Tyler Reddick (+1200) led the pack to the line from pole position, but it was from a restart with four laps remaining where Chris Buescher led from and won the Cook Out 400, securing his spot in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Regular betting favorites Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch finished second and third, with Joey Logano and Ryan Preece rounding out the top five.
From America’s Premier Short Track, the Cup Series heads to the two-mile oval at Michigan International Speedway with four races left before the Playoff cutoff. Ford’s recent success in Michigan has mostly come from one driver, who features in BangTheBooks FireKeepers Casino 400 betting preview.
Past Michigan Winners Among the Favorites
Kyle Larson – Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet) (+600)
Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson (+600) is usually among the betting favorites most weekends. However, having won back-to-back Summer races at Michigan (2016, 2017) and having one top-five and two top-ten finishes in his last two races at Michigan has Larson among the betting favorites to win in 2023.
While just finishing inside the top 20 in the last two races, Larson has two race wins, nine top-five, and ten top-ten finishes this season.
Team Penske-Ford – Joey Logano (+1600) & Ryan Blaney (+1200)
Joey Logano won this race in 2013, has two top-five and three top-ten diminishes in his last four races at Michigan. Logano’s fourth-place finish at Richmond was his second top-five finish in the previous three races and tenth top-ten finish of the season.
Ryan Blaney won at Michigan more recently (2021) and has three top-five finishes in the last four races at Michigan. Blaney has nine top-nine finishes this season but has only finished in the top ten once in the last seven races and will need to harness his previous winning form at Michigan.
Kevin Harvick – Stewart-Haas Racing (Ford) (+700)
Kevin Harvick’s success at Michigan makes him an easy driver to focus on for Sunday. Harvick is tied with David Pearson with five Summer race wins at Michigan (2010, 2018-2020, 2022) and could surpass him with his first win of the season.
Having scored three top-ten finishes in a row and giving him ten top-ten finishes this season, Harvick will need his best performance and some fortunate timing to win for a sixth time in the summer but will be in the mix in the end.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Trio: Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., and Ty Gibbs
Joe Gibbs Racing has three drivers who all have a chance to win at Michigan this weekend, each likely to land in the top ten.
Denny Hamlin (+600 over at BetOnline) has three top-five finishes in the last four Cup Series races at Michigan and has been excellent recently, winning at Pocono and finishing second in Richmond. Hamlin has seven top-five and ten top-ten finishes this season, with all signs pointing to another strong weekend.
Cup Series Championship leader Martin Truex Jr. (+800) finished seventh at Richmond, giving him twelve top-ten finishes, with three race wins and eight top-ten finishes. Turex Jr. has finished in the top ten in the last four races at Michigan, with two being top-five finishes.
If the name Ty Gibbs (+2800) seems like a longshot, it’s his recent and previous success at Michigan making him someone to watch. On his way to the 2022 Xfinity Series Championship, Gibbs won at Michigan while finishing tenth in his Cup Series debut. Gibbs is also racing in the Xfinity Series and is likely for two strong finishes this weekend.
BangTheBooks NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers 400 Betting Pick
While we have a plethora of options above for top-five and top-ten finishes, BangTheBook’s FireKeepers Casino 400 winner is Denny Hamlin.