We make our first of two scheduled trips to Michigan for the FireKeepers Casino 400, a race that debuted in 1969 and has been one of the quicker finishes over the years. Last years race took just two hours to complete. Last week was quite forgettable despite Brad Keselowski giving +750 odds a run for its money with a runner-up finish. We need to return to victory lane this week.
Here are five drivers to consider throwing on this week’s card. (Will update with odds once they’re released.)
Clint Bowyer, +2150 - It feels like Clint Bowyer is due for a victory with top-five finishes in four of his last eight races. That consistency is going to pay off eventually. Bowyer is the defending champion at the FireKeepers Casino 400 and has top-10 finishes in seven of his last 10 races at this event overall. Bowyer has top-10 finishes in 10 of his last 16 appearances at the Michigan International Speedway. His history at this track along with his recent form makes him an intriguing option this week.
Kyle Larson, +1450 - Kyle Larson has finished 19th or worse in six of his last eight races, so it’s fair to question him as a reliable bet this week. However, three of the last five races at the Michigan International Speedway have been won by Larson, including this race in 2017. Larson has finished third or better in four of his last six trips to this track and has top-10 finishes in all three of his appearances here in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Larson owns Michigan and can’t be overlooked, even if he’s in complete struggle mode at the moment.
Joey Logano, +1050 - Joey Logano has been one of the more consistent drivers these last couple of months and should be able to build on that considering he’s averaging a fourth place finish in his last four appearances at this race. Logano won this race in 2016 and has finished in the top-10 six straight times. Logano also has a top-10 finish in 11 of his last trips at the Michigan International Speedway overall.
Kyle Busch, +290 - We’ve cashed a few times just blindly backing Kyle Busch after winning a race, as he’s one of those drivers who usually tastes victory lane multiple times within a short span and has won back-to-back races three times in the last three years. Busch has never won this particular race, but he has a ton of success in Michigan and averaged a finish of 3.5 in his two trips at this track last year. Busch did win the 2011 Pure Michigan 400 and has countless quality finishes here in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Chase Elliott, +1050 - Chase Elliott has finished fifth or better in each of his last five races and that alone is worthy of a bet. Elliott has also finished runner-up in two of his three trips at this race and is averaging a finish of 5.3 in his six trips overall at the Michigan International Speedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. You could argue that this has been Elliott’s most consistent track through his first four years with three of his six trips resulting in runner-up finishes.