The Cup Series had their regular practice and qualifying session Saturday. The teams had 20 minutes to dial in their cars for the Firekeepers Casino 400 and then they set the starting lineup. The cars are impounded after qualifying so the speed the cars had in practice should be the speed the drivers will start the race with Sunday.
Here is my starting lineup for the race at Michigan…
GROUP A DRIVER
DENNY HAMLIN (9): I was expecting to use Kyle Larson in this spot but it is tough to ignore the speed Hamlin had Saturday. The No. 11 car posted the third-fastest speed with the fastest 10-lap average speed. The Toyota’s are fast this weekend. Hamlin has finished his last four races at Michigan in the top-six. His car has the speed to score a lot of Stage Points and finish in the top-five Sunday.
GROUP B DRIVERS
CHRISTOPHER BELL (3): Bell said he felt confident heading into the race at Michigan and his speed Saturday proves that he should be a good pick for the race Sunday. Bell posted the 15th-fastest speed in practice, but it is a bit misleading. Bell went out in Group A in the sunshine. Group B had some shade that gave the track more grip. I am running low on allocations with Bell but the Toyota’s are too fast this week to fade.
JOEY LOGANO (5): I took a chance with Logano this week because he participated in the test session at Michigan in May and Ford has won the last seven races at this track. The gamble seems to be paying off. Logano posted the fastest speed in practice on the five-lap speed chart and he qualified fourth for the race. I will use another allocation with the No. 22 car Sunday.
GROUP C DRIVERS
ERIC JONES (4): Jones was awesome at Auto Club in February. The No. 43 car qualified second; scored 18 Stage Points (the most in the race) and finished third in the race. It looks like Jones is fast again this week. The No. 43 car posted the 17th– fastest speed in practice and qualified 10th for the race. I will play Jones at his home track Sunday.
Good Luck Sunday!
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