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Greg Biffle Goes For Third Straight Michigan Win
ADAM ANSELL’S TOP 25 FOR MICHIGAN
1. Jimmie Johnson: Johnson did well for himself at Watkins Glen International a week ago, starting 18th and finishing eighth. In 23 starts at Michigan International Speedway, Johnson has four Top 5s and nine Top 10s with an Average Finish of 15.8. He finished 28th in the June race despite leading 18 laps. He’s led at least 12 laps in 10 of his last 13 starts. Since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, Johnson ranks fourth in Driver Rating (104.0) and in Average Running Position (10.2). He leads all competitors in Laps Led (502) and Fastest Laps Run (357). A win at Michigan has eluded Johnson his entire career, but that doesn’t mean it’s one of his worst tracks. The No. 48 consistently pumps out quality races, but has trouble finishing them. That’s a trend that will end this weekend.
2. Greg Biffle: Biffle finished 13th at WGI last week. In 21 starts at Michigan, Biffle has four wins (2004-05, 2012-13), 10 Top 5s, 13 Top 10s and one pole with an Average Finish of 11.3. He won the June event and led the most laps (48). He’s led at least 26 laps in each of his last six starts. He leads all competitors in DR (110.0), ARP (8.2), Laps in the Top 15 (2,862) and Average Green Flag Speed (177.096 mph). He ranks second in Laps Led (472), Fastest Laps Run (290) and Quality Passes (802). He has the ability to churn out quality races at Michigan despite coming in with no momentum. He’s a must-start in Tiered/Grouping formats.
Greg Biffle has won the last two Michigan races. PHOTO CREDIT: NASCAR Media.
Greg Biffle has won the last two Michigan races. PHOTO CREDIT: NASCAR Media.
3. Kyle Busch: Busch won his third race of 2013 last weekend, leading 29 laps at Watkins Glen. In 17 MIS starts, Busch has one win (2011), four Top 5s and six Top 10s with an Average Finish of 15.6. He posted a solid fourth-place finish in the June race. He’s led at least 22 laps in two of his last five starts. Busch ranks seventh in DR (93.1) and eighth in ARP (14.1). He’s finished outside the Top 10 just once (12th at Daytona) in his last six Cup starts. Fantasy owners can expect that string of quality starts to continue in Brooklyn this week.
4. Kurt Busch: Busch posted fifth Top 10 in his last seven Cup starts last week at WGI (ninth). In 25 appearances at MIS, Busch has two wins (2003, 2007), three Top 5s, eight Top 10s and two poles with an Average Finish of 22.0. He started second and led the first 21 laps before smacking the wall. He finished 35th. Busch ranks 12th in DR (87.7) and 15th in ARP (16.2). He remains one of the most consistent Fantasy options and is still due for a 2013 victory. He’s a high-upside Tiered/Grouping format start.
5. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior finished a predictable 30th at The Glen last weekend. In 28 starts at Michigan, Earnhardt Jr. has two wins (2008, 2012), six Top 5s, 10 Top 10s and two poles with an Average Finish of 15.6. He led 34 laps before a blown engine forced him into a 37th-place finish. He led 95 laps in his June 2012 victory at the site. Earnhardt Jr. ranks fifth in DR (97.5) and in ARP (12.7). MIS is the site of Junior’s last two Cup victories. Fantasy owners can feel free to ignore his June bad luck and plug him into all provisional Tiered/Grouping format lineups.
6. Kasey Kahne: Kahne ran into some trouble and finished 34th at WGI. In 19 starts at MIS, Kahne has one win (2006), seven Top 5s, eight Top 10s and two poles with an Average Finish of 16.9. He hit the wall midway through the June event leading to a 38th-place finish. He’s led at least three laps in two of his last four starts. Kahne ranks 11th in DR (89.0) and in ARP (15.6). He’s a great value play in Tiered/Grouping formats, as most Fantasy owners will look elsewhere for their elite options.
7. Carl Edwards: Edwards posted his second-straight road course Top 5 (fourth) at The Glen. In 18 appearances at Michigan, Edwards has two wins (2008, 2009), nine Top 5s, 14 Top 10s and one pole with an Average Finish of 8.2. He started from the pole, led 16 laps and finished eighth in the June race. He’s led at least one lap in three of his last five starts. Edwards ranks third in DR (105.1) and in ARP (10.1). He captured the pole in June and will come into Sunday’s race with a ton of speed behind him. Get him into all lineups that award qualifying bonuses.
8. Matt Kenseth: Kenseth started 10th and finished 23rd at Watkins Glen. In 28 MIS starts, Kenseth has two wins (2002, 2006), 12 Top 5s and 18 Top 10s with an Average Finish of 9.4. He started eighth and finished sixth in the June event. He’s led at least five laps in four of his last five starts. Kenseth ranks second in DR (106.0) and in ARP (10.1). He is the most boom-bust option of the top tiered drivers, but the upside far outweighs the down. He’s worth the gamble across all formats.
9. Brad Keselowski: Keselowski just missed out on his first win of 2013, finishing second at The Glen. In eight starts at MIS, Keselowski has two Top 5s with an Average Finish of 17.5. He finished 12th in the June race. He’s led at least three laps in two of his last three starts. Keselowski ranks 17th in DR (80.6) and 18th in ARP (17.2). He has two Top 5s and three Top 10s in his last four Cup starts and is beyond due for a win. If the No. 2 ride shows up with the right setup, it’ll come on Sunday.
10. Jeff Gordon: Gordon wrecked early on at Watkins Glen and mustered a 36th-place finish. In 41 starts at MIS, Gordon has two wins (1998, 2001), 18 Top 5s, 25 Top 10s and five poles with an Average Finish of 12.4. He’s led at least four laps in two of his last four starts. Gordon ranks 10th in DR (90.7) and ninth in ARP (14.3). Despite last week’s wreck, he’s been very solid of late. Consider him a value play, as he’s probably off most Fantasy radars.
11. Kevin Harvick: One win (2010), four Top 5s and nine Top 10s with an Average Finish of 14.3 in 25 MIS starts. 84.2 DR.
12. Clint Bowyer: Seven Top 10s with an Average Finish of 16.1 in 15 Michigan starts. 81.2 DR.
13. Martin Truex Jr.: Three Top 5s and five Top 10s with an Average Finish of 15.7 in 15 starts at the site. 85.0 DR.
14. Joey Logano: Four Top 10s with an Average Finish of 18.4 in nine starts at Michigan. 79.1 DR.
15. Mark Martin: Five wins (1990, 1993, 1997-98, 2009), 18 Top 5s, 31 Top 10s and one pole with an Average Finish of 14.2 in 55 MIS appearances. 86.5 DR.
16. Ryan Newman: 75.9 DR.
17. Jamie McMurray: 70.0.
18. Denny Hamlin: 91.1.
19. Aric Almirola: 72.8.
20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: 75.4.
21. Marcos Ambrose:
22. Jeff Burton:
23. Juan Pablo Montoya:
24. Bobby Labonte
25. David Ragan
1. Austin Dillon: Will helm Tony Stewart’s (broken leg) No. 14 ride. Average Finish of 17.5 in two Cup starts at MIS. Captured the last two Nationwide Series poles at Michigan.
2. A.J. Allmendinger: He’s posted six consecutive Top 20s at MIS with an Average Finish of 15.0.
3. Trevor Bayne: Finished 15th in this event back in June.
2013 NASCAR.com Fantasy Live Lineup for Michigan (Salary Cap)
Jimmie Johnson $27.75
Dale Earnhardt Jr. $26.25
Kurt Busch $19.75
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. $13.25
Austin Dillon $11.00
Photo: NASCAR Media.
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