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Michigan Fantasy Forecast

MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400
Sunday, June 13, 2010 in Brooklyn, MI

Resting in the peaceful Irish Hills of southeastern Michigan lies the massive Michigan International Speedway. It won’t be peaceful this weekend as NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers tempt to tame the Brooklyn Michigan track in the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400. 200 laps are scheduled on this two-mile superspeedway. With its wide sweeping 18-degree corners, long straightaways, and 12-degree tri-oval front stretch, there’s plenty of room to pass and plenty of speed.

The following drivers have the best chance of pulling out a top finish this weekend. The rankings utilize an exclusive formula I’ve developed over years of analyzing races. It factors in drivers’ history at this track and similar tracks, key driver stats from this venue, and the ever-powerful momentum. Every driver/team will have the occasional “off” race. They can have a rough outing or two without being unduly harmed in the rankings. If they generally run in the top half of the field, they’ll be moving up the list.

TOP THIRTY
1) 99 Carl Edwards
2) 48 Jimmie Johnson
3) 11 Denny Hamlin
4) 17 Matt Kenseth
5) 14 Tony Stewart
6) 18 Kyle Busch
7) 2 Kurt Busch
8) 24 Jeff Gordon
9) 29 Kevin Harvick
10) 5 Mark Martin
11) 33 Clint Bowyer
12) 16 Greg Biffle
13) 00 David Reutimann
14) 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
15) 1 Jamie McMurray
16) 42 Juan Pablo Montoya
17) 20 Joey Logano
18) 31 Jeff Burton
19) 6 David Ragan
20) 56 Martin Truex Jr.
21) 9 Kasey Kahne
22) 39 Ryan Newman
23) 83 Casey Mears
24) 12 Brad Keselowski
25) 77 Sam Hornish Jr.
26) 21 Bill Elliott
27) 98 Paul Menard
28) 26 David Stremme
29) 19 Elliott Sadler
30) 43 A.J. Allmendinger

MICHIGAN DRIVER STATS
Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford)
? Two wins, seven top fives, 10 top 10s
? Average finish of 6.1
? Series-best Average Running Position of 7.9
? Series-best Driver Rating of 112.5
? 143 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
? 741 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most
? Average Green Flag Speed of 173.700 mph, second-fastest
? Series-high 1,702 Laps in the Top 15 (88.0%)
? Series-high 512 Quality Passes

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet)
? Two top fives, six top 10s
? Average finish of 16.0
? Average Running Position of 8.0, second-best
? Driver Rating of 111.0, second-best
? Series-high 249 Fastest Laps Run
? Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 173.790 mph
? 1,609 Laps in the Top 15 (83.2%), second-most
? 391 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota)
? Two top fives, four top 10s
? Average finish of 13.3
? Average Running Position of 12.0, sixth-best
? Driver Rating of 92.5, 11th-best
? Average Green Flag Speed of 173.010 mph, ninth-fastest
? 1,092 Laps in the Top 15 (71.1%), 12th-most
? 373 Quality Passes, eighth-most

Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Crown Royal Black Ford)
? Two wins, nine top fives, 13 top 10s
? Average finish of 9.9
? Average Running Position of 11.4, fourth-best
? Driver Rating of 103.1, fourth-best
? 88 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most
? 700 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most
? Average Green Flag Speed of 173.374 mph, fourth-fastest
? 1,520 Laps in the Top 15 (78.6%), fourth-most
? 455 Quality Passes, second-most

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Old Spice Chevrolet)
? One win, nine top fives, 14 top 10s
? Average finish of 12.4
? Average Running Position of 13.8, ninth-best
? Driver Rating of 95.0, eighth-best
? 55 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most
? 713 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most
? Average Green Flag Speed of 173.093 mph, sixth-fastest
? 1,346 Laps in the Top 15 (69.6%), fifth-most
? 388 Quality Passes, sixth-most

Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Pretzel Toyota)
? One top five, three top 10s
? Average finish of 17.5
? Average Running Position of 14.7, 11th-best
? Driver Rating of 93.1, 10th-best
? 73 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
? 1,344 Laps in the Top 15 (69.5%), sixth-most
? 356 Quality Passes, 11th-most

Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
? Two wins, two top fives, seven top 10s
? Average finish of 20.3
? Average Running Position of 13.1, eighth-best
? Driver Rating of 96.5, sixth-best
? 102 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
? Average Green Flag Speed of 173.024 mph, eighth-fastest
? 1,335 Laps in the Top 15 (69.0%), ninth-most
? 372 Quality Passes, ninth-most

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont/National Guard Job Skills Chevrolet)
? Two wins, 17 top fives, 22 top 10s; five poles
? Average finish of 11.2
? Average Running Position of 12.6, seventh-best
? Driver Rating of 96.3, seventh-best
? 106 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
? Average Green Flag Speed of 173.076 mph, seventh-fastest
? 1,336 Laps in the Top 15 (69.0%), eighth-most
? 374 Quality Passes, seventh-most

Mark Martin (No. 5 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet)
? Five wins, 17 top fives, 29 top 10s
? Average finish of 13.3
? Average Running Position of 14.4, 10th-best
? Driver Rating of 88.4, 12th-best
? 58 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most
? Average Green Flag Speed of 172.846 mph, 11th-fastest
? 1,304 Laps in the Top 15 (67.4%), 10th-most
? 357 Quality Passes, 10th-most

Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)
? Two wins, six top fives, eight top 10s
? Average finish of 13.1
? Average Running Position of 9.4, third-best
? Driver Rating of 103.5, third-best
? 124 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
? 707 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most
? Average Green Flag Speed of 173.491 mph, third-fastest
? 1,551 Laps in the Top 15 (80.2%), third-most
? 442 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), fourth-most

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet)
? One win, four top fives, seven top 10s; two poles
? Average finish of 15.9
? Average Running Position of 11.6, fifth-best
? Driver Rating of 99.1, fifth-best
? 113 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
? 744 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
? Average Green Flag Speed of 173.232 mph, fifth-fastest
? 1,339 Laps in the Top 15 (69.2%), seventh-most
? 444 Quality Passes, third-most

Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Ford)
? One win, five top fives, five top 10s; one pole
? Average finish of 16.3
? Driver Rating of 81.1, 13th-best
? 61 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
? 766 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most

MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY HIGHLIGHTS
? The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Michigan was held June 15, 1969, and won by Cale Yarborough.
? The race winner has started from the pole 16 times, the most productive starting position. Brian Vickers (last August) was the last driver to win from the pole.
? 63 of 81 races have been won from a top-10 starting position, including 45 from the first four spots. However, four of the last five winners have started outside the top 10.
? The deepest in the field a race winner has started was 32nd, by Mark Martin in last season’s June race.
? The Wood Brothers and Roush Fenway Racing both have 11 wins, more than any other car owners.
? Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth are the only drivers to average a top-10 finish. Edwards, who has two Michigan wins, has an average finish of 6.1. Coincidentally, Edwards’ first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start came at Michigan. Kenseth, who also has two victories, has an average finish of 9.9.

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