The first race at Michigan on Saturday went pretty much as expected, and now Sunday’s event is looking a lot like the second race of the Pocono doubleheader back in June. In that race, we saw similar faces up front in the second race as well, which makes sense because these teams are using the exact same cars for both races. Some teams will roll out a backup car for Sunday’s race, but that has to get NASCAR approval so it’ll likely only be the damaged cars from the first race. With that being said, if teams do decide to make some unapproved adjustments to the car overnight, that would cause NASCAR to force them to start at the rear, but the driver will be scored from his original starting spot. That’s something to keep an eye on before the race, but honestly it shouldn’t make a huge amount of difference unless it’s someone starting up front.

RACE DAY UPDATES
I will update the section below as Sunday goes on and we get closer to the green flag with any news and strategies I have landed on.

  • 10:57 am — Tyler Reddick ($6,900) is confirmed to be going to a backup car. He will still be scored from 3rd. I’d fully fade.
  • 12:20 pm — Chris Buescher ($6,700) and Aric Almirola ($9,200) will also drop to the rear today due to backup cars. Their potential to dominate is out the window. Full fade. Also joining them in the back due to backup cars are Ryan Preece ($5,600), Ryan Newman ($7,000), Michael McDowell ($6,200), Austin Dillon ($6,500), Cole Custer ($7,500), and John Hunter Nemechek ($6,400). All of these drivers are still in play, that won’t make that much of a difference. Brennan Poole ($5,400) will go to the rear for an engine change as well as Josh Bilicki ($4,700) due to a driver change. I would still fade both of them.
  • 12:25 pm — This should actually move up William Byron ($7,800) to the front row on the restart. That ups his dominator potential, so he’s in play for GPPs if he can lead a good portion of the first Stage. He will be scored from the 7th starting spot so there’s less risk than if he was scored from the pole. Clint Bowyer ($7,600) still has to be the favorite to lead early, though.
  • 3:30 pm — Add Daniel Suarez ($5,900) and Reed Sorenson ($4,900) to the list of drivers going to the back, these ones due to inspection failure. Ryan Preece also failed inspection but he was already going to the back. This lowers my already pretty low exposure of Suarez.

Speed Report in 2020 After Michigan Saturday

Kevin Harvick Busch Light Apple Car
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Kevin Harvick was a half a mph faster than everyone else on Saturday according to Green Flag Speed, and the top drivers on that chart really had no surprises. Denny Hamlin was 2nd in GFS in the first Michigan race this weekend, and then it was Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, and Erik Jones rounding out the top 5.

Over the last six races here are the fastest drivers in terms of Green Flag Speed:

  1. Kevin Harvick (6.5 average rank)
  2. Brad Keselowski (6.8 average rank)
  3. Denny Hamlin (7.2 average rank)
  4. Kyle Busch (7.6 average rank)
  5. Joey Logano (8.0 average rank)

You can click here to check out the updated Cheat Sheet on Green Flag Speed and see how every driver ranks in that category plus more, not only for the last six races but for the whole season.

DraftKings Strategy for Michigan Sunday

Denny Hamlin Fast Pit Stop at Dover
Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

For the second time this weekend, we have a short race, and now all of the true contenders are starting back in the mid-teens or worse. That means we’re heavily targeting place differential here on Sunday. In addition to the potential race winners starting mid pack, there are also several mid-tier guys starting outside of the top 30 that are priced $7,500 or less, so it’s going to be relatively easy to put together lineups. Unfortunately, a significant chunk of the field won’t be great picks here on Sunday, so we’re bound to see plenty of ties in contests on Sunday. There are some differentiation options available but overall it’s looking like a super chalk day similar to what we had at the second race of the Pocono doubleheader back in June.

Potential Dominators on Sunday

Due to the invert, we have Chris Buescher ($6,700) and Clint Bowyer ($7,600) on the front row. It’s likely one of these two will lead early on, but Tyler Reddick ($6,900) and Aric Almirola ($9,200) start up there as well, and could get out front. However, it’s only going to be a matter of time before the “big boys” get there. Nobody starting up front on Sunday has a legitimate chance to lead a significant portion of this race, at least in my opinion. The drivers most likely to dominate, ranked in order of likelihood (in my opinion) are:

  • Kevin Harvick ($11,500)
  • Denny Hamlin ($11,100)
  • Ryan Blaney ($9,900)
  • Brad Keselowski ($10,500)
  • Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,800)
  • Kyle Busch ($9,400)
  • Erik Jones ($8,000)
  • Joey Logano ($10,200)
  • Chase Elliott ($9,600)

GPP / Tournament Picks I Love for the Consumers Energy 400

Ricky Stenhouse Jr Kyle Busch Michigan Pit Road
Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Denny Hamlin ($11,100) – The obvious choice in DraftKings for Sunday’s race at Michigan is Kevin Harvick ($11,500), and right fully so. That #4 Ford was clearly the best car on Saturday, and Harvick now starts 20th on Sunday so he has plenty of place differential potential in addition to dominator potential again. However, I don’t mind pivoting to Hamlin while still going heavy on Harvick. On Saturday, Hamlin still had 20 fastest laps in the race, and he’ll start five positions ahead of Harvick for the second race of the doubleheader. Also, don’t forget the last time we had a doubleheader weekend (at Pocono); Hamlin was the 2nd-best car on the first day and then went out and led the most laps on day two en route to victory lane.

Kyle Busch ($9,400) – As I always mention, I’m awful at predicting ownership percentages, but I’m envisioning a lot of DraftKings players trying to stuff the highest-priced drivers into a lineup on Sunday and kind of forgetting about Kyle Busch sitting here at $9,400. Rowdy had legitimate top 5 speed here at Michigan on Saturday, and he starts back in 16th for Sunday’s race. Even with his struggles this season, Kyle Busch is averaging a driver rating of 101.8 on the 2-mile tracks plus the similar tire tracks (Kentucky, Texas, Kansas).

Erik Jones ($8,000) – The #20 Toyota had legitimate top 5 speed in Saturday’s race here at Michigan, but he had some bad restarts in the end and that put Jones in 11th when the checkered flag waved. Because of that, Erik will start from 10th for Sunday’s race, and that in and of itself should keep his ownership percentage relatively low. However, at just an $8,000 price tag and with top 5 potential, I’ll gladly go overweight on Jones yet again this weekend in GPPs.

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. ($7,300) – He may end up being a chalk pick on Sunday, but with Stenhouse priced at $7,300 and a couple of other drivers starting outside of the top 30 in that mid-$6,000 range, I think we would see him go under-owned. However, this #47 Chevrolet had legitimate top 10 speed on Saturday here at Michigan, and the only reason Stenhouse didn’t finish up there was because he hit debris on that final restart and cut a tire down. Assuming there wasn’t much damage to the car, there’s the same amount of potential for Ricky on Sunday.

Michigan Sunday DraftKings Projections

The following chart takes into account the very basics: the starting position and the projected finish of each driver. The projected finishes are averaged from five different ranking systems. Also included are projected laps led and fastest laps for each driver. You can click the headers below to sort the chart by that attribute. By default it is sorted by average projected FPTS.

DriverStarting PositionDraftKings SalaryAvg Proj FPTSAvg. Projected FinishProj Laps LedProj Fastest LapsDollar Per FPT
Kevin Harvick20$11,50084.901.83529$135
Denny Hamlin15$11,10069.503.82621$160
Brad Keselowski19$10,50065.402.81111$161
Ryan Blaney17$9,90062.304.51710$159
Martin Truex Jr18$10,80058.705.0146$184
Kyle Busch16$9,40057.805.0157$163
Joey Logano13$10,20045.008.869$227
Chase Elliott14$9,60043.908.856$219
Austin Dillon31$6,50043.717.002$149
Erik Jones10$8,00041.309.247$194
Kurt Busch11$8,80041.207.703$214
Cole Custer34$7,50040.818.800$184
Alex Bowman21$8,40039.013.202$215
Ricky Stenhouse Jr32$7,30033.721.800$217
John H. Nemechek36$6,40031.525.000$203
Aric Almirola5$9,20029.410.852$313
Ryan Newman28$7,00028.022.500$250
Jimmie Johnson9$8,20026.714.804$308
Christopher Bell8$9,00025.014.802$360
Michael McDowell29$6,20024.025.000$258
Tyler Reddick3$6,90023.813.763$290
William Byron7$7,80020.715.300$377
Ty Dillon23$5,70019.724.200$290
Clint Bowyer2$7,60019.314.884$393
Matt DiBenedetto6$8,60019.015.700$453
Ryan Preece25$5,60017.526.500$320
Brennan Poole37$5,40016.832.000$321
Bubba Wallace12$6,10013.821.700$441
Corey Lajoie22$5,10012.227.700$419
Daniel Suarez24$5,90012.228.300$485
Garrett Smithley35$5,00010.734.500$469
James Davison38$4,60010.036.200$460
Josh Bilicki39$4,70009.736.200$486
JJ Yeley26$5,20009.030.800$578
Reed Sorenson30$4,90006.833.800$717
Matt Kenseth4$7,10005.921.210$1,200
Quin Houff27$4,50005.333.200$844
Timmy Hill33$4,80004.336.000$1,108
Chris Buescher1$6,70002.922.232$2,297
As someone who has always been obsessed with numbers, Fantasy NASCAR has been the perfect fit with me. I pride myself on the quality of my analysis for each race, and am glad that I have been able to help others along the way. I've been a serious Fantasy NASCAR player for over 10 years now, and I'm just getting started.