NASCAR DFS Cheat Sheet: DraftKings Picks for Consumers Energy 400
Each week, we’ll have an early week cheat sheet for the DFS NASCAR contests at DraftKings. This week, we look at the Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan.
DFS NASCAR Contests
TOP 5 FAVORITES TO WIN
1. Kevin Harvick
In the June Michigan race, Harvick had the fastest car. Even with it, he was unable to pass the leader. That speaks volumes about the lifelessness of the Michigan race track and the importance of track position. When the best car can’t take the lead, there is a problem. If Harvick suffers from a lack of upward mobility, then DFS players should heavily scrutinize every other driver. Eventually, Harvick waltzed to the lead by passing Kasey Kahne, who only took two tires on a pit stop. Harvick led until the last caution. Clint Bowyer took two tires and the lead; then, rain ended the race.
2. Kyle Busch
Since the 2011 repave, Kyle Busch has struggled at Michigan. This is a common trend throughout his career, but as tracks age, Busch regains his prowess. Busch scored 26 hog points in the 2017 June Michigan race. This year, he was forced to start in the back due to an unproved adjustment to his splitter. By the start of Stage Three, Busch was in a position to fight for the lead, but the rain cut the race short.
3. Kyle Larson
Similar to Busch, Kyle Larson started deep in the field in the first Michigan race. Larson made his way to the front, but he was racing against Mother Nature. He was too aggressive and spun his car through the tri-oval. When Larson finally got back on the lead lap, rain ended the race. Prior to the June race, Larson had won the last three Michigan races and four of the last five two-mile oval races.
4. Clint Bowyer
The June win was absolute luck. He gambled at the end of Stage Two with a two-tire pit stop. The gamble was about to blow up in his face. Harvick was faster than Bowyer, but Harvick was being patient with his teammate. Just before Harvick could pass Bowyer, Ricky Stenhouse spun out. This brought out a caution, and during the yellow flag laps, the sky opened up and ended the race. It’s easy to remember this race as a lucky rain-shortened win, but Bowyer put himself in a position to be lucky. His average running position of fourth was the third best at Michigan.
5. Ryan Blaney
For whatever reason, Blaney loves the high-speed tracks. Texas, Kansas, and Michigan have been his best. There’s one fast groove at these intermediate tracks, and drivers barely lift. Blaney was able to accomplish a feat no one else pulled off at Michigan: he passed a real leader. Harvick could not pass Kurt Busch, but Ryan Blaney did. The only reason Blaney lost the lead, was because Austin Dillon and Kasey Kahne both took only two tires on a pit stop. Dillon started ahead of Blaney on the notoriously slow bottom line at Michigan, and Harvick easily cleared Blaney on the outside on a restart.
LONG SHOTS TO SCORE BIG
1. Brad Keselowski – The Stewart-Haas Racing Fords were the best cars at Michigan in June. The Penske Fords were second, and Keselowski ran inside the top five for most of the race. His number one bucket list item is to win at his home track.
2. Daniel Suarez – His car has come alive this summer. Every week, he is in contention for a surprise win. Yet Suarez has had terrible luck at Michigan. He always has a good car, but he always gets caught in someone else’s mistake too.
3. William Byron – Hendrick Motorsports has been trending in the right direction over the last several weeks. Quietly, the team has been racing new chassis. After Chase Elliott’s win at The Glen, the secret is out.
Chase Elliott – They say there’s no such thing as momentum in racing. Elliott appeared in the recent success section last week for the first time and followed it up with a win at Watkins Glen. The new chassis have probably helped.
Kyle Busch – Put an asterisk next to Elliott’s win. If Kyle Busch’s gas can works, then he likely wins the Watkins Glen race. Busch drove from outside of the top 20 to third in 50 laps at a road course.
Erik Jones – He’s earned a fifth-place finish in his last two races. Plus, he has top 10 finishes in six of the last seven. Michigan is his home track.
Clint Bowyer (Spring 2018)
Kyle Larson (Fall 2017)
Larson (Spring 2017)
Larson (Fall 2016)
Joey Logano (Spring 2016)
PICK TO WIN
Ryan Blaney – Michigan always comes down to a caution and a shootout finish. Take your pick of the fast cars that will be in position at the end. I’ve got a hunch Blaney ends his winless streak.
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