DFS NASCAR DraftKings Lineup Advice: Michigan Speedway Picks 6/18/17

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Sergio Balatan

NASCAR DFS Writer.Find me on DraftKings("sbalatan") to play NASCAR or NFL head to heads.
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Last week at Pocono, we witnessed another young driver win his first ever Monster Energy Cup race. Ryan Blaney held off the hard-charging former champion and Bloomin’ Onion Sponsoring Kevin Harvick, to capture the Pocono win and the first win for Wood Brothers Racing in 99 races. The win automatically qualifies him for the playoffs, joining other first time winners Austin Dillon(At Dover) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr(At Talladega).

This week, the Monster Energy Cup series travels up North to Brooklyn, Michigan to race at Michigan International Speedway. The track is a 2.0-mile oval and compares very closely to Kansas Speedway, and the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. At this track, Ford cars traditionally perform very well. Ford Motor Company’s world headquarters resides only a couple of hours away in Dearborn, MI. The Ford Manufacturing teams like to defend Ford’s “Home Turf” near the Motor City.

For this week, instead of relying on my spreadsheets to make my picks, I will use several narratives and NASCAR themes to formulate my favorite picks for the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan Speedway.

The Hometown Narrative

Two Michigan sons return to the Great Lake State to perform in front of family and friends.  Drivers coming home can get that emotional edge to win the race.

Brad Keselowski($9,700):  Keselowski hails from Rochester Hills, Michigan, also home to the Material Girl, some lady named Madonna. But his performance at Michigan speaks for itself as he has six Top 10 finishes in his last six races.  Keselowski’s #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion finished with the top speed in the final practice.  In his last four races, his average finish is 5.50, so a Top 5 finish can be expected by Brad from Rochester Hills.

Erik Jones($8,000):  The 21-year-old Erik Jones hails from a small town of Byron, MI.   Tragically, his father passed away last year in June at the age of 53 years old after a short and sudden diagnosis of lung cancer.   This will be his first race in front of his family at this track since his father’s death.  Jones finished 5th in speed in the final practice and starts 14th.   I expect a Top 10 finish for Jones in this emotional return to his home track.


Team Penske to Defend Ford’s Home Turf Narrative

Speaking of a Michigan son, Roger Penske, and his Penske Corporation is based in the suburbs of Detroit, MI.   Penske is active in the revitalization of Detroit, being involved in events such as the Detroit Grand Prix.    He considers the Michigan International Speedway as his home track, and I will be putting all of his drivers across my lineups.    Keselowski was already mentioned above in the Hometown Narrative.

Joey Logano($9,200):   Logano has won a race already this year, but it was encumbered due to a major inspection failure.   What is an “encumbered win”?   It means that Logano is still the winner of record for the spring Richmond race, but he was stripped of his automatic qualification to the playoffs.  In the last four races at Michigan, he has finished all of them in the Top 10 and won last year’s spring race.    Look for Logano to possibly win this race as Penske will surely have great cars this weekend.

Ryan Blaney($8,700):   Although Blaney drives for Wood Brothers Racing, he is considered a Penske teammate due to the heavy collaboration between the Wood Brothers and Team Penske garages.   Blaney is no slouch at this track, finishing 4th in last year’s August race at Michigan.   At Auto Club Speedway(Fontana, CA) this year, which is a similar track to Michigan, Blaney finished in the Top 10.   He is riding some feel good momentum getting his very first win in the Monster Energy Cup series last week in Pocono.

The He’s Due Narrative

Chase Elliott($9,400):  At this point in his career(2nd year) with his NASCAR pedigree(father is former champion Bill Elliott), Elliott was expected to have a trip to victory lane already.   He has come close on several occasions, coming in 2nd in the June and August races last year at Michigan.   With the youngsters Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Austin Dillon, and Kyle Larson getting their first wins out of the way, the next young driver who should win a checkered flag should be Chase Elliott.   With his two 2nd place finishes at Michigan, he is on the cusp of getting that elusive first win and could take 1st place at this FireKeepers Casino 400.

The Jam ’em In Your Lineup Narrative

These two drivers have been the most consistent all year long,  and are tops in Drivers Rating and Championship Points.   Both of these guys need to be used heavily in your lineups.

Kyle Larson($10,200):  Chip Ganassi Racing continues to build top level cars for Kyle Larson as he had the fastest speed in the first practice.   Not surprisingly, Larson won the pole and could start out the race with leading several laps with his top performing vehicle.    In last year’s August race in Michigan, Larson scored his first win ever in the Monster Energy Cup series.   In this year’s Auto Club Speedway race(similar track to Michigan), Larson qualified for this year’s playoffs by winning that race.

Martin Truex Jr.($10,200):  As good as Larson has been this year, Martin Truex Jr. is better.  He has more wins that Larson and is beating him in Driver’s Rating and Championship points.   His #78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota Camry took top honors in the 2nd practice and qualified 2nd to start in the front row of the race with Larson.  He has a decent record at Michigan International Speedway with five Top 5’s and seven Top 10 finishes.


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Sergio Balatan

NASCAR DFS Writer. Find me on DraftKings("sbalatan") to play NASCAR or NFL head to heads.

Sergio Balatan

NASCAR DFS Writer. Find me on DraftKings("sbalatan") to play NASCAR or NFL head to heads.

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