The MENCS competes at Michigan International Speedway this week in the FireKeepers 400. This race comes down to pure speed. The teams who can get the most speed out of their cars will be up front this week. That usually means the well-funded teams will have the edge on Sunday. It will be hard to save allocations this week because we want the drivers with the fastest cars.
Here are my picks for Michigan…
Kyle Larson (8): I am not sure what happened to Larson in qualifying but I am not too worried about him. His car was fast in 2nd fastest practice with the 2nd-fastest long run speed. Once the top groove comes in Sunday Larson will start passing a lot of cars. The No. 42 car might not lead a lot of laps Sunday but Larson will have a great chance to lead the last one.
Group A Rankings: 1) Kevin Harvick 2) Kyle Busch 3) Kyle Larson 4) Martin Truex Jr. 5) Brad Keselowski 6) Joey Logano 7) Denny Hamlin 8) Jimmie Johnson
Clint Bowyer (5): Bowyer used to be very good at Michigan when he drove for Michael Waltrip Racing. Bowyer had a 7th-place average finishing position at Michigan in the 10 races between 2010 – 2015. He knows how to get around this track and his Stewart-Haas Racing Ford has been fast this week. Bowyer screwed up and gave away a top-5 finish last week. I doubt he makes another mistake this week.
Erik Jones (7): This is the home track for Jones and he said he wants to be the first driver from Michigan to win in the MENCS at the track. He almost did it in his rookie season when he finished 3rd. Jones has a fast Toyota this week. If the team can avoid mistakes in the pits they should finish in the top 10 Sunday.
Group B Rankings: 1) Kurt Busch 2) Clint Bowyer 3) Erik Jones 4) Chase Elliott 5) Paul Menard 6) Aric Almirola 7) Ryan Blaney 8) Austin Dillon
William Byron (5): Byron will be my Group C driver this week. He qualified 14th and he should have a good chance to finish in the top 15 Sunday. Hendrick Motorsports changed to a new engine before the Coca-Cola 600 and it seemed to add some speed to the Chevys. This is a good week to use the No. 24 car in your lineup.
Group C Rankings: 1) William Byron 2) Alex Bowman 3) Chris Buescher 3) Bubba Wallace Jr. 4) David Ragan 5) Matt Dibendetto
Good luck this week!
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