As August roars on, NASCAR heads back to the left-handed turns. There are only two races to go until “The Chase”. That determines the ultimate Cup Series Champion. It will be a bit of a chaotic time as not all the spots are clinched. Sixteen drivers will have a chance at glory but only one will reign supreme. The series heads to Michigan this weekend.
The top ten drivers are listed below in our NASCAR Futures for this week’s FireKeepers Casino 400.
|FireKeepers Casino 400 Futures|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+800||+800||+750|
Last week’s road race at Indianapolis could be best described as total chaos. Despite that, Kyle Larson was in a position to win the race when Kyle Busch tapped him in overtime. That kept him from making the first turn properly. He dropped down to as low as seventh and never fully recovered. The No. 5 driver did finish third.
Now, this week heads to the Michigan International Speedway. This track is an oval but features some unique banking. Around the turns, it is as high as 18 degrees. That drops to 12 degrees and the start/finish and even five degrees on the straightaways. Again, this makes for a unique event. It’s right in between the Kansas and Daytona tracks for how it drives. Ironically, the following Sunday, the drivers head to, you guessed it, Daytona.
Track position can be lost very quickly on the Michigan track. That is why drivers have to pay constant attention. It is that attention to detail that sets Kyle Larson apart.
There is a bit of concern with Larson and the two-mile track. However, the 550hp build is something that the Hendrick Motorsports Racing Driver has rode to glory err victory before. He has not won using it at Michigan. Larson has one top-ten finish in his last four races on the track.
There is this to consider.
This is where the debate for NASCAR Odds begins. Fans love banking, however.
It is easy to see why Larson could be the favorite again. No driver has been as dominant overall on the season as him. The biggest problem the No. 5 had last Sunday was simply being at the wrong place at the wrong time when Kyle Busch squeezed him a bit.
However, that car was honestly the fastest on the track on Sunday. If not, for the chaos during the final laps, Larson might have very well won his sixth race on the 2021 season. He had the car but simply did not have the luck. That is why they call it racing sometimes.
Again, this week offers some different challenges. After all, Larson has driven dominantly with this build and tire setup. There is no one else that could compete with him, right? That is where one could be wrong. One driver has had growing success with this setup and that is actually Kyle Busch.
Hence, our NASCAR odds pick below is while one can get it.
Ahead of the final two races leading to “The Chase”, there is a slight chance that Kyle Busch could wind up notching another win. A lot would have to happen but the door is open to the possibility. This would tilt the NASCAR Odds at least a little more.
Currently, in spite of the disaster that was in Indianapolis last week, Busch stands in an excellent position but he is looking for playoff points to get a boost. Furthermore, if the No. 18 car were to win on Sunday, that would give him those needed extra points.
According to Driver Averages, the driver has the second-best average finish at 4.5 and has a decent driver’s rating on this two-mile track the past three years at 105. Could the younger Busch use a win here? Absolutely. This would give him a leg up heading into the regular-season finale at Daytona.
There are a few other things to consider as well. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver won at Kansas which is like a mini-Michigan. He has also finished between third and sixth during the last six races on the two-mile course. Busch’s speed rankings over the last six races have topped the NASCAR circuit.
For NASCAR Odds, our best bet is to take a shot with Kyle Busch. However, do not be surprised if a few other familiar names spark some debate and conversation. The Michigan track signifies a few other value picks that may be possibilities given their track prowess.
The odds for Kevin Harvick are almost hot this week. After all, the No. 4 does fare well on this track more so than any in the last three seasons. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver ranks off the charts when it comes to some basic metrics. He has won four times in the last six races at Michigan, led 35%+ of the laps, and has a near-perfect driver rating of 137.4.
The question becomes can Harvick win now. He has not shown the speed all year as he did at Michigan in previous seasons. Joey Logano might be one to consider too but can he recreate that magic on this track? It’s a big question. Honestly, it may come down to the Kyle’s once more.
Take Kyle Busch to win the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan on Sunday.