The NASCAR Cup Series will shuffle up the field and race again at Michigan International Speedway Sunday. The drivers who finished in the top 20 will be inverted. The drivers who finished 21st -39th will start the race in the same position they finished Saturday. The teams are required to use the same car and are only allowed to make minor adjustments (Similar to what they can on a normal pit stop). Car who make more adjustments or change drivers will start in the back. The Consumer Energy 400 will be Sunday at 4:30 p.m. on NBCSN.
NASCAR used the “Choose Rule” for the first time in a points paying race Saturday. I am still not sure what to think about it. It does bring into play some of the drivers running outside the top 10. It is really going to make predicting the races a lot more difficult. That is for sure.
The picks Saturday were nearly perfect. Kevin Harvick won both Stages and the race and scored us 30 bonus points. We also scored the 10 points for selecting the correct manufacturer and 67 Stage points. If that is not enough, the drivers finished No. 1, No. 2, No. 4, No. 5 and No. 10. Not too bad. The picks are currently beating 99.7% of the competition and I have the drivers mapped out for the final five races.
Here are my picks for the Consumers Energy 400 ….
Brad Keselowski had a good chance to win Saturday and he will have the same car Sunday. Everyone knows that winning at Michigan is important for Keselowski so he will take every chance possible to get to Victory Lane Sunday.
Ryan Blaney has been the second-best driver in the series in races using the 550 HP aero package. His Driver Rating, Laps Led and Average Running Position is almost as good as Kevin Harvick. Michigan is the best track left on the schedule for Blaney so I will use my last allocation with him.
Kyle Busch liked his car Saturday. That is unusual for him this year. He said he needs practice in order to run up front. He had 312 practice laps Saturday. I am sure the No. 18 car will be dialed in to make a run for the checkered-flag Sunday.
Kurt Busch always runs well at Michigan. It is his best intermediate track. He scored a top-10 finish for my team Saturday and I expect the No. 1 car will run up front again Sunday.
Erik Jones looked like a driver who is out to show Joe Gibbs Racing that they made a mistake for releasing him from his contract. Jones started 23rd Saturday and ran almost the entire race in the top 10. I would not be surprised if the No. 20 car was in Victory Lane Sunday.
Garage Driver: Jimmie Johnson actually had a fast car Saturday. The No. 48 car posted the 10 fastest Average Green Flag Speed, had the 12th best Driver Rating and the 12th best Average Running position. These stats would have been better if the team made better pit stop decisions. Johnson starts 9th and he should be fast enough to keep his car in the top-10 Sunday.
* I am out of allocations with Kevin Harvick. I would use him if I could and move Kurt Busch into the Garage. That would leave Jimmie Johnson out of the lineup.
I am saving Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. for other races. I would not use them unless you have three or more allocations with them.
Chase Elliott would be a good choice. I am saving him for some of the other tracks but if the drivers I have listed are not available for your team, Elliott would be a good replacement.
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