NASCAR Nationwide Series: Michigan Picks and Points

by Adam Ansell, on August 13, 2010 @ 02:21:34 PDT


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1. Kyle Busch: Busch is third in the Series standings, 473-points out of first, despite sitting out four events. He has nine wins in 18 events this season, but the most impressive stat Busch has managed is that he's led at least four laps in every single race he's started in 2010. In three starts at Michigan International Speedway, Busch has one win (2004) and two Tops Fives. He has an Average Start of fifth, never lining up worse than 10th on the grid. He's led at least 32 laps in two of his three starts. Since the inception of Loop Data in 2005, Busch is seventh in Driver Rating (105.0) and Average Running Position (10.0).

2. Brad Keselowski: MIS is another venue in which the stats for Keselowski can be deceiving. Ignore everything prior to last season, when the Michigan native won the event with a 122.7 DR and an ARP of 4.9. He also led three laps and spent all 125 laps in the Top 15. Overall he ranks 12th in DR (95.6) and eighth in ARP (10.1). Since putting up an Average Finish of 14th at Chicagoland, Gateway and ORP, he's tightened his grip on first-place with back-to-back finishes of fourth. It would be an upset at this point if he doesn't finish atop the Series standings at season's end.

3. Carl Edwards: In his 2008 victory at MIS, Edwards started from the pole, led 71 of 125 laps and had a 146.6 DR and ARP of 1.5. In five starts at MIS, he has two Top Fives and two DNFs. He ranks 11th in DR (99.1) and 23rd in ARP (16.3). Edwards ranks second with 103 Laps Led and 66 Fastest Laps Run. After gaining ground on Series points leader Keselowski prior to their latest incident, the second-place Edwards is currently 327-points off the pace. He still has the bitter taste of finishing second in the standings the past two seasons, and that will surely motivate him the rest of the season. He's an elite start in all formats, regardless of history or venue.

4. Ryan Newman: In his first three Series starts this season, Newman had an Average Finish of fifth and ARP of 7.7. In his last two Series starts, he has an Average Finish of 31st with an ARP of 18.5. MIS is the perfect slump buster for Newman. In three starts at the site, he has two wins (2001, 2005) and three Top Fives. He led 119 of 125 laps in his 2001 victory. He ranks fifth in DR (108.4) and ARP (8.7). Newman is the best Elimination format option on the board and should be started in all formats with confidence.

5. Joey Logano: He's the hottest driver this side of his teammate Busch, with six consecutive Top Fives and eight in his last nine Series starts. In his lone MIS start in 2008, he started sixth and finished seventh. He ranks 13th in DR (94.9) and ninth in ARP (10.4). Logano's second-place road course finish a week ago at Watkins Glen International was one of his most impressive showings in 2010, demonstrating his growing versatility and confidence. The only thing holding him back from a Fantasy perspective is that he's sat out eight of 22 events this season. When he is behind the wheel of the No. 20 Toyota, he should be started in all formats.

6. Kevin Harvick: In eight starts at the site, Harvick has one win (2003), four Top Fives and six Top 10s. He's led at least two laps in five of his eight starts. Harvick has never started lower than ninth on the grid at the site. He ranks sixth in DR (105.3) and third in ARP (7.6). Since sitting out his fourth race of the season two races back at O'Reilly Race Park, Harvick has recorded back-to-back Top Five finishes. He's the safest Fantasy option at MIS.

7. Reed Sorenson: Sorenson will helm the No. 32 Toyota, the same equipment Brian Vickers led 78 of 125 laps and finished second in last year at MIS. At first glance, Sorenson's one Top 10 in four starts at MIS isn't that impressive. But he's led at least one lap in three of those starts, and started fourth on the grid twice. He ranks 22nd in DR (83.2) and 16th in ARP (14.3). He has two Top Fives and three Top 10s in his last four Series starts. Sorenson's poor history at the site makes him a solid value start in all formats.

8. Justin Allgaier: Allgaier finished seventh in his only career start at MIS. He ranks 14th in DR (94.2) and sixth in ARP (9.5). Prior to the road race a week ago at Watkins Glen International, Allgaier had logged seventh and eighth place finishes. The Auto Club Speedway is the track which bears the most resemblance to MIS, an event where Allgaier finished ninth back in February. Expect a Top 10 finish this weekend.

9. Paul Menard: In four starts at MIS, Menard has three Top 10s. He ranks 20th in DR (84.5) and 19th in ARP (14.9). Despite posting just one Top Five on the season and an Average Finish of 19th, Menard sits sixth in the Nationwide Series standings. He's led a total of two laps on the season, one in each of two separate events (Atlanta and Talladega). He's not a sexy pick, but provides the right amount of upside and security to warrant a start in Tiered/Grouping formats.

10. Trevor Bayne: Prior to last week's road race, Bayne had three straight poles and Top Five finishes. In his lone start at MIS, Bayne started second on the grid, but finished with a 30th-place DNF. He ranks 30th in DR (69.7) and 24th in ARP (16.6). He currently sits eighth in the Series standings. Bayne will provide excellent value in Tiered/Grouping formats, especially ones that offer bonus points for qualifying in the Top Four.

11. Jason Leffler: Two Top 10s in his last six starts at MIS; hasn't finished lower than 14th since 2004. 85.4 DR.

12. Brian Scott: One Top Five and two Top 10s in his last five Series starts. DR N/A.

13. Mike Bliss: Two Top 10s in four MIS starts. 70.7 DR.

14. Tony Raines: One Top Five in seven MIS starts. 60.6 DR.

15. Steve Wallace: Seventh in the Series standings with a career-high 11 Top 10s this season. 48.7 DR.

16. Brendan Gaughan: 66.7 DR.

17. Jason Keller: 69.2.

18. Kenny Wallace: 58.1.

19. Mike Wallace: 58.1.

20. Michael Annett: 80.8.

21. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

22. Jeremy Clements

23. John Wes Townley

24. Morgan Shepherd

25. Danica Patrick

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About Adam Ansell,

This article is courtesy of: is a deluxe fantasy analysis and information site and content development network. Led by award-winning Fantasy veteran Scott Engel, formerly of ESPN and CBS SportsLine, the team provides distinctive and in-depth fantasy insights in all sports. is an official content provider for, Yahoo Sports, Sports Illustrated and USA Today. was nominated for a total of eight industry awards in 2009, and won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Award for Best Humor Article. urges you to look for the X- The Mark of Fantasy Excellence.

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