Race: Pure Michigan 400 Preview, Picks and Betting Odds
Date: Sunday August 28, 2016
Track: Michigan International Speedway
Time: 2 pm ET
by Virginia Vroom, NASCAR Handicapper, Predictem.com
Bristol felt like Pocono. Well, at least the weather made it feel that way. It was delayed until Sunday, which incurred another rain delay, leaving the race running until late in the day. Kevin Harvick managed to pull away with the win. Unfortunately, Kyle Busch, who very clearly had the dominating car, broke something on his car on lap 358, leaving him crushed by Justin Allgaier. Overall, Busch had a momentary lapse of sportsmanship and let his frustration get the best of him like we used to see very frequently. Regardless, I think that the most surprising part of the race was the top five finishers. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon, and Chris Buescher rounded out the top five. Maybe Buescher just needed a little confidence boost or maybe this rain is just paying off for him. Either way, he's moving his way into the Chase at this point.
The drivers on the bubble in the Chase are really feeling the pressure as we only have 3 more races before the field is set for the Championship run. As it stands, there are only 4 drivers without wins. Those drivers include Austin Dillon, Chase Elliott, Jamie McMurray, and Ryan Newman. Chris Buescher has moved into the Chase after a really great finish at Bristol. His 5th place finish was exactly what he needed to ensure that he secured his spot. I didn't know if he'd be able to pull it off so late in the regular season, but it seems like he's going to hang on. I honestly thought Chase Elliott would do be able to pull something off, but he's running out of time.
This weekend, we are heading back to Michigan. Honestly, short of the dueling between Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott for second place, Michigan didn't produce much excitement. Joey Logano dominated the race, leading a total of 138 pf the 200 laps. This track used the low downforce package that was introduced during the All-Star race and also used in Kentucky. Aero is important, as speeds can get pretty high. This D-shaped oval is a 2 mile course with 18 degree banking in the turns, 12 degrees along the frontstretch, and 5 degrees on the backstretch. The last modification was a repave back in 2012. It's comparable to Texas in its configuration. The banking, long stretches, and wide turns allow for speeds well over 200 mph. It is one of the fastest, if not the fastest, track on the circuit. This should perk your ears up for those horsepower teams.
There are really four solid drivers to choose from this weekend. Obviously, our Spring winner, Joey Logano, is my front runner. Being that Penske has won all races using this new downforce package makes it a no-brainer. Keselowski should run well, and this is his home track, but he's struggled here in the past. His teammate will likely pull ahead for the win. Just shy of those guys, we have Kenseth, who excels at these types of tracks. He has multiple wins at Texas too, which just shows his expertise and finesse for this style. Finally, Kevin Harvick is carrying momentum from his win last weekend, and he can simply never be counted out. Here's a look at all of your potential winners this weekend:
My Pick to Win: Joey Logano
Middle of the Road Pick: Greg Biffle
Dark Horse Prediction: Chase Elliott. Bet your pick to win using your credit credit and receive a GIANT 50% bonus at MyBookie.
Greg Biffle has 4 wins here. The problem is that he doesn't have anything close to decent recently. I'd expect him to run well here, but I don't know if he's going to be able to pass the Penske drivers. Chase Elliott, as mentioned before, had a very good run here in the Spring. He does well at these bigger tracks, it seems. Obviously, he had one of the best teachers when it comes to driving the fastest tracks. I'd look for him to give one of his best runs of the season this weekend. He's also got a lot riding on these last few races by not having secured a spot in the Chase yet.
Here are your current top 16 after last week's race:
1. Kevin Harvick
2. Brad Keselowski
3. Kurt Busch
4. Carl Edwards
5. Joey Logano
6. Kyle Busch
7. Denny Hamlin
8. Martin Truex Jr.
9. Jimmie Johnson
10. Matt Kenseth
11. Austin Dillon
12. Chase Elliott
13. Jamie McMurray
14. Ryan Newman
15. Trevor Bayne
16. Kyle Larson
Just remember that those points don't include Buescher or Stewart, who have both clinched a spot in the Chase with a win and being in the top 30 in points. That knocks out Bayne and Larson and puts Newman on the bubble. This race will be an interesting one. I'm wondering if they will be a little racier throughout the entire race, unlike in the Spring. We will have to wait and see how it all plays out. Stay tuned for a great weekend of racing at Michigan International Speedway!
2016 Pure Michigan 400 Betting Odds (Find the best prices on these drivers at 5Dimes)
|Martin Truex Jr.||15/2|
|Field (Any Other Driver)||10/1|
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