After last week’s interesting race at the Pocono Raceway, the Sprint Cup Series will head to the Irish hills of Michigan for the HELUVA Good 400. There is many story lines heading into Sunday’s race, one being that this is the three year anniversary of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s last win. No one in NASCAR wants a win more than Jr. does, so don’t leave him out in your weekly fantasy picks. As in recent weeks, there are two practice sessions scheduled on Friday afternoon, and Qualifying scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
Typically when I make my weekly fantasy picks I will look at the history of the race and see which driver has the best shot (seems logical), but I have a certain feeling we will see something out of the ordinary for Michigan. Most would agree this has been an “out of the ordinary” kind of season, so why expect anything different this weekend? Roush Fenway seemed to dominate every race going into Charlotte, but Penske Racing has emerged as the more dominant since the longest race of the year. I really believe it won’t be long before Kurt Busch gets his first win in the 22 machine however, I just don’t see it happening this week. There is an old saying “go with what you know”, and I know that the Ford’s will be tough to beat (yet again).
When creating your fantasy racing picks for this week, go with the most productive team thus far, including the most productive in 2011. Roush Fenway has been excellent through the first one third, but here lately Penske Racing seems to want to take over that top spot. Here is my Fantasy picks for the Helluva Good 400:
Target: Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, and Matt Kenseth
Avoid: Kyle Busch, AJ Allmendinger, and Ryan Newman
Analysis: Carl Edwards has four top-fives in the last five races; teammate Greg Biffle has three in the same span. Hamlin has finished third or better in three of the last four. Busch has finished no better than P13 the past two years.
Bargain: David Ragan benefits from Roush’s success here. Regan Smith finished P23 and P21 in 2010.
Recap of the 2010 MIS Race: Kevin Harvick Wins 2010 Michigan Race
Weather Outlook for Brooklyn, MI: (Courtesy of Weather.com)
Friday: Hi 79/ Lo 69 — Partly Cloudy
Saturday: Hi 79/ Lo 63– 50% Chance of T-Storms
Sunday: Hi 81/ Lo 62 — Partly Cloudy
NSCS Schedule: Practice (Friday 12:30pm/3:30pm) Qualifying (Saturday 1pm) Race (Sunday 1pm on TNT)
Don’t forget TNT will be broadcasting this race, so this means we have “RaceBuddy” once again. Just the thought of having 10 different camera angles that I can choose from, is pretty awesome!
Next Up: Infineon Raceway
For all your post race analysis, continue to follow thepacelap.com, as Branden and I will do our best to make you feel like you are part of the action! Have fun this weekend!