DraftKings NASCAR: Pure Michigan 400

DraftKings NASCAR: Pure Michigan 400

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Pure Michigan 400

Location: Brooklyn, Mich.
Course: Michigan International Speedway
Format: 2.0-mile D-shaped oval
Laps: 200

Race Preview

Rain was the story of Bristol Motor Speedway last week where Kevin Harvick overcame multiple interruptions to score his second win of the season from an unlikely starting position. The move to Michigan this week means just three races remain until the Chase for the Sprint Cup contenders are locked in for the final 10-race run to the championship. Ryan Newman is currently on the transfer bubble with a 35-point gap to 17th-place Trevor Bayne in the standings. A frustrating weekend at Bristol knocked Kyle Larson out of the Chase spots, as Chris Buescher capitalized on another wet weekend to score what could be his second most important result of the season. Buescher's top-five has him solidly in the Chase due to a 13-point gap to 31st in the standings, and that leaves Larson in desperate need of a win to keep his season alive. The pressure will continue to mount as the series visits Michigan for the second time this season.

Key Stats at Michigan International Speedway

Number of previous races: 94
Winners from pole: 19
Winners from top-5 starters: 56
Winners from top-10 starters: 71
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 7
Fastest race: 173.997 mph

Last 10 Michigan Winners

2016 spring - Joey Logano
2015 fall - Matt Kenseth
2015 spring - Kurt Busch
2014 fall - Jeff Gordon
2014 spring - Jimmie Johnson
2013 fall - Joey Logano
2013 spring - Greg Biffle
2012 fall - Greg Biffle
2012 spring - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2011 fall - Kyle BUsch

Joey Logano won from pole in Michigan earlier this season in a dominating performance during which he led 138 of 200 laps. Both Penske Racing machines finished in the top five that weekend, and it was Logano's first win of the season. The team capitalized on the strength of their cars by staying on top of the changing track conditions. The series implemented a revised rules package for the race that was intended to reduce downforce and make handling a lot trickier. That same rules package will be in effect this weekend, too. Managing chassis handling through the center of the turns to maximize speed at the end of the long straights will be the aim of the teams. The multiple grooves allow for a variety of lines through the corners so passing should be plentiful. The main question is whether whoever grabs the early lead will ever be caught.

(Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Kevin Harvick - $10,700
Joey Logano - $10,400
Brad Keselowski - $10,200

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Martin Truex Jr. - $9,900
Matt Kenseth - $9,700
Carl Edwards - $9,500
Kurt Busch - $9,500

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Denny Hamlin - $8,900
Kyle Larson - $8,500
Ryan Newman - $7,700
Ryan Blaney - $7,400

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,700
Chris Buescher - $6,600
Trevor Bayne - $6,300
Danica Patrick - $6,000


Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Brad Keselowski - $10,200
Carl Edwards - $9,500
Kyle Larson - $8,500
Tony Stewart - $8,300
Chris Buescher - $6,600
Trevor Bayne - $6,300

Hometown driver Keselowski leads the lower-risk lineup this week. He has been one of the hottest drivers in the series recently, and could be in store for his first win at the circuit with five consecutive Michigan top-10s heading into this weekend's race. Edwards was strong in Bristol but came up short. His best times at Michigan came with Roush Fenway Racing, but he does have back-to-back sixth-place finishes there in the last two events. Larson is going to be hungrier than ever to score his first series win this week after losing his spot in the Chase after struggling in Bristol. He raced to a third-place finish at the track earlier this year and will feel confident he can achieve more this time. A tough day at Bristol shouldn't affect Stewart too much since that was one of his poorer tracks. Michigan is better for the veteran, and he scored a top-10 there earlier this year. Larson's drop from Chase contention came due to Buescher's top-five run at Bristol. This team knows what they need to do in the last few races before the Chase to earn a right to fight for the title in the playoffs. Lastly, Bayne continues to improve with Roush. He finished 12th in Bristol, ninth at Watkins Glen and 15th at Michigan earlier this season.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Kevin Harvick - $10,700
Joey Logano - $10,400
Matt Kenseth - $9,700
Paul Menard - $7,100
Danica Patrick - $6,000
Cole Whitt - $5,000

Harvick rocketed back up the favorites chart with his Bristol win on Sunday. The Stewart Haas Racing driver has two wins so far this season and also has an impressive streak of six top-five finishes in the last six Michigan races. Logano is another top Michigan driver, and seven consecutive top-10 finishes including two wins from his last seven Michigan races only serves to reinforce that. Bristol wasn't the best outing for Kenseth, but a return to Michigan, where he has three wins including this race last season, could be the tonic he needs to get back on track before the Chase kicks off. The 2016 season continues to be challenging for Menard, but there is talk of him sticking with Richard Childress Racing and he has four top-10 Michigan finishes in the last six outings. With a little bit of luck Patrick's 2016 season would be much more impressive. She has yet to score a top-10 at Michigan but is racing competitively nearly every week and could crack into the top 15 there this week. Whitt's price tag allows for Harvick and Logano to head the higher-risk lineup, and his ability to finish better than his starting position, which he has done in four of the last five races, should give fantasy owners reliable points this week.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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