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The FireKeepers Casino 400 will be the first time the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series runs its new aero package at a track like Michigan International Speedway.
While Auto Club Speedway is similar to Michigan in terms of size and shape, the abrasive surface makes tire wear much more severe in Fontana than what we’ll see in Michigan.
As a result, there isn’t much from the series’ previous visit to Michigan that we can use today.
So in order to find value, I’m going to mainly focus on what’s happened on-track so far this weekend to pinpoint my bets for the FireKeepers Casino 400.
Joey Logano (7-1 at Westgate)
Track position has been huge this season with the current aero package, and nobody will have a better view to start the race than Logano.
Joey will start on pole and in clean air, plus he’ll have the best pit stall in order to keep that track position. This is a huge — and underrated — advantage at a race where teams will do everything they can on pit road to try and get their drivers up front.
While Logano didn’t dominate on the practice sheets, he’s a driver who focuses more on feel than speed in practice, so I’m not too concerned with the speed in the car under race conditions.
Aric Almirola (25-1 at DraftKings Sportsbook)
Almirola is easily my favorite futures bet for today’s race. He will join Logano on the front row to start, giving Almirola the advantage of clean air and a great pit stall as well.
But unlike Logano, Almirola has been an absolute rocket in practice so far this weekend. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver had the second-best 10-lap average, the best 15-lap average and the best 20-lap average in final practice.
At 25-1 we’re getting a driver for one of NASCAR’s top teams who starts up front and has been nothing but fast in race trim. Sign me up.
Daniel Suarez (30-1 at DraftKings)
Many of the boxes that Almirola checks off also apply to Suarez for today’s race. While not starting on the front row, Almirola’s SHR teammate will start in the top 10 (ninth) while having tons of speed in his race car throughout practice as well.
Suarez had the top 10-lap average and the second-best 15-lap average in Friday’s final practice, which is extremely encouraging for a driver in this price range.
As always, be sure to shop around for the best prices as there’s a good chance we can find better numbers as more books open NASCAR odds for today’s race.