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NASCAR Fantasy Cheat Sheet

The Pure Michigan 400

by Brian Brown
Updated On: December 3, 2018, 6:02 pm ET

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 16; 2:46 p.m./et.



Weather:  Mostly sunny with a high around 87; wind out of the SW at 6 mph.  There is a 10 percent chance of precipitation.



The Track: Michigan InternationalSpeedway


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





As with the last few NASCAR races this season, Michigan International Speedway is a race that tends to become fuel mileage race.  Watch for drivers to try and conserve fuel at every opportunity on Sunday. 


NASCAR has ordered drivers use the same high-drag aero package this weekend that was used at Indy.  Kyle Busch won at Indy with this package and Kevin Harvick led the most laps.  We look for both drivers to be fast once again.



Qualifying Procedures:


44 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots. 



Fantasy Cheat Sheet:


Top 5


No. 4 Kevin Harvick:  Harvick finished second both races last year.  He is a smart play this weekend.

No. 18 Kyle Busch:  Rowdy won the 2011 August race and has been the hottest driver on the circuit lately.  He is worth using in all leagues.

No. 41 Kurt Busch:  Busch won a rain-shortened race at MIS earlier this year.  He will be battling for the lead all weekend.

No. 22 Joey Logano:  Logano was awesome the past two August races at MIS.  We love his chances this weekend.

No. 78 Martin Truex Jr.:  Truex Jr. has six top 10 finishes at MIS in his career.  He was awesome at MIS earlier this year.



6 to 10


No. 48 Jimmie Johnson:  Johnson won the spring race at MIS last year and as always is a threat at the track. 

No. 20 Matt Kenseth:  Kenseth has averaged a 10th place finish at MIS during his career.  He should take the checkers a little better than his track average this visit.

No. 2 Brad Keselowski:  Keselowski, a Michigan native, finished sixth, eighth and third at MIS the past three years.  He is worth using in all leagues.

No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.:  Junior drove a great races at MIS the past three visits. This will be another fast finish for the No. 88 team.

No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon won last year’s summer race at MIS and has 19 top five finishes in 45 career starts at the track.  He could make a return trip to the top 10 this weekend.



11 to 20


No. 19 Carl Edwards:  Edwards has averaged a 10th place finish at MIS during his career, but he hasn’t finished inside the top five since 2011.  He is a good option.

No. 16 Greg Biffle:  Biffle won two of the past six races at MIS and has 15 top 10 finishes in 25 career starts at MIS.  Get the Biff active this weekend.

No. 11 Denny Hamlin:  Hamlin has finished worse than 14th just six times in 19 career starts at MIS.  He won the June 2010 and 2011 races at the track and should be fast again this weekend.

No. 5 Kasey Kahne:  Kahne has been hit-or-miss at MIS.  He finished 15th earlier this year.

No. 27 Paul Menard:  Menard has been very fast at MIS lately, including an eighth place finish earlier this year and fourth place finishes in both races last year.  This is a good chance to sneak him onto your roster.

No. 15 Clint Bowyer:  Bowyer finished 10th at MIS earlier this year.  He is a decent pick this weekend.

No. 31 Ryan Newman:  Newman has finished in the top 15 in 14 of his last 25 starts at MIS.  He should finish right around 15th.

No. 42 Kyle Larson:  Larson has averaged a 23rd place finish at MIS during his brief career.  He is an okay option.

No. 1 Jamie McMurray:  McMurray ran well at MIS the past three races.  For those of you in deep leagues, this is a good weekend to sneak the No. 1 car into your lineup.

No. 47 A.J. Allmendinger:  A.J. has been decent at MIS during his career.  He is an okay choice to round-out your roster.



21 to 30


No. 6 Trevor Bayne:  Bayne was awesome at MIS earlier this season.  Use him as a fourth driver in all leagues.

No. 43 Aric Almirola:  Almirola has averaged a 20th place finish the past 10 years at MIS.  Add him as a fourth driver in deep leagues.

No. 14 Tony Stewart:  “Smoke” has always been fast at MIS.  But as usual, he is a risky pick this weekend.

No. 13 Casey Mears:  Mears impressed everyone with a 13th place finish at Michigan earlier this year.  This isn’t a bad week to use him.

No. 10 Danica Patrick:  Patrick has been fast at MIS the past five races.  This is a great weekend to use her as a fourth driver.

No. 3 Austin Dillon:  Dillon impressed at MIS in 2013, but struggled at the track the past three races.  He is just an average pick.

No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.:  Stenhouse has averaged a 20th place finish at MIS so far in his career.  We expect he will finish around the same place.

No. 55 David Ragan:  Ragan has finished inside the top 25 at MIS in five of the last seven races.  He is a decent sleeper pick.

No. 9 Sam Hornish Jr.:  Hornish Jr. has averaged a top 25 finish at MIS during his career.  There are better options.

No. 21 Ryan Blaney:  The Wood Brothers have a storied history at MIS.  Blaney could surprise some people this weekend.



Field Fillers:


No. 40 Landon Cassill

No. 51 Justin Allgaier

No. 38 David Gilliland

No. 46 Michael Annett

No. 23 J.J. Yeley

No. 35 Cole Whitt

No. 7 Alex Bowman

No. 62 Reed Sorenson

No. 32 Josh Wise

No. 33 Alex Kennedy

No. 83 Matt DiBendetto

No. 34 Brett Moffitt

No. 98 Timmy Hill

No. 26 Jeb Burton



My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:


A. Kevin Harvick

B. Carl Edwards

B. Paul Menard

C. Ryan Blaney