Dan Beaver

Statistically Speaking

print article archives RSS

FireKeepers Casino 400 Stats

Friday, June 16, 2017


This week’s race: FireKeepers Casino 400
Traditional Name: Motor State 400
Other Notable Names: Quicken Loans 400; Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400, LifeLock 400, Sirius Satellite Radio 400, Kmart 400, Miller 400, Gabriel 400, Cam 2 Motor Oil 400

Michigan International Speedway is one of NASCAR’s perfect tracks. It combines speed, handling, and strategy while giving drivers an opportunity to move around and find a perfect line. No matter what a driver’s style is, they can find success on this two-mile track so long as they perfect their particular skill.

Last year, four of a possible five drivers swept the top five. Another couple swept the top 10 and two more swept the top 15. This was not an anomaly; Michigan has become host to some of the most predictable racing on the circuit and that should help fantasy owners select the right lineup.

10 best drivers at Michigan

Over the past six races, these drivers have the best average finish on this track.

1. Chase Elliott
Last six races average finish at Michigan: 2.00 (2 starts)
Career avg. finish: 2.00 in 2 attempts

Elliott was as consistent as it is possible to be last year with two runner-up finishes in two Michigan races. Unfortunately, he was also consistent in another regard because it was two botched restarts that kept him from winning. It the race develops a green flag tendency at the end, Elliott could get his career-first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win.

2. Brad Keselowski
Last six races average finish at Michigan: 5.50
Career avg. finish: 18.1 in 9 attempts

Keselowski has been perfect in regard to top-10 finishes for the past three years. If success predicts success, he is guaranteed to finish with the leaders again. NASCAR rarely falls to a perfect form, but fantasy owners who believe in statistics will want the No. 2 on their roster.

3. Joey Logano
Last six races average finish at Michigan: 5.83
Career avg. finish: 17.6 in 11 attempts

If Logano wants the NASCAR nation to forget about his encumbered victory at Richmond International Raceway, he is going to have to win again—or at least score a top-10. Since getting penalized, he has finished outside the top 20 in five straight races. Fortunately, he enters the weekend with an eight-race streak of Michigan top-10s.

4. Kevin Harvick
Last six races average finish at Michigan: 7.50
Career avg. finish: 17.3 in 27 attempts

Harvick has been as close to perfect as a recently winless driver can be on a track. In his last eight races on this track, he has earned five runner-up finishes and two top-fives. If not for a tire issue in spring 2014, he would likely have a flawless streak of top-fives.

5. Paul Menard
Last six races average finish at Michigan: 10.67
Career avg. finish: 20.1 in 16 attempts

Menard has been trending downward in the past two and half seasons, but his overall average is still strong and that makes him a good dark horse candidate. From summer 2013 through 2014 he scored three straight fourth-place finishes and has completed all the laps at Michigan since 2012—a streak of nine races.

6. Jamie McMurray
Last six races average finish at Michigan: 11.00
Career avg. finish: 20.1 in 24 attempts

McMurray has become the king of consistency. Last week’s accident at Pocono Raceway snapped a long streak of top-15s this season and he has that same characteristic at Michigan where he has finished 16th or better in his last six attempts.

7. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Last six races average finish at Michigan: 12.60 (5 starts)
Career avg. finish: 12.2 in 30 attempts

Michigan is the track to which Earnhardt goes when he wants to snap winless streaks. In 2008 he ended a 68-race winless streak. In 2012 he won for the first time in 143 races and now he is coming up on 34 events without a victory. His average would be much better this week if not for an accident in this race last year.

8. Kasey Kahne
Last six races average finish at Michigan: 13.00
Career avg. finish: 17.9 in 21 attempts

It has been quite some time since we saw Kahne in the top 10 for three-year averages. He has earned only one top-10 in the past six years, but he has made up for that with consistent finishes of 16th or better in the other five attempts on this track.

9. Ryan Newman
Last six races average finish at Michigan: 13.33
Career avg. finish: 17.9 in 25 attempts

Once more it is his vaunted consistency that elevates Newman into the top 10 this week. In his last nine efforts at Michigan, he has scored only two top-10s but has finished on the lead lap each time with a worst result of 18th.

10. Matt Kenseth
Last six races average finish at Michigan: 14.00
Career avg. finish: 11.9 in 29 attempts

Statistically Kenseth is the Gibbs’ guy most likely to challenge for a win this week. His latest victory on this track came in 2015 when he won from the pole. Equally impressive, he has finished on the lead lap in all but three of his 35 career starts on the two-mile oval. 

Rank

Driver

3 Yr. Avg. Finish

Attempts

1.

Chase Elliott

2.00

2

2.

Brad Keselowski

5.50

6

3.

Joey Logano

5.83

6

4.

Kevin Harvick

7.50

6

5.

Paul Menard

10.67

6

6.

Jamie McMurray

11.00

6

7.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

12.60

5

8.

Kasey Kahne

13.00

6

9.

Ryan Newman

13.33

6

10.

Matt Kenseth

14.00

6

 

 

 

 

11.

Kyle Larson

14.17

6

12.

Kurt Busch

14.50

6

13.

Jimmie Johnson

15.00

6

14.

Denny Hamlin

15.67

6

15.

Austin Dillon

16.67

6

16.

Ryan Blaney

17.25

5

17.

Martin Truex Jr.

18.50

6

18.

Ty Dillon

19.00

2

19.

Danica Patrick

20.00

6

20.

Clint Bowyer

21.67

6

20.

Trevor Bayne

21.67

6

22.

AJ Allmendinger

23.17

6

23.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

24.83

6

24.

Chris Buescher

27.50

2

25.

David Ragan

27.67

6

26.

Cole Whitt

28.83

6

27.

Kyle Busch

32.17

6

28.

Landon Cassill

32.50

6

29.

Matt DiBenedetto

33.75

4

30.

Reed Sorenson

34.00

5

31.

Jeffrey Earnhardt

37.00

2

Drivers With Only One Start

 

Michael McDowell

31.00

1

 

Timmy Hill

43.00

1


Exercise Caution

Most caution flags: 10, 2006 GFS Marketplace 400

Fewest caution flags: (0 three times), 1999 Kmart 400 by Castrol Super Clean, 1984 Champion Spark Plug 400, 1973 Motor State 400
Average number of caution flags per race: 5.2
In 2017: 9.5

Final Caution, last five races:
August 2016: Lap 188 of 200: Debris from Paul Menard
June 2016: Lap 190 of 200: 1-car accident on the frontstretch (Denny Hamlin)
August 2015: Lap184 of 200: 1-car spin in turn 4 (Jimmie Johnson)
June 2015: Lap 138 of 138: rain that shortened the race
August 2014: Lap 180 of 200: 1-car accident in turn 1 (Kurt Busch)
Most caution laps: 78, 1969 Yankee 600

Fewest caution laps: 0 three times, 1999 Kmart 400 by Castrol Super Clean, 1984 Champion Spark Plug 400, 1973 Motor State 400
Average number of caution laps per race: 26.9
In 2017: 50.6

Leading the way

Most leaders: 15, 1982 Gabriel 400
Fewest leaders: 5 (5 times), 1984 Champion Spark Plug 400, 1980 Gabriel 400, 1973 Motor State 400, 1971 Yankee 400, 1971 Motor State 400
Average number of leaders: 9.4
In 2017 8.9

Most lead changes: 65, 1981 Champion Spark Plug 400
Fewest lead changes: 7, 1984 Champion Spark Plug 400
Average number of lead changes: 22.5
In 2017 19.0

Victory Lane

Last five winners at Michigan (starting position):
June 2016: Joey Logano (1)
August 2015: Matt Kenseth (1)
June 2015: Kurt Busch (24)
August 2014: Jeff Gordon (1)
June 2014: Jimmie Johnson (7)
August 2013: Joey Logano (1)

Worst starting position for race winner: Mark Martin 32nd 2009 LifeLock 400 (second-place Jeff Gordon started 27th and fourth-place Carl Edwards started 29th)

A race at Michigan has been won by the pole sitter 20 times and from the front row 28 times in 95 races.

Recent races won from the pole:
2016 FireKeepers Casino 400: Joey Logano
2015 Pure Michigan 400: Matt Kenseth
2014 Pure Michigan 400: Jeff Gordon
2013 Pure Michigan 400: Joey Logano
2009 Carfax 400: Brian Vickers
2006 3M Performance 400 by Post-it Picture Paper: Kasey Kahne
2001 Kmart 400: Jeff Gordon

Active winners at Michigan:
Kurt Busch: 3
Matt Kenseth: 3
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: 2
Denny Hamlin: 2
Joey Logano: 2
Ryan Newman: 2
Kyle Busch: 1
Kevin Harvick: 1
Jimmie Johnson: 1
Kasey Kahne: 1
Kyle Larson: 1

Top-10
All-time Winners at Michigan:
David Pearson: 9
Cale Yarborough: 8
Bill Elliott: 7
Mark Martin: 5
Rusty Wallace: 5
Richard Petty: 4
Bobby Allison: 4
Greg Biffle: 4
Dale Jarrett: 4
Davey Allison: 3
Kurt Busch: 3
Matt Kenseth: 3
Jeff Gordon: 3
Bobby Labonte: 3

Top-10
Two-mile track victories (Michigan and Auto Club):
David Pearson: 9
Cale Yarborough: 8
Jimmie Johnson: 7
Bill Elliott: 7
Jeff Gordon: 6
Mark Martin: 6
Matt Kenseth: 6
Rusty Wallace: 6
Greg Biffle: 5
Kyle Busch: 4
Bobby Allison: 4
Richard Petty: 4
Kurt Busch: 4
Dale Jarrett: 4

First time winners at Michigan:
2016: Pure Michigan 400
1991: Dale Jarrett, Champion Spark Plug 400

Running at the End

The following active drivers have been running at the end of every Michigan race they started:
David Ragan (20)
Brad Keselowski (15)
Austin Dillon (9)
Danica Patrick (8)
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (8)
Cole Whitt (6)
Ryan Blaney (4)
Chris Buescher (2)
Ty Dillon (2)
Chase Elliott (2)

Great Starts

Active drivers with top-10s in their first start on this track:
Chase Elliott: 2 (2016 in both races)
Kasey Kahne: 2 (2004)
Reed Sorenson: 5 (2006)
Ryan Newman: 5 (2001)
Kyle Larson: 8 (2014)
Kyle Busch: 9 (2005)
Kevin Harvick: 10 (2001)

No one has earned a pole in their first start, but Ryan Blaney qualified fifth in 2015—the best among active drivers.

Current Streaks

At Michigan
Joey Logano, eight top-10s
Brad Keselowski, six top-10s
Kevin Harvick, three top-fives
Chase Elliott, two top-fives
Kyle Larson, two top-fives
Jamie McMurray, two top-10s

On Two-mile tracks (Michigan and Auto Club)
Brad Keselowski, nine top-10s
Joey Logano, nine top-10s
Chase Elliott, four top-10s
Jamie McMurray, four top-10s
Kyle Larson, three top-fives
Ryan Blaney, two top-10s

In 2017
Martin Truex Jr., four top-10s
Kevin Harvick, for top-10s
Kyle Larson, two top-10s
Chase Elliott, two top-fives

 



Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 12 years with a little help from his >500,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.
Email :Dan Beaver



Highest Searched Drivers over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Matchups: Bortles vs. Texans

    Matchups: Bortles vs. Texans
  •  
    Dose: Osweiler leads DEN

    Dose: Osweiler leads DEN
  •  
    RotoPat: Start Rodgers

    RotoPat: Start Rodgers
  •  
    Rankings: Steelers on top

    Rankings: Steelers on top
  •  
    Dose: Rodgers returns for GB

    Dose: Rodgers returns for GB
  •  
    Waivers: Wentz replacements

    Waivers: Wentz replacements
  •  
    Dose: Miami upsets NE

    Dose: Miami upsets NE
  •  
    Dose: PIT

    Dose: PIT's O crushes BAL