NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Consumer Energy 400 at Michigan

Active Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last Five Years):
By Race
All with 4 - Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin and Joey  Logano
Both with  3 - Austin Dillon and Chase Elliott

By Track
Joey Logano -9
Brad Keselowski -8
Kevin Harvick -7
Chase Elliott - 6
Both with 5 - Kyle Larson and Denny Hamlin  

Recent Pole Winners:
2018 Denny Hamlin
2017 Kyle Larson

Last Year's Race Winner: Kevin Harvick

The Likely Suspects: We are going from a road course to a superspeedway, yet there is a key group of elite racers from Watkins Glen who also excel here. My Michigan elite drivers include: Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski and last week's race winner Chase Elliott, who did the repeat from last year at Watkins Glen.  

My 2 Cents: I love watching the racing at Michigan and not just because the Pure Michigan Tourism commercials are awesome. My no-brainer pick this week is Kevin Harvick. My next picks are Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola and Jimmie Johnson. I'll complete my team with Matt DiBenedetto and Bubba Wallace Jr. 

My Final Four: Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Matt DiBenedetto.

Second-Look Driver: This week's second-look driver is Ryan Newman. Ryan is coming off three top 10s in the last five races. He is a two-time Michigan winner (2003-04), and in the first Michigan race this season he finished in eighth. Also, it doesn't hurt that his race team Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in wins at Michigan with 13.

Last week's second-look driver William Byron started the race on the front row in the second position but sparred with Kyle Busch throughout the day. On the second occasion just as Stage One ended, William seemed to want to get Kyle's attention and stayed on the gas, but Kyle saw it coming and stepped on the brakes right before impact. The #18 was left undamaged, but unfortunately the #24 got some severe nose damage. He ultimately ended the race in 21st place.

Points to Ponder:
  • 21 of the 100 (21%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Michigan have been won from the Busch pole; the most recent win from the pole at Michigan was June 2019 (Joey Logano).
  • The first starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (22) than any other starting position at Michigan International Speedway.
  • Joey Logano (2013, 2016 sweep, 2019) leads all active drivers in poles at Michigan with four; followed by Kurt Busch (2010, 2011 and 2018) with three.
  • Kyle Larson (2016, 2017 sweep), Kurt Busch (2003, 2007, 2015) and Joey Logano (2013, 2016, 2019) lead all active series drivers in wins at Michigan with three each.  
  • Roush Fenway Racing leads the series in wins at Michigan with 13.
  • Eight different manufacturers have won in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Michigan; led by Ford with 38 victories.
  • Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers in runner-up finishes at Michigan with seven as well as in Top 5s with 12 and in Top 10s with 18.
  • Chase Elliott leads all active drivers in the series in average finishing position at Michigan with a 7.4 in seven starts.
  • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in laps led at Michigan with 700 laps led in 35 starts.
    Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 8 a.m. EST on Friday, Aug. 9th, and your final picks by 3 p.m. EST on race day Sunday, Aug. 11th.

    Enjoy the race!

    Carol D’Agostino wields fantasy-racing superpowers. Each week, Carol researches statistics and combs through her personal racing notes to provide fans with fantasy racing advice in NASCAR Fantasy Fusion, a column she has written for Skirts & Scuffs since October 2011. Carol also does race coverage for Skirts & Scuffs at Richmond Raceway and occasionally at her home track, Dover International Speedway. This year she joins the NASCAR Expert Picks panel at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet. When she isn’t crunching numbers, you’ll find Carol in business meetings or hammering out a news release or creating a marketing strategy at a small niche public relations firm she founded called Purple Cat. 

    NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Consumer Energy 400 at Michigan NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Consumer Energy 400 at Michigan Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Thursday, August 08, 2019 Rating: 5