The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway's two mile tri-oval for the 23rd race of the season, the Pure Michigan 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, August 17; 1:16 p.m./et.
Weather: Scattered T-storms with a high around 77; wind out of the NNW at 7 mph. There is a 40 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. If the thunderstorms that are predicted materialize after the halfway point look for even crazier strategies as everyone will start paying more attention to the Doppler radar than the race.
43 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson won at MIS earlier this year and as always is a threat to do it again.
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior drove a great race at MIS in June. This will be another fast finish for the No. 88 team.
No. 4 Kevin Harvick: Harvick finished second earlier this year and won the summer race at MIS in 2010. He is a smart play this weekend.
No. 20 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth needs a win to lock himself into the Chase and thus is worth using in all leagues.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski, a Michigan native, finished third at MIS earlier this year. He is worth going with.
6 to 10
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has 18 top five finishes in 43 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 11 races. He finished fifth at the track this June and is worth taking a chance on as he likely needs a win to qualify for the Chase.
No. 20 Joey Logano: Logano dominated last August’s race at MIS. We love his chances this weekend.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Rowdy won the 2011 August race. He is worth using in most leagues.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle won two of the past four races at MIS and has 14 top 10 finishes in 23 career starts at MIS. Get the Biff active this weekend.
11 to 20
No. 99 Carl Edwards: “Lame Duck Edwards has finished in the top 11 in 16 of his 20 career starts at MIS, including two wins. He is a good option.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard has been very fast at MIS lately, including a fourth place finish in June. This is a good chance to sneak him onto your roster.
No. 42 Kyle Larson: Larson was fantastic at MIS earlier this season. He is a great option.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin has finished worse than 14th just six times in 17 career starts at MIS. He won the June 2010 and 2011 races at the track and should be fast again this weekend.
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer has averaged a 15th place finish at MIS during the past 14 trips to the track. He is a fair-to-middling choice this weekend.
No. 31 Ryan Newman: Newman has finished in the top 15 in 13 of his last 23 starts at MIS. He should finish right around 15th.
No. 41 Kurt Busch: Kurt ran a terrific race last fall at MIS. We like his chances to be quick once again.
No. 14 Tony Stewart: We all know about “Smoke’s” situation. His mind will, for good reason, be away from the track this weekend.
No. 3 Austin Dillon: Dillon impressed at MIS last season, but struggled at the track this June. He is just an average pick.
No. 78 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. has had five top 10 finishes at MIS since 2007. He should crack the top 20 again this weekend.
21 to 30
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Stenhouse averaged a 20th place finish at MIS so far in his career. We expect he will continue the success.
No. 55 Brian Vickers: Vickers has eight top 10 finishes out of 15 career starts at Michigan. He is a nice fourth driver this weekend.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose finished fifth and sixth the past two August races. He won’t match those finishes this visit to Brooklyn, but he is worth using.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray ran well at MIS in 2012 and earlier this year, but he struggled last year. For those of you in deep leagues, this is a decent weekend to sneak the No. 1 car into your lineup.
No. 47 A.J. Allmendinger: Mr. Watkins Glen has been decent at MIS. He isn’t a terrible choice.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: Almirola has averaged an 20th place finish the past nine years at MIS. Add him as a fourth driver in deep leagues.
No. 13 Casey Mears: Mears has averaged a 22nd place finish at MIS during his career. This isn’t a bad week to use him.
No. 21 Trevor Bayne: The Wood Brothers have a storied history at MIS. Look for Bayne to surprise some people this weekend.
No. 10 Danica Patrick: Patrick drove decent races at MIS the past three races. We still wouldn’t use her as anything but a fifth driver.
No. 34 David Ragan: Ragan finished inside the top 25 at MIS in four of the last five races. He is a decent sleeper pick.
No. 51 Justin Allgaier
No. 7 Michael Annett
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 36 Reed Sorenson
No. 26 Cole Whitt
No. 23 Alex Bowman
No. 32 Travis Kvapil
No. 33 Alex Kennedy
No. 40 Landon Cassill
No. 83 Ryan Truex
No. 98 Josh Wise
No. 66 Joe Nemechek
No. 37 Dave Blaney
My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:
A. Kasey Kahne
B. Greg Biffle
B. Paul Menard
C. Kyle Larson