FireKeepers Casino 400 DFS Gems

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·8 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.



COVID-19 protocols are still in effect and that means there will be no practice or qualification at Michigan International Speedway. NASCAR’s metric system will set the lineup for the FireKeepers Casino 400, which puts Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott on the front row.

The potential to lose place-differential points did not negatively impact Larson’s cap, but from the outside pole and with a mediocre record at Michigan, Elliott is under $10k for only the seventh time this season. Rolling off mid-pack, William Byron, Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano likely had some dollars added to their caps.

Place-differential could play a critical role this week because passing is not quite as difficult at Michigan as on other tracks. The corners and straightaways are wide, which often contributes to multiple grooves. Drivers don’t have to struggle with aero-dependence nearly as much as they do on the tighter confines of the similarly-configured, 1.5-mile tracks. That may well be the difference between winning a losing this week.

Group A: Most Expensive (>=$10,000)

Kevin Harvick ($10,000)
Nineteen of Harvick’s 103 points earned in the second half of last year’s Michigan doubleheader came as the result of place-differential points. After winning on Sunday and with the top-20 inversion, he made short work of the field and drove to the front. Obviously this season has not been nearly as kind and Harvick is still seeking his first win, but with an eighth-place starting position, he still has some positive points that can come into play.

William Byron ($10,200)
Only $200 more than Harvick and $1,300 cheaper than Larson, Byron’s accident at Indy last week has him starting 18th. That is a great cap value for a driver with a win on the unrestricted, intermediate speedway of Homestead-Miami Speedway, a fourth at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and top-10s in his first five races on 1.5-mile tracks. His record at Michigan is not quite as strong with one top-10 in six starts, but he has been consistent with top-15s in five of his last six attempts on the 2-milers.

Group B: (Between $9,900 and $8,000)

Chase Elliott ($9,200)
We would have listed Elliott as a driver to avoid if he were in Group A, but with a salary cap that is more than $1k cheaper than he normally commands, he is much more interesting this week. His second-place finishes in the first three Michigan races proves that he is capable of challenging for a win, while results inside the top 10 in six of the next seven races show that he has been consistent. Elliott has more momentum now than in previous seasons and that takes precedence over his track record. Equally important, he needs to show the field he can win on an oval.

Martin Truex Jr. ($9,400)
It is time for the No. 19 to kick their program into high gear. Watch the FireKeepers Casino 400 closely and get a good insight into what this team will look like in the near future because there is really no reason to continue experimenting – if, indeed, that is what they have been doing. While there are a few of 1.5-mile tracks in the playoffs, they are not a close enough comparative to Michigan to cause this team to experiment. Truex also needs to prove to himself and the competition that he can contend. With a current streak of four top-fives on this track, questions will be asked if he runs outside the top 10.

Group C: (Between $7,900 and $6,500)

Tyler Reddick ($7,400)
It is likely that only one of the Richard Childress Racing drivers will be in the 2021 playoffs and the competition to be that driver is pushing both Reddick and Austin Dillon to the front of the pack. Recently Reddick has been stronger and he is $600 cheaper at Michigan than his teammate this week. While Dillon has been stronger at Michigan, Reddick tips the scales in his favor on the unrestricted, intermediate speedways with top-10s in his last three starts.

If you can afford both drivers, it should be noted than Dillon has an eight-race streak of top-12s on 1.5-milers and an 88 percent rate of top-15s on them in the past two seasons.

Chris Buescher ($6,500)
Buescher has finished between seventh and 16th in his last five races on unrestricted, intermediate speedways with a perfect record of top-20s this season. Last year, he was 20th in both Michigan events and in 2019, he hovered on either side of 15th in that pair of races. Jack Roush and Ford have dominated this track in the past, which means they have a solid set of notes. It won’t be enough to contend for the victory, but it should provide them with a finish in the front half of the field.

Group D: (Less than or equal to $6,500)

Erik Jones ($6,200)
Jones was one of four dark horse drivers who earned top-10s last week at Indy – and while that came as the result of the chaos that erupted in the final laps, we have believed this team is stronger than they’ve shown several times this year. It all comes out in the wash. Previously, Jones earned top-10s on the unrestricted, intermediate speedway of Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track. Last year, in stronger equipment, he finished 10th at Auto Club and 11th at Michigan. Expect a top-20 and plan accordingly.

Josh Berry ($5,600)
Berry will race in place of Corey LaJoie this week, while that driver misses the FireKeepers Casino 400 due to COVID protocols. It would have been nice if DraftKings lowered Berry’s salary cap for his second career start, but he is an acceptable value as it is with a team that has an average finish of about 22nd in the last 16 races. This is Berry’s chance to show what he can do in a Cup car and a finish around 20th is doable.

The top-10 points’ earners from the 2020 Consumers Energy 312 were: Kevin Harvick 103, Denny Hamlin 65, Austin Dillon 61, Kyle Busch 59.5, Martin Truex, Jr. 58, Joey Logano 48, Ryan Newman 46, Aric Almirola 44.75, Chase Elliott 40.5, and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. 38.

Last 45 Days

Driver

Avg.
Rank

Total
Points
Earned

Avg.
Points

This
Week's
Cap

Points
Per K

Group

Kevin Harvick

8.50

199.80

49.95

$10,000

19.98

A

Kyle Larson

9.50

182.40

45.60

$11,500

15.86

A

Denny Hamlin

15.25

132.40

33.10

$10,400

12.73

A

Kyle Busch

16.25

134.95

33.74

$10,800

12.50

A

William Byron

22.25

63.50

15.88

$10,200

6.23

A

Kurt Busch

11.00

219.25

54.81

$8,500

25.79

B

Ryan Blaney

9.25

196.20

49.05

$9,000

21.80

B

Chase Elliott

9.25

171.70

42.93

$9,200

18.66

B

Aric Almirola

17.75

143.50

35.88

$8,300

17.29

B

Martin Truex, Jr.

13.25

155.15

38.79

$9,400

16.51

B

Alex Bowman

15.50

137.20

34.30

$8,800

15.59

B

Christopher Bell

16.00

115.70

28.93

$8,100

14.28

B

Brad Keselowski

17.50

116.20

29.05

$9,800

11.86

B

Austin Dillon

18.75

86.60

21.65

$8,000

10.83

B

Joey Logano

25.00

57.30

14.33

$9,600

5.97

B

Matt DiBenedetto

9.00

167.20

41.80

$7,300

22.90

C

Ryan Newman

17.00

118.85

29.71

$7,100

16.74

C

Tyler Reddick

14.75

119.35

29.84

$7,400

16.13

C

Chris Buescher

20.00

102.80

25.70

$6,500

15.82

C

Cole Custer

17.25

96.70

24.18

$7,000

13.81

C

Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.

19.00

92.15

23.04

$6,900

13.36

C

Chase Briscoe

21.25

82.60

20.65

$6,700

12.33

C

Ross Chastain

22.25

83.10

20.78

$7,700

10.79

C

Ryan Preece

23.50

64.20

16.05

$7,500

8.56

C

Daniel Suarez

31.25

2.45

0.61

$7,800

0.31

C

Justin Haley

20.75

99.00

24.75

$5,100

19.41

D

Corey LaJoie
(withdrawn)

17.75

106.00

26.50

$5,600

18.93

D

Erik Jones

18.50

113.00

28.25

$6,200

18.23

D

Bubba Wallace

16.75

115.70

28.93

$6,400

18.08

D

Josh Bilicki

27.00

63.00

15.75

$4,600

13.70

D

Quin Houff

27.50

61.00

15.25

$4,500

13.56

D

Garrett Smithley

28.50

50.00

12.50

$4,800

10.42

D

Anthony Alfredo

27.25

45.00

11.25

$5,800

7.76

D

BJ McLeod

26.00

32.00

16.00

$5,200

6.15

D

James Davison

31.67

20.00

6.67

$4,900

4.08

D

Cody Ware

31.33

17.00

5.67

$5,400

3.15

D

Josh Berry

$5,600

-

D

DFS Gems for the Quaker State 400 (Atlanta)
Coke 600 (Charlotte)
Buschy McBusch 400 (Kansas)