Toyota drivers dominated the leaderboard in both practice and qualifying for Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway (3 p.m. ET, USA).
Because each driver got only 20 minutes of track time, questions still remain.
We do know tire falloff is low at Michigan. However, the question still exists as to how much the falloff is different for each driver, team or manufacturer.
Because we’ve seen manufacturer correlation before in tire wear, I think it’s prudent to stay within manufacturers at this point.
That’s why my best bet for Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 comes in the top Toyota market.
NASCAR Pick for Michigan
*Odds as of Sunday morning
All week I’ve been eying a way to get exposure to Bell, and the opportunity has finally come.
With only six Toyotas on track, if all were equal, each should be +500. That means DraftKings, where this line is available, is expecting Bell to be worse than average.
However, we know that’s not likely to be the case.
My new FLAGS ranking has Bell ranked third among all drivers, let alone the Toyotas, at 1.5-mile ovals this year. Yes, Michigan is a 2-mile oval, but even including the recent high-horsepower track of Pocono, Bell still pops.
Now, throw in qualifying, where Bell starts on the front row next to Toyota stablemate Bubba Wallace, and we have the makings of a driver who has shown speed at similar tracks and this weekend.
Yes, his practice times weren’t stellar. However, they made changes to get that car running extremely fast during qualifying, which should carry over to race speed.
My model gives Bell an 18.5% chance to finish as top Toyota, which is closer to +450 than +600.
The Bet: Christopher Bell top Toyota (+600) | Bet to: +500