Michigan plays host to the 23rd race of the NASCAR Cup Series season.
Drivers — and DFS players — should feel good about coming to Michigan, as it’s a classic intermediate track of which we’ve had several of so far this year.
With plenty of practice, I ran my practice FLAGS to get an idea of who truly was the fastest over the full practice run.
Before we jump into my picks, don’t forget all my NASCAR projections can be found in the NASCAR Models on FantasyLabs, complete with floor, ceiling, median, and ownership projections.
Let’s not skip the best part — my Perfect% metric — a metric that tells you how often certain racers appear in the optimal lineup when running 10,000 race simulations.
Here are my NASCAR DFS picks for Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan.
Michigan DraftKings DFS Cash Game Picks
Martin Truex, Jr. ($10,500): Truex arguably had the car to beat, posting the fastest single-lap time and showing incredible consistency over the long run. He also grades out as the driver most likely to dominate in my model, even ahead of teammate and polesitter Christopher Bell.
Christopher Bell ($9800): Speaking of Bell, I think we should play him in cash games as well. By having both Truex and Bell, we raise our floor by likely capturing a large chunk of dominator points.
Bell starts on the pole and was tops in my practice FLAGS metric. That’s a deadly combination, and he doesn’t even come at top dollar. Instead, he’s $1000 below the most expensive driver, Kyle Larson.
If you like Bell to dominate the race, look no further than his 50.5 laps-led line on PrizePicks. Be sure to check out all the pick’ems PrizePicks has to offer with PrizePicks promo code LABS for a $100 deposit match.
Alex Bowman ($8000): Bowman had a very strong practice session, and it comes just at the right time as his playoff hopes are in jeopardy, as he sits outside the cut line looking in.
Bowman was the only driver to post a lap under 38 seconds after 21 practice laps. In fact, his whole practice session was a model of consistency. The difference between his slowest and fastest lap after his tires came up to temperature was only 0.348 seconds.
Starting 20th, expect him to come forward with a top-10 car in practice FLAGS.
Corey LaJoie ($5500): LaJoie wrecked in practice, but prior to that he was actually running some very fast lap times. His lap times were nearly in line with Bubba Wallace and Ty Gibbs, two drivers who would be auto-plays if they started back in 31st. However, those guys are also much more expensive than LaJoie.
LaJoie should be a lock in cash games at his $5500 salary.
Michigan DraftKings DFS Tournament Picks
Kyle Busch ($10,100): Rowdy looked very sporty in practice and should be a contender for the win.
The Richard Childress Racing driver was one of just two drivers to make a 20+ consecutive lap run, showing that he was very comfortable with his car instead of needing to come in for adjustments. And he was super consistent over those 20 laps. His tire falloff from his five to his 20-lap average was just 0.168 seconds per lap.
That was good enough to put him into the top tier of practice FLAGS.
Ryan Blaney ($9700): Blaney is in for a solid day, as Michigan’s top comparable track is Charlotte Motor Speedway. If we throw it back to Memorial Day weekend, Blaney dominated and won at Charlotte.
He also came in a sneaky second place in my practice FLAGS, so he has a fast car capable of dominating and moving up from the ninth starting spot.
A.J. Allmendinger ($6800): Like Bowman, Allmendinger is in the heat of a playoff battle. Fortunately for him, his practice times were very strong, especially for a car in his price range.
The Kaulig cars in general have been fast at the intermediate tracks, and it seems they brought their best stuff once again. Look for all focus at Kaulig Racing to be on getting Allmendinger into the playoffs, which starts with a solid run Sunday before heading to two road courses, where Allmendinger typically thrives.
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Michigan DraftKings DFS Paul Menard Pick of the Week
Austin Cindric ($5900): Cindric is the eighth-cheapest driver on the board, but after removing an unrepresentative lap in practice, he actually shows up 22nd in practice FLAGS. That’s not super exciting for a driver who starts 21st, but it’s a lot better than Cindric has run in a while.
I wouldn’t go crazy on Cindric here, but there’s a real chance of a finish inside the mid-teens, which would likely get him in the optimal lineup at a $5900 price tag.