Driver Handicaps: Michigan


If you're looking to pick a winner for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400, Greg Biffle would be good place to start. He's seeking his third straight MIS victory. (Photo: Getty Images)


To assist in making your fantasy racing picks,'s Pete Pistone helps steer you toward Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Who's HOT at Michigan

Greg Biffle - The Roush Fenway Racing driver is aiming for a third straight Michigan win on Sunday and a 2013 sweep after his June triumph.  "The Biff" has put together an 8.3 average finish in his last 10 starts in the Irish Hills.

Carl Edwards - Michigan has a history of being a Roush Fenway Racing playground and Edwards has played his part over the years.  Has two straight top-10 finishes to his credit and seven overall dating back to 2008.

Clint Bowyer - Toyota teams will be back at full engine strength this weekend, which should bode well for the Michael Waltrip Racing driver.  Bowyer has finished 7th in his last three Michigan outings and put together a string of five straight top-10 runs.

Kyle Busch - Momentum is definitely on Busch's side after season win No. 3 last weekend at Watkins Glen.  He ran fourth at MIS in June and running the Truck Series race on Saturday will provide great knowledge on track conditions for the Cup main event.

Matt Kenseth - Enjoyed a lot of Michigan success during his Roush days and had a solid fifth-place outing in June for his Joe Gibbs Racing debut at the track.  Has finished inside the top 10 five times in the last six races.

Who's NOT

Kurt Busch - The Furniture Row Racing driver's momentum to earn a Chase spot will be tested this weekend at Michigan.  Busch has a 26.3 average finish over his last 10 MIS starts and four straight runs of 30th or worse.

Paul Menard - Michigan is the scene of last year's penalties for Menard & Co., assessed for an illegal frame rail.  He's only put together two top-10 finishes at the track dating back to 2008.

Jamie McMurray - Lots of unrest inside the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing camp this week with the news that Juan Pablo Montoya won't return in 2014.  McMurray will also face on-track challenges at Michigan, where his average finish is 20.0 over his last 10 starts.

Kasey Kahne - Sounds like Kahne is in the middle of a feud with Matt Kenseth and the entire Joe Gibbs racing organization after his accident last week in Watkins Glen and subsequent comments.  He has a frustrating 19.7 average finish in his last 10 Michigan outings including 38th back in June.

Joey Logano - His ninth-place run in June snapped two straight performances of 31st and 35th, but Logano has to step up his Michigan game Sunday to stay in the Chase hunt.  He has a career 18.4 average finish there.

Who to Keep an Eye On at Michigan

Kevin Harvick - He's won the August Michigan race before and finished second in June.  Time for Harvick to bust out of the summer doldrums with a good day on Sunday.

Brad Keselowski - Has momentum on his side with three top-10 runs in his last four races including a second-place effort behind Kyle Busch last weekend at The Glen.  Keselowski was also second last August at Michigan.

Jimmie Johnson - The numbers will tell you Michigan is not one of Johnson's best tracks and one where he's not yet won a Sprint Cup race.  But odds are Johnson will bust up that stat at some point and after being out of the spotlight for the last couple weeks, look for a determined effort from the No. 48 team.

Martin Truex Jr. - He finished third last week at Watkins Glen and in that same spot at Michigan back in June.  Anyone believe in numbers?

Dale Earnhardt Jr. - We all know where Junior's last win came (Michigan, for those not on the lead lap) and how he was strong in June before engine problems kicked him to the curb.  Earnhardt has to win again sometime, right? Staff Picks
Jeff Wackerlin:
Kurt Busch
Pete Pistone: Jimmie Johnson
Dustin Long: Carl Edwards
John Singler: Greg Biffle

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