NASCAR DFS Pit Stop: FireKeepers Casino 400 – Cup Series From Michigan

BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN – JUNE 08: Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, stands with the pole award after qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 08, 2019 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Welcome to NASCAR DFS Pit Stop for Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 from Michigan International Speedway (MIS). This week the #22 Ford of Joey Logano has the pole with Aric Almirola joining him on the front row. Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 is the 15th race this season and is also the first of two races here at the two-mile track. Last years winners, Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick, are hoping to head back to Victory Lane on Sunday. 

Kyle Busch is, and has been, the hottest driver in the series in 2019. Kyle has four victories, eight top-fives, 13 top 10s and he’s led 763 laps thus far about half way through the Cup Series regular season. Busch did have two top 5 runs at MIS in 2018, but is not clear what to expect this weekend especially with the new 2019 race package.

NASCAR DFS – Betting Odds

Kyle Busch +275
Kevin Harvick +400
Martin Truex Jr. +500
Brad Keselowski +800
Kyle Larson +1,000
Chase Elliott +1,000
Joey Logano +1,000
Denny Hamlin +1,600
Kurt Busch +1,800
Ryan Blaney +2,000
Clint Bowyer +2,000

LONG POND, PENNSYLVANIA – MAY 31: Kevin Harvick drives the #4 Busch Light Father’s Day Ford through the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway on May 31, 2019 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

NASCAR DFS – Leaders of the Pack

Kevin Harvick ($10,700)

Qualifying Position: 3rd

Harvick is not having a very Harvick-like season and everyone keeps saying he is “close” and is “due for a win”, with myself being one of those people. I can’t figure out why Harvick hasn’t won yet, but he has the equipment to get the job done, but the stars just haven’t aligned for the #4. Harvick came out of final practice on Friday as the overall fastest car, as well as the 4th fastest 10 lap average. As I mentioned early Harvick won here last year and I think he can win again here Sunday. Over the last 5 races at Michigan nobody has led more laps than the 190 that Harvick has.

Chase Elliott ($10,000)

Qualifying Position: 17th

Chase Elliott has finished 9th or better in his six starts at Michigan, including two second-place finishes in 2016, and he has an average finish of 5.3 in those 6 starts. Elliott hasn’t looked that fast this weekend, but he is one of the best drivers in the series right now with five straight top 5 finishes.

Kyle Larson ($9,500)

Qualifying Position:  22nd

After his big win at the All Star race in Charlotte a few weeks back, Larson has fail to capitalize on the momentum from that win with 2 straight finishes outside the top 25. Larson does have a good track record at Michigan, in 10 starts he has an average finish of 13.2, which includes 3 straight wins. In all combined practice sessions Larson had an average of 10th best speeds, so he has a fast car it seems, just had a poor qualifying run.

Other Options: Brad Keselowski ($11,200), Joey Logano ($9,700) – I like Logano, he is fast this week, but he doesn’t have a good track record here over the last 5 races with an average finish of 11.6 and has only led 25 laps. 

BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN – JUNE 07: Daniel Suarez, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Demo Day Ford, drives through the garage before practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 07, 2019 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

NASCAR DFS – Middle of the Pack

Clint Bowyer ($8,700)

 Qualifying Position: 5th

Bowyer has one of the fastest cars on the track this weekend and also owns a win at Michigan last season. I feel like Bowyer is a dark horse to win this race and he may go low owned because people may try to pay up for Harvick and Kyle Busch and may not be able to afford Bowyer. In the last 4 races overall Bowyer has 3 top 10’s.

Jimmie Johnson ($7,900)

Qualifying Position: 19th

Johnson scored his last of 13 overall top 10’s at Michigan in this event in 2017, and he also won this race in 2014. Chevy and team 48 have been running some great cars of late, and since March 31 at Texas Johnson has only finished outside the top 15 once, last week at Pocono. Johnson ran around the top 10 in practice all weekend and had an average of 13th in all practice sessions, so a top 10 is not out of the question on Sunday

Daniel Suarez ($7,700)

Qualifying Position: 9th

I generally like to roster multiple top-tier drivers each week, but I might only take 1 this week, especially in GPP’s, with the quality of cars in the mid tier it will keep me from having to roster multiple low tier drivers where I only really like 1-2 of them. Daniel Suarez is one of the reasons why I am thinking of using this strategy. Suarez is tied with Bowyer in first overall practice average and had the best 10 lap average in final practice on Friday.

BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN – JUNE 07: Chris Buescher, driver of the #37 Kroger Thrill of the Grill Chevrolet, drives during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 07, 2019 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

NASCAR DFS – Back of the Pack

Chris Buescher ($7,200)

Qualifying Position: 31st

Busecher doesn’t have an overly fast car, but he has a car good enough to finish with a 10 -12 positive place differential and that is key to picking cars in this tier. In Final practice Buescher came in with the 24th best single lap, but did have the 22nd best 10 lap average. Buescher also comes in with 3 straight top 15 finishes while qualifying 18th or worse in all 3.

Austin Dillon ($6,800)

Qualifying Position: 12th

For me the #3 RCR Chevy of Austin Dillon is a GPP play because of his combined -39 points in his last 2 races. Dillon is not as bad as those two finishes would make it seem, and I think he has a bounce back week at Michigan. Dillon scored has four top 10’s at Michigan, all of which came in his last seven starts here.

Matt DiBenedetto ($6,500)

Qualifying Position: 29th

DiBenedetto is very similar to Buescher in he has a car that can run somewhere in the low 20’s position and qualified poorly. Unlike Buescher, DiBen has had some very poor finishes during the last 5 races with only 2 races finishing better than 30th, but one of those was last week when he finished 17th at Pocono, so maybe his team has figured something out.

Other Options: Ryan Preece ($6,900), Matt Tifft ($5,500)

BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN – JUNE 08: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M’s Hazelnut Toyota, drives during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 08, 2019 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)


NASCAR DFS – Place Differential Play

Kyle Busch ($11,800)

Qualifying Position: 15th

You didn’t think I forgot about Kyle Busch, now did you? Starting in P15 is not a typical place I use a driver from, but Kyle Busch isn’t your typical driver. Busch is, and I say this begrudgingly, the best driver in all 3 series right now, and it’s not close. This week Kyle finished final practice with the second fastest lap time  and wrapped his session with a 7th place finish in the 10 lap average. Busch is the top play in this race, but he isn’t perfect and if he happens  get into a dust-up,  while navigating the field from 15th he could end up with some damage and that would obviously hinder his chance to win.

Other Options: Alex Bowman ($8,500), William Byron ($7,600)


NASCAR DFS – Lineup Build Strategy

This week, like I mentioned earlier, I will probably employ a new strategy and roster one dominator instead of 2. I really like Daniel Suarez and Clint Bowyer as possible as low owned cars. Also, I really want to try to get Chris Buescher into a team for this race as well as Jimmie Johnson. Rostering these 4 drivers will leave you with $9,250 salary for your remaining drivers.


Thank you for reading my NASCAR DFS Pit Stop article this week and make sure you look for my Xfinity Series and Truck Series articles each week they race as well. Be sure to check out Fantasy CPR daily for all your DFS needs, and remember all content is ALWAYS FREE here!