Brian Brown

NASCAR Fantasy Cheat Sheet

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The Heluva Good! 400

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway's two mile tri-oval for the 15th race of the 2011 season, the Heluva Good! 400. NASCAR Fantasy expert Brian Brown analyzed past performances, season trends, and spoke to NASCAR contacts to provide you with the most accurate fantasy preview of Sunday's race.

When: Sunday, June 19, 2011; 1:18 p.m./et.

Weather: Isolated T-Storms with a high around 81; wind out of the SW at 8 mph. There is a 30 percent chance of precipitation.

The Track: Michigan International Speedway

MIS is a 2.0 mile tri-oval. It has 18 degree banking in the turns and 12 degree banking in the tri-oval.


Michigan International Speedway is a race that tends to become fuel mileage race so watch for drivers to conserve fuel at every opportunity and we expect some drivers will pit off-sequence early in the race.

Qualifying Procedures:

47 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots. Cars not in the top 35 in the 2010 owner point standings will have to qualify based on speed. Starting positions 1-43 will be determined during qualifying on Saturday, June 18 at 1:10 pm/et.

Fantasy Cheat Sheet:

Top 5

No. 99 Carl Edwards: Edwards has finished in the top 10 in 11 of his 13 career starts at MIS, including two wins. He is a great option.
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has led 441 laps in the past eight races at MIS. He had the top car on the track in 2009 and could finally get his first win at MIS on Sunday.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin has finished worse than 14th just once in 10 career starts at MIS. He won last year's June race at the track and is a strong pick again this weekend.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle has 10 top 10 finishes in 16 career starts at MIS. He will have a top 10 car once again.
No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick won the summer race at MIS last year and has averaged a 13th place finish the past eight visits to Brooklyn. He is a must use this weekend.

6 to 10

No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has 18 top five finishes in 36 career starts at MIS. Even with his win last weekend we feel he will finish just outside the top five this weekend.
No. 17 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth has had just two finishes worse than 17th in 21 careers starts at the track. He will be a fast shoe this weekend.
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Stewart has finished inside the top 10 in 13 of the last 17 MIS races. He will have the No. 14 car back inside the top 10 again this weekend.
No. 22 Kurt Busch: Kurt has been in the lead in over eight percent of the laps he has run at MIS during his career. We like his chances to lead a few more laps this visit to Brooklyn.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Rowdy isn't a huge fan of Michigan International Speedway. He will be satisfied with a top 10 run.

11 to 20

No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior won the June race at MIS in 2008 and has led at least a lap in eight of the last 11 races at the track. This will be another solid finish for the No. 88 team.
No. 4 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has been hit-or-miss at MIS the past six races. He isn't worth using as anything more than a third driver on most fantasy teams.
No. 20 Joey Logano: Logano has been strong at MIS so far in his young career. We expect he will be fast again on Sunday.
No. 5 Mark Martin: Martin won a fuel mileage race at MIS in 2009. He should be fast this weekend, but we don't see him finishing inside the top 10 again.
No. 6 David Ragan: Ragan has cracked the top 11 in three of the past six races. He should be used in most leagues.
No. 33 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer has averaged just a 20th place finish at MIS during the past eight trips to the track. He is a bit of a risky choice this weekend.
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. finished second at MIS in both 2007 races and was eighth last August. He should crack the top 20 again this weekend.
No. 00 David Reutimann: Reutimann has brought fast cars to three of the last four MIS races. We expect he will use a similar setup and another top 20 finish should result.
No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya: Montoya has been fast in two of the last four races at MIS, but still has averaged just a 22nd place finish at the track. There are less risky drivers to have on your roster this weekend.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray had a couple of his better finishes of the 2008 season at MIS. This is a good weekend to sneak the No. 1 car into your lineup.

21 to 30

No. 43 A.J. Allmendinger: A.J. cracked the top 20 in both races at MIS last year. He is one of our sleeper picks.
No. 83 Brian Vickers: Vickers has been excellent at MIS. We like him to have the No. 83 flying this visit to Michigan.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski, a Michigan native, is going to be fast this weekend. He is worth taking a chance on.
No. 39 Ryan Newman: Newman has finished in the top 15 in seven of his last 15 starts at MIS. He should qualify well, but we doubt he will have quite enough speed during the race for another top 15 finish.
No. 31 Jeff Burton: Burton has been very average at the MIS during his career. There are much better weeks to use him.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard has averaged a 25th place finish at MIS during his career. He is just a fifth driver in all leagues.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose finished 15th during last year's August race. He won't match that finish this visit to Brooklyn.
No. 78 Regan Smith: Smith has averaged a top 30 finish at MIS during his career. He is an option for those of you that are desperate for a bargain pick.
No. 13 Casey Mears: Mears continues to have an up-and-down season. He is only worth using in the very deepest of leagues.
No. 21 Trevor Bayne: The Wood Brothers have a storied history at MIS. Look for Bayne to surprise some people this weekend.

Field Fillers

No. 34 David Gilliland
No. 47 Bobby Labonte
No. 7 Robby Gordon
No. 36 Dave Blaney
No. 32 Mike Bliss
No. 51 Landon Cassill
No. 30 David Stremme
No. 38 Travis Kvapil
No. 60 Mike Skinner
No. 37 Tony Raines
No. 46 J.J. Yeley
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 71 Andy Lally
No. 81 Scott Riggs
No. 50 T.J. Bell
No. 66 Michael McDowell
No. 92 Brian Keselowski

Brownie's Picks

Top Four:

1. Carl Edwards
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Denny Hamlin
3. Greg Biffle


1. David Ragan
2. Martin Truex Jr.

Bust of the Week:

Jeff Burton

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