The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway's two mile tri-oval for the 15th race of the 2012 season, the Quicken Loans 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 17, 2012; 1:19 p.m./et.
Weather: Isolated thunderstorms with a high around 89; wind out of the SSW at 9 mph. There is a 30 percent chance of precipitation.
The Track: Michigan InternationalSpeedway
MIS is a 2.0 mile tri-oval. It has 18 degree banking in the turns and 12 degree banking in the tri-oval.
Key to Race: A ROUSH/ HENDRICK BATTLE
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.
45 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots. If the first practice is run, but qualifying is unable to take place, the starting lineup will be based on speeds from the car's fastest lap from the first practice, with top-35 cars in owner points no longer segregated from the non-top 35 cars. Previously, the top 35 cars lined up in front of all other eligible car owners.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 17 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth has had just two finishes worse than 17th in 23 careers starts at the track. He will be a good-shoe this weekend.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin has finished worse than 14th just twice in 11 career starts at MIS. He won the past two June races at the track and is one of our top picks this weekend.
No. 99 Carl Edwards: Edwards has finished in the top 10 in 12 of his 15 career starts at MIS, including two wins. He is a great option.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle has 10 top 10 finishes in 18 career starts at MIS. He will have a top car once again.
No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick won the summer race at MIS in 2010 and has averaged a 14th place finish the past seven year at the track. He is a must use this weekend.
6 to 10
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Stewart has finished inside the top 10 in 15 of the last 19 MIS races. He will have the No. 14 car back inside the top 10 again this weekend.
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has led 459 laps in the past 10 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. 18 Kyle Busch: Rowdy struggled last June at MIS, but rebounded to win the August race. He is a fine pick.
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has 18 top five finishes in 38 career starts at MIS. We feel he will finish just outside the top five this weekend.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has been hit-or-miss at MIS the past eight races. He is worth taking a chance on this trip to Brooklyn.
11 to 20
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski, a Michigan native, is going to be fast this weekend. He is worth going with.
No. 55 Mark Martin: Martin won a fuel mileage race at MIS in 2009 and finished fourth last August. He should be fast this weekend, but we don’t see him finishing inside the top 10 again.
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. 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 13 races at the track. This will be another solid finish for the No. 88 team.
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer has averaged just an 18th place finish at MIS during the past 10 trips to the track. He is a bit of a risky choice this weekend.
No. 22 A.J. Allmendinger: A.J. cracked the top 20 in the past four races at MIS. He is one of our sleeper picks.
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. finished second at MIS in both 2007 races and was eighth in August of 2011. He should crack the top 20 again this weekend.
No. 39 Ryan Newman: Newman has finished in the top 15 in nine of his last 18 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. 78 Regan Smith: Smith was awesome at MIS last August. He is an option for those of you that are desperate for a bargain pick.
21 to 30
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray had a couple of his better finishes of the 2008 season at MIS. For those of you in deep leagues, this is a decent weekend to sneak the No. 1 car into your lineup.
No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya: Montoya has been fast in just two of the last six races at MIS. There are less risky drivers to have on your roster this weekend.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Even with his fourth place finish at MIS last June, Menard is just a fourth driver in all leagues.
No. 21 Trevor Bayne: The Wood Brothers have a storied history at MIS. Look for Bayne to surprise some people this weekend.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose finished 15th during the 2010 August race. He won’t match that finish this visit to Brooklyn.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: Almirola is quietly having a terrific season. Add him as a fifth driver in all leagues.
No. 33 Austin Dillon: Dillon is a terrific talent and has the deep-pockets of his grandfather’s RCR team. He is worth adding.
No. 10 David Reutimann: Reutimann has brought fast cars to four of the last six MIS races. We expect he will use a similar setup and another top 30 finish should result.
No. 51 Kurt Busch: Kurt is back behind the wheel of the No. 51 car this weekend. If he can keep a strip of duct tape over his big mouth he might be able to stay out trouble long enough to crack the top 20. We don’t see it happening.
No. 34 David Ragan: Ragan isn’t much of a sleeper pick anymore. He is hardly worth using.
No. 83 Landon Cassill
No. 13 Casey Mears
No. 93 Travis Kvapil
No. 47 Bobby Labonte
No. 32 Ken Schrader
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 23 Scott Riggs
No. 49 J.J. Yeley
No. 30 David Stremme
No. 36 Dave Blaney
No. 98 Michael McDowell
No. 19 Mike Bliss
No. 74 Stacy Compton
No. 26 Josh Wise
No. 17 Matt Kenseth
No. 11 Denny Hamlin
No. 99 Carl Edwards
No. 16 Greg Biffle
Bust of the Week: