- Kyle Larson is the favorite this week at the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Sunday, August 22nd, 2021
- Can Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., or Kevin Harvick spoil Larson’s weekend?
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and trends ahead of Sunday afternoon’s race in Michigan
NASCAR heads to Michigan with another Sunday afternoon road race after the road race at Indianapolis, where A.J. Allmendinger rallied from seventh place at the start of overtime to win. Larson is the +300 favorite in the FireKeepers Casino 400 odds from the two-mile course at Michigan International Speedway.
Alex Bowman or Ryan Blaney (+1800) could again challenge with strong results. They both have the cars to stay near the front all day. It boils down to strategy and the downforce. There is also Denny Hamlin (+1100) and again Martin Truex Jr. (+750) to consider for Sunday’s race around the two-mile track.
Let’s take a look at the FireKeepers Casino 400 odds for the oval race at Michigan and figure out which drivers are the best bets.
FireKeepers Casino 400 Odds
|Driver||Odds to Win at DraftKings||Odds to Finish Top Five||Odds to Finish Top Three|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+750||-110||+220|
Odds as of August 19th
Kyle Larson Favorite to Win at Michigan
NASCAR drivers will run on the two-mile Michigan International Speedway (MIS) when the flag drops for the Sunday afternoon race beginning around 3:00 PM EST. Kevin Harvick is the best driver at Michigan over the past three seasons, but Kyle Larson is showing this year that a new dominator is here. This is a race deeply entrenched in tradition and is over 50 years old.
At Indianapolis, Larson was tapped by Kyle Busch just as the No. 5 car locked up his brakes a bit. The Hendrick Motorsports Racing driver had to let off the gas as he dropped all the way to seventh. During the overtime, Larson got back up to third but could not get any closer to eventual winner A.J. Allmendinger.
He did have the fastest car last Sunday and has won this race before in 2017. Larson’s top-three numbers did slide back to -145.
🏁 Kyle Larson gets another!
— Always Race Day (@AlwaysRaceDay) August 19, 2021
It just shows that Kyle Larson can literally win anywhere. He is having a season that is arguably for the ages. The No. 5 car starts from the pole position this week and will lead a lot of laps in the 550hp build (general build).
Also, Larson has had an average finish of 15.5 at Michigan since 2018 and one top-10 finish in four races. However, he has won twice with this build, and that was with Chip Ganassi equipment.
FireKeepers Casino 400 Recent Winners
|Year||Race Winner||Pole Position||Most Laps Led|
|2020||Kevin Harvick – Stewart-Haas Racing||Joey Logano — Team Penske||Kevin Harvick — Stewart-Haas Racing|
|2019||Joey Logano — Team Penske||Joey Logano — Team Penske||Joey Logano — Team Penske|
|2018||Clint Bowyer — Stewart-Haas Racing||Kurt Busch— Stewart-Haas Racing||Kevin Harvick— Stewart-Haas Racing|
|2017||Kyle Larson — Chip Ganassi Racing||Kyle Larson — Chip Ganassi Racing||Kyle Larson — Chip Ganassi Racing|
|2016||Joey Logano — Team Penske||Joey Logano — Team Penske||Joey Logano — Team Penske|
The race is normally 200 laps but in 2018, Clint Bowyer won the race after it was suspended for darkness after 133 laps. Last year, it was shortened to 160 laps due to COVID (161 laps raced – overtime).
Can Kevin Harvick Win This One?
Sports bettors have some interesting history to draw on as this race is 200 laps. Harvick is not trending well in the NASCAR Cup Series odds, but the Stewart-Haas Racing driver is the Chase Elliott of the Michigan course. He has four wins in his last six races here, including six top-tens and a phenomenal driver rating of 137.4.
The question becomes can he get or stay past either or both of the Hendricks cars? Harvick starts back in the eighth position due to metrics for Sunday’s race.
It's crazy that Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick have combined to lead 334 laps this year. They led over 2k a year ago.
— Gumbydammit (@ben061184) August 18, 2021
Kevin Harvick’s car just does not have the elite speed but in this build, Harvick can scratch and claw better than almost any other track. If he is going to win one or clinch a spot in “The Chase”, this could be it.
Is Kyle Busch the Unicorn Here?
The driver of the No. 18 has been excellent on intermediate courses this season, and many forget that he has six straight top-ten finishes (4.5 average result) on this Michigan track.
Crazy how Kyle Busch been the best car that’s running 550 HP on those tracks last month
— Chandler Fulton (@Chandler_F33) June 13, 2021
For those wondering, the younger Busch has bested Kyle Larson at the 550hp build in the last three races. The usual suspects could linger around, and Chase Elliott does get helped a bit by starting second on Sunday. Again, who is that possible Allmendinger-like shot?
If Kevin Harvick can manufacture even a bit more speed with the lesser horsepower, he will be a force. The two Kyle’s expect to be the dominant racers on the Michigan two-miler. There is good news that no rain is on the horizon for Sunday. With warm temperatures in the mid 80’s, track temperatures should not be too oppressive, so tire wear will not be as much of an issue.
Here are our best bets:
- The Picks: Ryan Blaney to finish Top 5 (+300); Kyle Busch to win (+650); Kevin Harvick to finish Top Three (+230)
- Top Pick: Kyle Larson to finish Top Three (-145)
- Longshot: Alex Bowman to win (+1800)