COLUMN: Which NASCAR Driver Wins The FireKeepers 400 At Michigan International Speedway?

By Jerry Jordan, Editor

Looking at the headline, I hope to have the correct answer to that question so that we can all visit the payout window but winning the FireKeepers 400 at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) isn’t just about taking home the trophy and checkered flag – it’s the NASCAR manufacturer’s backyard battleground.

For the past seven races, it has been Ford that has taken home the manufacturer’s trophy. Before that Chevrolet made a three-race winning streak. From the top floor of GM’s tower in downtown Detroit, it might be possible to see the Ford plant nine miles down the road in Dearborn, so there is a lot of pride on this line this week.

Looking at the WynnBET Sportsbook odds, the Toyota duo of Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin sit atop the standings, respectively, at +450 and +650. Then it’s Chase Elliott at +800 and Kyle Larson at +900. Larson has three wins at MIS; Elliott has none. Bubba Wallace sits on the pole and runs well at fast tracks in his 23XI Toyota. He is +1000 and up from his opening line this week of +3000. I guess that’s what happens when you go out and grab the first Cup Series pole position of your career. Of course, he was also second-fastest in practice at a speed of 188.432 mph. By the way, his qualifying lap was 190.703 mph – a speed that brought a reaction from Denny Hamlin of, “holy shit.”

At +1000, he is a good return on the money. He’s already found speed at MIS, so I’m thinking he finds his way to Victory Lane today, as well.

Moving on to my second pick at the mid-level odds, I am looking at a driver who has a ton of MIS experience, isn’t afraid to rough up the competition and knows how to win. You probably thought I was going with Ross Chastain but, no, the guy to watch with odds that make him an excellent value bet this week is Joey Logano.

Logano began the week at +1600 and has only dropped to +1500. He has parked his Ford in Victory Lane three times – most recently in 2019.

Ford has a long history at MIS and has won more times than Chevrolet and Toyota, combined. If you are curious, Ford has 42 Cup Series wins and Chevrolet has 26. There have been 104 races at MIS over the years and the newcomer, Toyota, has been to Victory Lane five times since entering the Cup Series in 2007. Other winning manufacturers, no longer in NASCAR, include Dodge, Pontiac, Buick and Mercury.

Sticking with the Ford camp, even though this driver has been running like a fat guy at a triathlon, lately, I have to go with Kevin Harvick.

His race day odds are +2500 but he has more wins at MIS than any other active driver. If there is going to be a breakout for Harvick that gives him a shot to win his way into the NASCAR playoffs, this could be that chance. He qualified 16th at 187.828 mph but look for him to pick up speed during the race.

Harvick has a magical crew chief on the box with Rodney Childers; together, they are both hungry for victory. Harvick’s practice speed of 187.096 had him 11th on the board, which tells me Childers is looking at long green flag runs today.

Admittedly, I haven’t been having the best of luck, lately. With a couple of exceptions where I just missed completely, my picks have ended up being victims of circumstance in the wrong place at the wrong time here’s to betting this week is different. Send me your thoughts and share why you think I am right, or wrong. Betting on NASCAR isn’t an easy task and anyone who thinks they have it mastered, is lying to themselves and you.

Remember, my suggestions are based on what I see at the track and past drivers’ performances. It’s called gambling for a reason and there is no guarantee the drivers I pick will end up in victory lane. If you can’t afford to bet, then don’t. And if you aren’t 21 years of age, you cannot legally gamble, so don’t even think about it. Should you have a problem with sports betting or other forms of gaming, you can get help at 1-800-GAMBLER.

ODDS: Driver To Win The FireKeepers Casino 400 At Michigan International Speedway
Chase Elliott +650 Kyle Busch +450
Kyle Busch +700 Denny Hamlin +650
Kyle Larson +700 Chase Elliott +800
Denny Hamlin +800 Kyle Larson +900
Ross Chastain +900 Bubba Wallace Jr +1000
Ryan Blaney +1000 Martin Truex Jr +1000
Tyler Reddick +1100 Tyler Reddick +1000
William Byron +1100 Christopher Bell +1200
Martin Truex Jr +1300 Joey Logano +1500
Christopher Bell +1500 Ross Chastain +1500
Joey Logano +1600 Ryan Blaney +1500
Kurt Busch +2000 Daniel Suarez +2500
Kevin Harvick +2100 Kevin Harvick +2500
Alex Bowman +2200 William Byron +2500
Daniel Suarez +2200 Alex Bowman +3000
Bubba Wallace Jr +3000 Erik Jones +3000
Erik Jones +3500 Ty Gibbs +3000
Chase Briscoe +4500 Austin Cindric +3500
Austin Cindric +5500 Aric Almirola +10000
Austin Dillon +6000 Austin Dillon +10000
Aric Almirola +9000 Chase Briscoe +10000
Brad Keselowski +9000 Chris Buescher +10000
Austin Hill +10000 Michael McDowell +10000
Chris Buescher +10000 Brad Keselowski +25000
Ricky Stenhouse Jr +10000 Cole Custer +25000
Michael McDowell +15000 Noah Gragson +25000
Cole Custer +25000 Ricky Stenhouse Jr +25000
Harrison Burton +30000 Austin Hill +50000
Noah Gragson +35000 Harrison Burton +50000
Justin Haley +40000 Justin Haley +50000
Ty Dillon +50000 BJ McLeod +100000
Corey Lajoie +75000 Cody Ware +100000
Todd Gilliland +75000 Corey Lajoie +100000
BJ McLeod +150000 JJ Yeley +100000
Cody Ware +150000 Josh Bilicki +100000
JJ Yeley +150000 Todd Gilliland +100000
Josh Bilicki +150000 Ty Dillon +100000

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