The second-to-last regular season NASCAR Cup Series race is this weekend at Michigan International Speedway, as the FireKeepers Casino 400 is set to roll on Sunday afternoon in the Irish Hills of Michigan. Kyle Larson is on the pole for this weekend’s race and has also been established as the favorite to win by sportsbooks across the country. Meanwhile, Kevin Harvick, who has won the last three Michigan races (and four of the last five) also has to be considered a contender for his first win of 2021, among few other drivers.

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How the algorithm works: There are quite a few statistics that go into the Power Index formula, including recent performance both overall and at this week’s track specifically, similar track performance, projected strength of the car, practice speeds (when applicable), starting position, and a few other variables.

Before We Get To The Algorithm Results…Thoughts On A Couple Drivers

Daniel Suarez's #99 Chevrolet on pit road grid at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Kyle Busch – Even though the algorithm has Kyle Busch projected to finish 5th here at Michigan on Sunday, I actually think he’s still a bit under-valued this weekend. Rowdy (and William Byron, kind of) have been the only drivers that has even gotten close to Kyle Larson’s status in the 550hp package this year, and Busch has a series-best average result of 3.4 in the eight races with it this season. Here at Michigan specifically, KFB has finished 6th or better in the last six races.

Daniel Suarez – Another driver that I think the algorithm has under-valued this weekend is Daniel Suarez, who is projected to finish 25th. Suarez has been strong here at Michigan in the past when he has good race cars (he finished top 5 in both races here in 2019 with Stewart-Haas) and this season Daniel has ended up 17th or better in six of the eight races that have been ran with the 550hp package. In the two Pocono races, which, like Michigan, also require high horsepower, Suarez finished top 15 in each event.

FireKeepers Casino 400 Algorithm Predicted Finishing Order

RankDriverPower
Index
1.Truex, Jr., Martin39.20
2.Larson, Kyle39.08
3.Hamlin, Denny37.78
4.Elliott, Chase36.60
5.Busch, Kyle36.51
6.Blaney, Ryan33.26
7.Harvick, Kevin32.94
8.Byron, William32.11
9.Keselowski, Brad30.92
10.Logano, Joey30.76
11.Bowman, Alex30.25
12.Busch, Kurt25.88
13.Bell, Christopher23.34
14.DiBenedetto, Matt21.07
15.Dillon, Austin20.86
16.Reddick, Tyler20.72
17.Almirola, Aric15.54
18.Buescher, Chris06.20
19.Chastain, Ross04.86
20.Stenhouse, Jr., Ricky-01.99
21.Briscoe, Chase-07.74
22.Wallace, Bubba-09.39
23.Custer, Cole-10.83
24.Newman, Ryan-13.81
25.Suarez, Daniel-18.44
26.Jones, Erik-22.93
27.McDowell, Michael-24.30
28.Preece, Ryan-25.00
29.Berry, Josh-27.01
30.Haley, Justin-31.09
31.Alfredo, Anthony-31.28
32.Ware, Cody-39.81
33.McLeod, BJ-40.17
34.Gase, Joey-40.68
35.Bilicki, Josh-42.96
36.Houff, Quin-44.98
37.Smithley, Garrett-45.81
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.