FireKeepers Casino 400 Picks, Odds & Predictions 8/22/2021
FireKeepers Casino 400
Sunday, August 22, 2021
3:00 PM EST
Michigan International Speedway
We are down to just two races left before the playoffs begin and the NASCAR Cup Series will travel to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI for the FireKeepers Casino 400. The D-shaped, 2-mile-long oval trace has sweeping, wide corners which makes this one of the fastest tracks on the schedule. This will be the drivers first chance to open up the throttle after two consecutive road courses. Denny Hamlin wrecked late in the last race which allowed Kyle Larson to take a 22-point lead on Hamlin. With another strong performance, Larson could lock up the 15-point postseason bonus with a solid race.
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It'll be fun to get back to some open throttle racing and Michigan International Speedway is a great place to do it.
Verizon 200 at the Brickyard Results
The drama was in full effect at the first NASCAR Cup Series road course at Indy Motor Speedway. This was the case for AJ Allmendinger, who was able to take the checkered flag after leading only the final two laps of overtime. It was the second NASCAR Cup Series win of his career.
This race was chaotic with lots of crashes the resulted in several caution flags and two different red flag situations where NASCAR tried to remove obstacles on the track and other crashed cars that made it difficult to continue the race.
Turn 6 was problematic for most of the drivers as they dealt with the curb and speed bump all day long. There were several drivers that spun out on that turn, but it was relatively harmless until Lap 78 when around 10 cars spun out or crashed. After the red flag conditions were lifted, overtime ensued. That said, drivers couldn't make it one lap before more accidents came into play. This second round of crashes led to the second red flag caution of the day.
In the second overtime attempt, the top four drivers were Denny Hamlin, AJ Allmendinger, Matt DiBenedetto and Chase Briscoe. It looked as though Hamlin would get that elusive first win of the season, but Briscoe spun him out on the penultimate lap. Allmendinger, who only drives road courses, took this opportunity to jump out in front and get his first win of the season.
In addition, Hamlin lost the points lead to Kyle Larson making it a rough day for him. The good news for Hamlin and other bubble drivers is that Almendinger isn't eligible to make the playoffs and therefore, Hamlin was able to lock up a playoff spot. He will have some work to do now because it's not looking like he'll the bonus heading into the playoffs.
NASCAR Cup Standings
With only two races left in the regular season, there are 14 drivers who have clinched a spot in the playoffs. Denny Hamlin, Michael McDowell and Aric Almirola worked their way into the 16-driver field this last weekend. There are two spots remaining and several drivers that have a chance to get one of those spots. Kevin Harvick is one of those drivers. He sits in 9th place in the standings as we speak, but he has a few scenarios in which he could grab one of those spots. In addition, he's won the last three races at Michigan International Speedway, so chances look good for him.
FireKeepers Casino 400 Odds
Kyle Larson - +275
Chase Elliott - +650
Kevin Harvick - +700
Kyle Busch - +725
Denny Hamlin - +800
Martin Truex Jr. - +800
Joey Logano - +900
Brad Keselowski - +1200
William Byron - +1200
Alex Bowman - +1600
Ryan Blaney - +1600
Christopher Bell - +2500
Kurt Busch - +2800
Tyler Reddick - +3500
Austin Dillon - +5000
Ross Chastain - +8000
Aric Almirola - +9000
Chase Briscoe - +10000
Matt DiBenedetto - +10000
Kevin Harvick has been great on this track and the pressure is on to make the postseason. We like Harvick's chance to win because he needs it and he's won the last three races here.
Guy's Pick: Take Kevin Harvick (+700)
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