FireKeepers Casino 400 Race Preview and Pick

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Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, drives during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200. Logan Riely/Getty Images/AFP

Last week, the Verizon 200 took place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.

Given his overall performance this season and his history at road courses, one might have expected a victory from Chase Elliott, however, Tyler Reddick won, continuing his own spectacular history at road courses, which he has been cultivating his season.

This week, the FireKeepers Casino 400 takes place in Michigan, and the top sportsbooks have already released their betting odds for this race.

Read ahead for all the information that you’ll need to know for this race, plus a betting pick grounded in analysis.

NASCAR Cup Series: FireKeepers Casino 400

Sunday, August 07, 2022 – 02:00 PM EDT at Michigan International Speedway

Last Week’s Race

The Verizon 200 took place last week at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, and Tyler Reddick earned his second win of the season.

Tyler Reddick’s Performance so Far

Reddick’s first win this season came at Road America. Given his performances in Road America and Indianapolis’ road course, he has emerged as a force worth considering on road courses.

His win was literally start to finish. He had earned pole position and won, but there were also nine lead changes in this race, and Reddick did not win Stage 1 or Stage 2.

Elliot, Chastain, and Cindric Not Too Far Behind

Normally, one thinks of Chase Elliott as the road course champ, and he’s also having a terrific season, although he ended up finishing 16th.

Ross Chastain initially finished second place, but he was penalized and officially forced to finish 28th after the race. Officially, second place was Austin Cindric.

Reddick’s win positions him at fifth in the standings, while Elliott and then eventually Chastain remain one-two in the standings.

FireKeepers Casino 400: Race Info

The Michigan International Speedway near Brooklyn, Michigan hosts this week’s upcoming race, the FireKeepers Casino 400.

It is basically right to list Brooklyn as the location for this race, but it actually takes place off the highway in Brooklyn’s close vicinity.

For this race, drivers must complete a total of 200 laps. As has almost always been the case this season, there will be three stages for this race.

  • Stage 1: 45 laps
  • Stage 2: 120 laps
  • Stage 3: 80 laps

Entry List for the FireKeepers Casino 400 Race

By the middle of the week, the entry list for the upcoming race gets published. For this week’s entry list, 37 teams/drivers out of 40 possible spots are posted.

So, barring any unforeseen circumstances, we already know which drivers will participate in this race. We may expect all the usual suspects.

Starting Lineup

The starting lineup gets determined via qualifying, which takes place in the afternoon on the day before the race.

Qualifying starts on Saturday at 01:20 PM EDT and ends at 02:30 PM EDT.

The format for qualifying is two groups, single-vehicle, one lap, and two rounds.

A two-group practice session will directly precede qualifying from 12:35 PM EDT to 01:20 PM EDT.

Michigan International Speedway: Track Info

Based on qualifying speeds, for example, Michigan International Speedway may rightly boast to be the fastest track on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit.

This track is large, allowing drivers plenty of time to collect speed, especially on its long straightaways. Moreover, one can pass drivers while maintaining high speeds because this course is wide.

The start and finish enjoys a superb level of banking, which further helps drivers corral more momentum and speed for their vehicles.

  • The start/finish is banked at 12 degrees
  • The backstretch is banked at five degrees
  • The turns are banked at a very respectable 18 degrees

Michigan’s track is a d-shaped oval that is two miles long per lap. So, in completing 200 laps, drivers will have accumulated 400 miles.

Betting Pick and Prediction

Guys I Dislike

I recommend going against Tyler Reddick. He already merits minimal optimism this week because it is so hard and rare to win back-to-back races in NASCAR.

But also, his history at this track is abysmal. In his career, he has finished 18th, 24th, and 29th in three races at the Michigan International Speedway.

While Brad Keselowski’s history at this track is stronger than Reddick’s, he has been very hit-or-miss here.

I also dislike Keselowski because of the high frequency with which he fails to break the top 10. Keselowski finished 14th and 20th, respectively, in his last two races.

My Guy

With my NASCAR picks, I am resisting the temptation to invest in Kevin Harvick, who has collected many wins at this track in recent years.

He is having a terrible season right now, and his elite performances in Michigan have come in his better years.

My guy is Denny Hamlin. He has been superb in his best courses, winning in Richmond, which is his second-best course, and finishing sixth in New Hampshire, which is his third-best course.

Moreover, Hamlin crossed the line first at Pocono, which is his eighth-best course. Michigan is Hamlin’s fourth-best course.

For the above reasons, expect Hamlin to win with your best bets.

NASCAR Bet: Denny Hamlin to Win Outright (+850) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.