Thursday, August 9, 2018

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan

By Carol D'Agostino
Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last Five Years):
By Race
Both with 4 - Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano
Both with  3 - Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin

By Track
Joey Logano -9
Kevin Harvick -7
Brad Keselowski -6
All with 5 - Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray, and Martin Truex Jr.   

Recent Pole Winners:
2017 Kyle Larson
2016 Joey Logano

Last Year's Race Winner: Kyle Larson

The Likely Suspects: Michigan may not be a road course, but you can expect some fast action in the Irish Hills this weekend. These drivers are Michigan masters: Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. And coincidentally, last week's feel-good winner Chase Elliott, is pretty stout here in Michigan holding the series-best average finish of 4.6. His father Bill Elliott was also a Michigan elite driver. 

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is Chase Elliott. My next choices are Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Erik Jones, Jamie McMurray, Austin Dillon. I'll complete my team with Alex Bowman and William Byron. 

My Final Four: Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones, Chase Elliott and William Byron.

Second-Look Driver: This week's second-look driver is Ryan Blaney. Ryan has 11th best average finish at Michigan with one top five, two top 10s. He has been kicking on the door for a win. This could be his weekend. Last week's second-look driver Chris Buescher finished where he started in 20th place.

Points to Ponder:
  • The top six winning MENCS organizations at Michigan are Roush Fenway Racing (13), Wood Brothers Racing (11), Joe Gibbs Racing (eight), Hendrick Motorsports (eight) and Team Penske (eight).
  • The first starting position is the most prolific starting position in the field, producing more winners (21) than any other starting position at Michigan International Speedway – 20 from the Busch Pole and one from the first starting position due to qualifying being canceled. 
  • Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne, and Joey Logano lead all active drivers in poles at Michigan with three each.
  • Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, and Matt Kenseth lead all active MENCS drivers with three wins each.
  • Ryan Newman (2003-2004) and Kyle Larson (2016-2017 sweep) are the only two active drivers to win consecutive series races at Michigan.
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 8 a.m. EDT on Friday, August 10th, and your final picks by 2:30 p.m. EDT on race day Sunday, August 12th.

Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter at @purplecatpr.

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