NASCAR Sprint Cup SeriesSunday, August 18 – 12:00 p.m. EDT
Pure Michigan 400
Michigan International Speedway – Brooklyn, MI
For the second time in two months, the NASCAR circuit will tackle the long track of Michigan International Speedway on Sunday afternoon for the Pure Michigan 400. This two-mile D-shaped oval track was built in 1968 and remains one of the fastest tracks out there. Banking is 18° for all four turns, with a frontstretch of 3,600 feet (0.68 miles) banked at 12° and a much flatter 5° backstretch measuring 2,242 feet (0.43 miles). Greg Biffle (10-to-1) is looking to win his third straight race at this track, but Jimmie Johnson is actually the favorite with 4-to-1 odds.
Odds to Win Race
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||10-to-1|
|Martin Truex Jr.||15-to-1|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||60-to-1|
|FIELD (Any other driver)||100-to-1|
Drivers to WatchGreg Biffle (10/1) - It's shocking that Biffle is getting such favorable odds on a track he's performed so well on during his career. In addition to his four victories, he also has five 4th-place showings and a total of 13 top-10's in 21 career starts at this venue, leading to an average finish of 11.3. Biffle is also looking to secure a spot in the Chase for the Cup, falling from sixth to ninth place during six straight finishes in double-digits. But at this double-digit price, you have to place your largest wager for Biffle to win his third straight Michigan International Speedway race on Sunday.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (10/1) - Little "E" raced very well at Michigan two months ago, leading for 34 laps before exiting with engine failure. Last year at this track, Earnhardt Jr. won the spring race before placing fourth in the summer. In 15 Michigan starts since 2006, Junior has two wins and six other top-7 finishes. And before a predictably weak finish at the Watkins Glen road course last week, Junior had an average finish of 9.5 in his previous six starts this season. With the same odds as Biffle, be sure to save some of your dollars for the No. 88 car on Sunday.
Matt Kenseth (8/1) - He has been up-and-down in 2013, but most drivers would take his four wins and 11 top-10's so far this season. In his past six starts, Kenseth led at least a lap in four of those races and placed ninth or better three times, including a victory at Kentucky. And not only is he a two-time champion in Michigan, but Kenseth's average finish is an impressive 9.4 in his career at this track despite a pedestrian average starting spot of 17.9. In his past six starts in Michigan, he's finished 5th, 2nd, 10th, 3rd, 17th and 6th, leading for at least 15 laps in three of those races. There price is a bit steep, but Kenseth still warrants a small wager on Sunday.
Denny Hamlin (18/1) - Hamlin is overdue for a big showing, with four DNFs in his past 10 races as the result of crashing. Since placing eighth at Pocono, Hamlin has finished no better than 18th in these past eight starts. Hamlin's darkhorse odds are certainly favorable considering his history at Michigan (two wins, five top-5's in 15 starts). Go ahead and drop a one-unit wager on Hamlin to turn things around Sunday.
Jeff Burton (100/1) - He is the best longshot on the board, placing 10th at this track in June to give him 10 career top-10 finishes at Michigan. He usually finishes (16.4) better than he starts (19.6) at this track, despite owning two poles at this venue. And in his past 10 races this season, Burton has finished 11th or better in four of those, including a third-place showing at Loudon four races ago. If you're feeling lucky, drop a one-unit wager on the No. 31 car.