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I’ve talked a lot about the new aero package implemented in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this season, and Monday’s race at Michigan will give us another key data point regarding what the racing will look like for the remainder of the year.
The overall goal of this package is to keep the cars closer together and promote more passing, something all NASCAR fans would be interested in seeing at Michigan.
But just like last week, we really don’t know what the racing will look like on-track, so I’ll be using historical results from Michigan International Speedway, as well as what we know so far about this package to make my NASCAR Props Challenge picks for Monday’s FireKeepers Casino 400.
1. Will Sunday’s race winner be over the age of 33? Yes or No?
According to the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, Kyle Busch (+275), Kevin Harvick (+500), Martin Truex Jr. (+600) and Brad Keselowski (+800) are the four drivers with the best odds to win Sunday’s race.
All four of these drivers are over the age of 33.
2. Which Chip Ganassi Racing driver will finish higher? Kurt Busch or Kyle Larson?
Larson has won three of the past five races at Michigan, so the easy answer is to take Kyle. However, Busch’s average running position (ARP) of 10.3 dominates Larson’s of 15.8 at tracks of 1.5 miles in length or larger this season.
Not only does Busch have the edge with this package, but Larson’s track history will likely convince many of our Props Challenge competitors to pick him here, so Kurt gives us a solid opportunity to pivot from the masses.
3. Will the race winner lead O/U 70.5 laps?
This question is all about the new aero package. I expect the draft to play a big role on Sunday, keeping the pack more closely bunched together than in years past.
I think we see more lead changes — and therefore leaders — this year, and don’t expect one car to get out front, lead a ton of laps and win.
4. Stewart-Haas Racing drivers swept the Michigan races last year? Will one of them win on Sunday?
Here are the odds for each of the four Stewart-Haas drivers to win:
- Harvick (+275)
- Clint Bowyer (+2000)
- Aric Almirola (+3000)
- Daniel Suarez (+4000)
This is an easy no.