2019 Firekeepers Casino 400 Betting Odds and Picks
Race: FireKeepers Casino 400
Date: Sunday June 9, 2019
Track: Michigan International Speedway
Time: 2pm ET
What We Learned From Last Week
Pocono, was, well, Pocono. Lackluster at best. As predicted, the race did not offer any passing or close racing. Quite frankly, from the outside looking in, it was a tough race to watch. The best part were the restarts, where the drivers went 4 and 5 wide, which we even saw the weekend prior, but after that, the field lined up and there was no passing to be had. The more entertaining part was the drivers being interviewed about the package after the race. Erik Jones very quickly gave the race a 3 out of 10. Joey Logano wouldn’t even answer the question. He just shook his head and walked off. Hey, NASCAR? Are y’all listening? The fans have called you out. The drivers are now calling you out. Can you PLEASE start to listen to the ones in the driver’s seat and to the ones watching?
Despite the lackluster race, Kyle Busch, who was also disappointed in the package, still took home the checkered flag. All 160 laps were run. I suppose we’ll call that a success for Pocono. It was not rain shortened. That’s a win. It was a successful Gibb’s racing day. Busch took the win, Erik Jones managed a solid third place run, and Denny Hamlin came home sixth. Martin Truex Jr. ran strong until suffering engine troubles, leaving him with a very disappointing 35th place finish. He was only able to run 91 of 160 laps. Brad Keselowski was second, Chase Elliott was fourth, and Clint Bowyer rounded out the top five spots.
Where Are We Headed This Week?
This weekend the teams are headed to Michigan. This track is a 2-mile D-shaped oval boasting 18 degrees of banking in the turns, 12 degrees on the front-stretch, and 5 degrees on the backstretch. This track has more banking and more grooves than Pocono. Some think that this will allow for better racing? Me? Naw. I don’t think we’re going to see much in the way of passing, side by side, etc. I think that we are going to see the leaders pull away from the rest of the pack and a lot of single file like Pocono. Will the racing be slightly better? Sure. Will it be as good as it was prior to this package. That’s a hard no. I venture to say that the Generation 7 cars and new rules packages coming out in 2021 will be a HUGE breath of fresh air. We are not winning with this aero package. I’m all out of giving it the benefit of the doubt. We’re too far into this season now, and it’s just anything from impressive. Regardless, I think that we will see tires play a large role in the racing this weekend, as the drivers will likely experience a lot of green flag racing. I do not foresee a lot of caution laps to be honest. When we do see them, those restarts will give us our best racing.
Potential Odds and Winners Heading Into Michigan
Many are tempted to pick Kyle Busch heading into this weekend. While Busch is never ever a bad pick, but it’s not his best track. I’d save him for a later use. I think that we might see a Penske driver in the winner’s circle this weekend, more specifically, Brad Keselowski. His 2018 finishes at MIS were second and sixth. He’s got a lot going for him and is coming off a runner-up spot from Pocono. I think he just might edge out Kyle Busch and the rest of the field. Let’s take a look at your potential winners heading into Michigan:
My Pick to Win: Brad Keselowski (8-1)
Middle of the Road Pick: Kyle Larson (14-1)
Dark Horse Prediction: Ryan Blaney (20-1)
Blaney has hands-down come an incredible way. His finishes last year were top 10 and top 5. He led 15 laps as well. He’s coming off a 12th place run at Pocono, but I think that he will show us more here at Michigan. With 20-1 odds, he’s certainly no favorite but could get you some jingle in your pocket if you’re willing to use a little calculated risk. Kyle Larson dominated these types of tracks just a couple of years ago. Last year, not so much. This year, he’s had his ups and downs. Honestly, though, there’s no denying his previous success here. He had 3 straight wins at Michigan at one point! With his on-again off-again racing style this year, I think that Michigan will be a good place for him to gain some confidence and momentum. If nothing else, he’s a solid pick for this particular track and his 14-1 odds heading into Michigan will give you a nice payout. He needs some help in the points, and this should be one of his best tracks to get it from.
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Here are your current top 16 after last week’s race:
1. Kyle Busch (11-4)
2. Joey Logano (10-1)
3. Chase Elliott (10-1)
4. Brad Keselowski (8-1)
5. Kevin Harvick (5-1)
6. Denny Hamlin (16-1)
7. Martin Truex Jr.(6-1)
8. Kurt Busch (30-1)
9. Ryan Blaney (20-1)
10. Clint Bowyer (20-1)
11. Alex Bowman (30-1)
12. Aric Almirola (30-1)
13. Daniel Suarez (40-1)
14. William Byron (40-1)
15. Erik Jones (25-1)
16. Kyle Larson (14-1)
As you can see, Jimmie Johnson has gone missing again from the top 16 spots. He came home with a disappointing 19th place finish after Pocono. The Hendrick garage is falling behind the other guys. Other drives like Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ryan Newman, and Paul Menard are also suffering some casualties. There’s no doubt that the Gibbs teams, Penske teams, and even SHR teams have something about this package figured out better than Hendrick. Who knows, though. The tide may turn with the new generation of cars next year. This weekend, we’re still relishing in NASCAR’s oh so popular aero package that brings cars closer together for racing…just not passing. Ha. Stay tuned for what we hope is a better race this weekend at Michigan International Raceway!
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