Sportsbook.ag NASCAR Quicken Loans 400 Preview
The NASCAR circuit takes on a second straight long track on Sunday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway. This 2-mile D-shaped oval track was built in 1968 and remains one of the fastest tracks out there. Banking is 18° for all four turns, with a frontstretch of 3,600 feet (0.68 miles) banked at 12° and a much flatter, 5° backstretch measuring 2,242 feet (0.43 miles). Since 2005, there has only been two repeat winners in these past 14 races at Michigan, Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards (two wins each).
Drivers to Watch
Denny Hamlin (12/1) – After being a 4-to-1 favorite in last week’s superspeedway at Pocono, Hamlin’s odds are curiously tripled for Sunday’s race in Michigan. Not only has Hamlin won two of the past four races at this track, but he also finished 2nd in 2010 and 3rd in 2009. He’s also in the midst of a stellar run with top-6 finishes in six of his past nine races. This includes a win and two runner-ups.
Ryan Newman (30/1) – Like Hamlin, Newman also has favorable odds considering his rich history at Michigan. In addition to his two wins (2003 and 2004), Newman has four other top-6 finishes. This includes placing fifth and sixth in the two Michigan races last season. He’s been struggling a bit since winning April 1 at Martinsville, but is three straight top-15 finishes shows he should be near the front of the pack on Sunday.
Tony Stewart (10/1) – He has only one win in his career at Michigan, and that occurred way back in 2000. But Stewart is usually very competitive at this track, tallying top-10 finishes in 12 of his past 15 starts here. Although “Smoke” has been wildly inconsistent this season since his last win at Fontana (March 25), Stewart has finished third in three of his past six starts, including last week at Pocono. It’s rare that Stewart receives double-digit odds, so it’s wise to place a small wager whenever you can increase your money tenfold with the defending points champion.
Matt Kenseth (10/1) – He has taken over the top spot in the current points standings as the result of nine straight top-11 finishes. Kenseth still hasn’t won a race since Daytona, but he has enjoyed his time at Michigan with an outstanding 9.5 average finish with 11 top-5’s and two victories in his 25 starts at this track. This includes a runner-up in last year’s Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400.
Joey Logano (50/1) – We told you to drop a one-unit wager on him last week, and if you followed our advice, you would have increased that wager 75 times. Although his odds have dropped considerably for this Sunday, 50-to-1 is still a nice payout for banking on him winning for a second straight time on a track measuring at least two miles around. Logano has been hot recently with top-10 finishes in three of his past four starts, and he’s been solid at Michigan too with a 15.2 average and three top-10’s in his six career starts at this track.
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