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Pure Michigan 400 Betting News and Notes

Pure Michigan 400 Betting News and Notes

Michigan International Speedway Track Facts: 2013 Pure Michigan 400

Michigan International Speedway Data

Season Race #: 23 of 36 (8-18-13)
Track Size: 2-miles
Banking/Turn 1 & 2: 18 degrees
Banking/Turn 3 & 4: 18 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 5 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 2 degrees
Frontstretch Length:  3,600 feet
Backstretch Length:  2,242 feet
Race Length: 200 laps / 400 miles

Top 12 Driver Rating at Michigan

Greg Biffle 110.0
Matt Kenseth 106.0
Carl Edwards 105.1
Jimmie Johnson 104.0
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 97.5
Tony Stewart 95.9
Kyle Busch 93.1
Brian Vickers 91.5
Denny Hamlin 91.1
Jeff Gordon 90.7
Kasey Kahne 89.0
Kurt Busch 87.7

Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (17 total) among active drivers at Michigan International Speedway.

Qualifying/Race Data
2012 pole winner: Mark Martin, Toyota, 199.706 mph, 36.053 secs. 08-17-12
2012 race winner: Greg Biffle, Ford, 144.662 mph, (02:46:44), 08-19-12
Track qualifying record: Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 203,241 mph, 35.426 secs. 06-15-12
Track race record: Dale Jarrett, Ford, 173.997 mph, (2:17:56), 06-13-99

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Re: Pure Michigan 400 Betting News and Notes

Driver Tale of the Tape at Michigan

Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)

· Four wins, 10 top fives, 13 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 11.3
· Series-best Average Running Position of 8.2
· Series-best Driver Rating of 110.0
· 290 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
· 1,190 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most
· Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 177.096 mph
· Series-high 2,862 Laps in the Top 15 (85.7%)
· 802 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), second-most

Kurt Busch (No. 78 Furniture Row/Serta Chevrolet)

· Two wins, three top fives, eight top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 22.0
· Driver Rating of 87.7, 12th-best
· 154 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most
· 1,968 Laps in the Top 15 (58.9%), 10th-most
· 511 Quality Passes, 13th-most

Kyle Busch (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota)

· One win, four top fives, six top 10s
· Average finish of 15.6
· Average Running Position of 14.1, eighth-best
· Driver Rating of 93.1, seventh-best
· 136 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
· 1,181 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 176.364 mph, seventh-fastest
· 2,241 Laps in the Top 15 (67.1%), sixth-most

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 National Guard Youth Foundation Chevrolet)

· Two wins, six top fives, 10 top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 15.6
· Average Running Position of 12.7, fifth-best
· Driver Rating of 97.5, fifth-best
· 180 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
· 1,336 Green Flag Passes, third-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 176.598 mph, fifth-fastest
· 2,213 Laps in the Top 15 (66.3%), seventh-most
· 720 Quality Passes, fourth-most

Carl Edwards (No. 99 BB / Geek Squad Ford)

· Two wins, nine top fives, 14 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 8.2
· Average Running Position of 10.1, third-best
· Driver Rating of 105.1, third-best
· 194 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
· 1,200 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 176.894 mph, fourth-fastest
· 2,761 Laps in the Top 15 (82.7%), second-most
· Series-high 811 Quality Passes

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Standox Chevrolet)

· Two wins, 18 top fives, 25 top 10s; five poles
· Average finish of 12.4
· Average Running Position of 14.3, ninth-best
· Driver Rating of 90.7, 10th-best
· 159 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
· 2,106 Laps in the Top 15 (63.1%), eighth-most
· 580 Quality Passes, 10th-most

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota)

· Two wins, five top fives, seven top 10s
· Average finish of 14.7
· Average Running Position of 13.8, seventh-best
· Driver Rating of 91.1, ninth-best
· 97 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 176.201 mph, ninth-fastest

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet)

· Four top fives, nine top 10s
· Average finish of 15.8
· Average Running Position of 10.2, fourth-best
· Driver Rating of 104.0, fourth-best
· Series-high 357 Fastest Laps Run
· Average Green Flag Speed of 177.081 mph, second-fastest
· 2,555 Laps in the Top 15 (76.5%), fourth-most
· 675 Quality Passes, sixth-most

Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Pepsi Max Chevrolet)

· One win, seven top fives, eight top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 16.9
· Average Running Position of 15.6, 11th-best
· Driver Rating of 89.0, 11th-best
· 164 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
· 1,232 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 176.375 mph, sixth-fastest
· 621 Quality Passes, eighth-most

Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota)

· Two wins, 12 top fives, 18 top 10s
· Average finish of 9.4
· Average Running Position of 10.1, second-best
· Driver Rating of 106.0, second-best
· 159 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 176.931 mph, third-fastest
· 2,707 Laps in the Top 15 (81.1%), third-most
· 751 Quality Passes, third-most

Mark Martin (No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota)

· Five wins, 18 top fives, 31 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 14.2
· Average Running Position of 15.5, 10th-best
· Driver Rating of 86.5, 13th-best
· 105 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 176.179 mph, 10th-fastest
· 1,974 Laps in the Top 15 (59.1%), ninth-most
· 553 Quality Passes, 11th-most

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Re: Pure Michigan 400 Betting News and Notes

Pure Michigan 400 Preview
By Micah Roberts

Only four races remain before the 12-driver lineup is set for the Sprint Cup Chase for the Championship, NASCAR's version of the playoffs, and for a few drivers, things are getting a little too close for comfort.

Last week’s race on the road course at Watkins Glen shuffled the standings quite a bit with the biggest loser being Jeff Gordon, who fell four positions, down to 13th. Because Gordon doesn't have any wins on the year, if the Chase started today, he would miss it. What's the most surprising about his tumble is that it came on a road course, the type of track he's dominated on over his career, the type that he's the all-time NASCAR leader with nine wins.

The biggest beneficiaries of Gordon's poor performance were Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., and Ryan Newman. Keselowski moved into eighth in points with his second-place finish -- his third straight runner-up performance at The Glen, and Truex Jr. moved into 10th with a third-place finish. With Gordon out of the top-10, Newman, 14th in points, moves into position to take the final wild card spot which is given to the higher ranking driver 11-120 in points that has the most wins.

With four races to go, we can expect a few of these drivers like Gordon or Kurt Busch, who sits 11th in points with no wins, to go all out. The problem for both of them this week is that neither of them drive a Roush Ford, the type of car that has been the most dominant at Michigan over the years. Car owner Jack Roush has a track best 13 wins at his home track.

Greg Biffle has won the past two races run at Michigan and should be considered one of the favorites to do so again. He's won four times on the two-mile sister track of Fontana. Carl Edwards is a two-time winner at Michigan and has the best average finish (8.2) among all active drivers.

One of the strangest oddities about Michigan is that Jimmie Johnson has never won on the track. This is a very fast track, and the type that Johnson should have compiled lofty numbers like he has on every other fast track in the series. He's dominated at Fontana with five wins, a track that is almost identical to Michigan, but hasn't been able to win despite leading countless laps there, including 18 laps in the June race. In that race, another piece of bad luck struck Johnson at Michigan when he blew a tire while in second and reeling in Biffle with four laps to go. He would finish 28th on the day. He's only got four top-5 finishes in 23 career starts.

We don't get to see Dale Earnhardt Jr. win too much anymore, but Michigan is a place where his chances increase. His past two wins of his career have come at Michigan (2008, 2011). However, in the June race he blew an engine and finished 37th. The entire Hendrick Motorsports crew had a rough day with Johnson 28th, Kahne 38th and Gordon 39th. We'll see how he fares this week, but it's likely he'll be pumped knowing it's a track he does well at and place that he's given a good car by his team.

Kevin Harvick won in 2010 and finished second behind Biffle in the June race. Harvick has been sneaky good in races where no one expects him to do anything. He's got two wins on the season and has an average finish of 13th in his last 20 starts at Michigan.

Kyle Busch finished fourth in June and has a 2011 win to his credit. He is an interesting choice to win this week and also the Sprint Cup title at 6/1 odds (Bet $100 to win $600). We've seen him wilt down the stretch before while having better seasons, but his team looks dialed in and ready to make a run.

Look for Johnson to be tough again, at least early on. Sooner or later, he'll eventually win at Michigan, but I have to roll with the streak here. Something always seems to happen to him here no matter how good his car is.

Plus, who wants to lay the favorite? There are plenty of other drivers offering better value, beginning with Biffle at 10/1 odds (Bet $100 to win $1,000).

Top-5 Finish Prediction:

1) #16 Greg Biffle (10/1)
2) #18 Kyle Busch (8/1)
3) #99 Carl Edwards (12/1)
4) #29 Kevin Harvick (12/1)
5) #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (12/1)

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Re: Pure Michigan 400 Betting News and Notes

Driver Handicaps: Michigan
By: Pete Pistone

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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Biffle goes for Michigan three-peat on Sunday
By: Brian Graham

For the second time in two months, the NASCAR circuit will tackle the long track of Michigan International Speedway on Sunday afternoon for the Pure Michigan 400. This two-mile D-shaped oval track was built in 1968 and remains one of the fastest tracks out there. Banking is 18° for all four turns, with a frontstretch of 3,600 feet (0.68 miles) banked at 12° and a much flatter 5° backstretch measuring 2,242 feet (0.43 miles). Greg Biffle (10-to-1) is looking to win his third straight race at this track, but Jimmie Johnson is actually the favorite with 4-to-1 odds.

Drivers to Watch

Greg Biffle (10/1) -
It's shocking that Biffle is getting such favorable odds on a track he's performed so well on during his career. In addition to his four victories, he also has five 4th-place showings and a total of 13 top-10's in 21 career starts at this venue, leading to an average finish of 11.3. Biffle is also looking to secure a spot in the Chase for the Cup, falling from sixth to ninth place during six straight finishes in double-digits. But at this double-digit price, you have to place your largest wager for Biffle to win his third straight Michigan International Speedway race on Sunday.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (10/1) - Little "E" raced very well at Michigan two months ago, leading for 34 laps before exiting with engine failure. Last year at this track, Earnhardt Jr. won the spring race before placing fourth in the summer. In 15 Michigan starts since 2006, Junior has two wins and six other top-7 finishes. And before a predictably weak finish at the Watkins Glen road course last week, Junior had an average finish of 9.5 in his previous six starts this season. With the same odds as Biffle, be sure to save some of your dollars for the No. 88 car on Sunday.

Matt Kenseth (8/1) - He has been up-and-down in 2013, but most drivers would take his four wins and 11 top-10's so far this season. In his past six starts, Kenseth led at least a lap in four of those races and placed ninth or better three times, including a victory at Kentucky. And not only is he a two-time champion in Michigan, but Kenseth's average finish is an impressive 9.4 in his career at this track despite a pedestrian average starting spot of 17.9. In his past six starts in Michigan, he's finished 5th, 2nd, 10th, 3rd, 17th and 6th, leading for at least 15 laps in three of those races. There price is a bit steep, but Kenseth still warrants a small wager on Sunday.

Denny Hamlin (18/1) - Hamlin is overdue for a big showing, with four DNFs in his past 10 races as the result of crashing. Since placing eighth at Pocono, Hamlin has finished no better than 18th in these past eight starts. Hamlin's darkhorse odds are certainly favorable considering his history at Michigan (two wins, five top-5's in 15 starts). Go ahead and drop a one-unit wager on Hamlin to turn things around Sunday.

Jeff Burton (100/1) - He is the best longshot on the board, placing 10th at this track in June to give him 10 career top-10 finishes at Michigan. He usually finishes (16.4) better than he starts (19.6) at this track, despite owning two poles at this venue. And in his past 10 races this season, Burton has finished 11th or better in four of those, including a third-place showing at Loudon four races ago. If you're feeling lucky, drop a one-unit wager on the No. 31 car.

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Re: Pure Michigan 400 Betting News and Notes

Pure Michigan 400 Post-Practice Betting Notes
By: Micah Roberts

If Saturday's final practice sessions at Michigan International Speedway are any indication, Sunday's Pure Michigan 400 should be a wide-open race with up to 18 drivers having a chance at winning. The main reason for suggesting such parity simply rests with the fact that there wasn't one heavyweight driver that stood out like we normally see each week.

Things got real interesting when Jimmie Johnson, who had the fastest lap early during happy hour, wrecked his primary car during the session and will be forced to use his back-up and start from the rear. Johnson has never won at Michigan in 23 starts, and his bad luck always occurred during races. Prior to wrecking his car in practice, Johnson would have easily been the top-rated driver, but he doesn't get docked too much just because his back-up is probably still better than most in the field.

The main problem with Johnson now is that crew chief Chad Knaus will have a work in progress throughout the race. The primary car was set up perfectly; the back-up isn't. While they were able to get a few laps in with the back-up car, it still only came in with the 18th fastest lap. We've seen Knaus and Johnson win races under this scenario before, but Michigan is an entirely different story for them. Could it be that their bad luck at Michigan is out of the way for the weekend and now they can relish in their underdog role? If there is one team that can do it, it's Johnson's crew.

The top seven drivers we have rated could all be listed in a tie for the top spot because no one stood out on Saturday. Kevin Harvick gets the nod because of his June 16 second-place finish and the speed he showed during practices. When Harvick runs fast in practice -- like he did in the second session with the fastest lap -- we should all take notice because it doesn't happen too often. When teammate Jeff Burton is also showing his best practice of the season, you know that the Childress engines have something special going on that will make them contenders.

Greg Biffle has won the past two Michigan races and has four for his career, but it was a little odd that he didn't bring the same winning chassis from the June race this week. He looked very ordinary in the first two practice sessions in his new chassis, but he came on strong during happy hour with the third fastest lap. Should he win again, it would be the 14th win for car owner Jack Roush at his home track and increase the track record he already owns.

The best story of the week might be coming from Juan Pablo Montoya, who was informed earlier this week that he won't be returning to the No. 42 team for the 2014 season. All he does with the news is go out and run his best practices of the season. Should he win on Sunday, it would be his first win on any track in the Cup series with only left turns. Now that would be a story, and it's very possible -- and also very attractive if you can still find 60-to-1 odds.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s last two career wins have come at Michigan, and he looks capable of getting another one on Sunday. Among the five drivers that ran 10-consecutive laps during happy hour, Junior had the fastest average, just ahead of Montoya, who had much better individual lap times.

With the field being so stacked with equal cars and no one looking extraordinary, this could be a race where Earnhardt, Montoya, pole sitter Joey Logano, or maybe even Kurt Busch can steal a win.

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