They call it the “Manufactures” race as the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series heads to Michigan where Detroit was known as car production capital! Teams want to do good in front of their manufactures which always makes for a fun weekend in the Irish Hills for the running of the Firekeepers Casino 400. And, as has been the case many times this season, Kyle Busch has been pegged as the favorite driver.

It’s a solid choice if you consider what the younger of the Busch brothers has accomplished this season. He’s won four times, including last week’s dominating run at Pocono, and he’s amassed stage points, as well as top-five and top-ten finishes. Oddsmakers see that as enough street cred to place him at the top of the list once again. And, once again… he’s joined by the regular front runners.

 

Kyle Busch+275Toyota
Kevin Harvick+550Ford
Martin Truex Jr+600Toyota
Brad Keselowski+750Ford
Joey Logano+900Ford

 

Chevy is locked out of the top-five favored drivers to win. Toyota comes in with two drivers. Busch at +275, and Martin Truex Jr. at +600. Kevin Harvick splits the two Joe Gibbs teammates coming in at +550. Harvick is the defending Michigan race winner but his victory at the track came in the Fall. The other two Ford drivers are Team Penske teammates Brad Keselowski at +750 and Joey Logano coming in at +900.

Past Michigan Winners

Chevrolet has won six of the last ten races at Michigan and that number may increase if Kyle Larson can build on his strong run and stage wins last week at Pocono. Larson won both Pocono stages and has been a bright spot for Chevrolet this season. However, Chevy is still looking for their second win in 2019.


Auto Racing Glance: FIREKEEPERS CASINO 400


Matt Kenseth gave Toyota their only win at the track since 2014. Michigan has not been friendly to the Toyota family of drivers. The brand has only won at the track five times since entering the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2007.

Ford has three wins over the last ten Michigan races with teammates Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer taking both 2018 races for Stewart – Haas Racing.

 

2014Jimmie JohnsonChevrolet
2014Jeff GordonChevrolet
2015Kurt BuschChevrolet
2015Matt KensethToyota
2016Joey LoganoFord
2016Kyle LarsonChevrolet
2017Kyle LarsonChevrolet
2017Kyle LarsonChevrolet
2018Clint BowyerFord
2018Kevin HarvickFord

 

2019 FireKeepers Casino 400 Prediction

Kyle Busch is the favored driver to win the running of the 2019 FireKeepers Casino 400 based on his wins and strong performance coming into the race weekend. It’s hard to push his 20199 stats aside. However, if you look at past performance at a track when making picks then Busch may not play out.

The driver of the No. 18 Toyota for Coach Gibbs has one win at the track and it came in 2011 and his average start is 12.6 but his average finish is 18.4. The bright side is that he’s placed second and third the last two races. And, he’s finished inside the top-ten seven of the last ten races at the track. He could grab his fifth win of the season and his second crown at Michigan.

To do so, Busch and teammate Truex will have to beat the Ford camp. Ford seems to be dialing in the aspects of the new Mustang and Harvick has been a factor in every race over the last few weeks. It’s hard to believe that the Stewart – Haas Racing driver has yet to grab a checkered so far this season. Michigan is where he could get the first win of the season. 



Ford enters the FireKeepers 400 with a strong lineup but they will need to combine that with race strategy and pit-performance. Both will be key when it comes to the Blue Oval keeping Busch or Truex out of Victory Lane.

Dark horse drivers, if you can call them that are Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, and Kyle Larson as mentioned above. The problem with Larson is that his team has managed to squander several great runs this season with a variety of problems ranging from equipment to tires and incidents out of their control. While winning two stages last week at Pocono is impressive on the stat sheet, it happened because Kyle Busch and other leaders came into the pits. Larson stayed out which gave him the second stage win of the race.

This weekend may see Kevin Harvick get his first win of 2019. To do so will require zero mistakes in the pits and staying out of trouble at a track known for collecting random cars. His team will have to do that while playing the fuel strategy game while keeping an eye out on what the other front running teams are doing. Harvick, or another Ford, can go to Victory lane in Michigan but they will need to have the Toyota Camp (Busch and Truex) to stumble. The same goes for Elliott and Larson.

Complete Odds for the 2019 FireKeepers Casino 400
 

Jimmie Johnson+2500
Aric Almirola+3000
Alex Bowman+3300
Daniel Suarez+4500
William Byron+5000
Austin Dillon+7500
Ricky Stenhouse Jr+17500
Ryan Newman+20000
Paul Menard+20000
Daniel Hemric+30000
Chris Buescher+40000

 

 

Comment about 2019 firekeepers casino 400 preview betting odds and prediction