff Gordon leads the series in runner-up finishes at Michigan with eight, followed by Darrell Waltrip with seven and Kevin Harvick with five.
  • Eight different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Michigan led by Ford with 34 victories, followed by Chevrolet with 23. Toyota has four wins at Michigan.
  • Three-fourths (69 of 92) of the NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Michigan have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • Less than one-third (26 of the 92; 28.2%) of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Michigan have been won from the front row: 18 from the pole and eight from second place.
Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter at @purplecatpr.