Hometown Hero Keselowski Hopes To Notch First MI International Speedway Win

Written By Drew Ellis on August 6, 2020 - Last Updated on September 25, 2020
MI FireKeepers NASCAR 2020

A pair of NASCAR Cup Series races comes to Michigan International Speedway this weekend. Kicking off the action will be the FireKeepers Casino 400 on Saturday.

Saturday’s race will be 156 laps around MIS, covering 312 miles. The race airs live on NBCSN at 4 p.m. ET. Sunday features the Consumers Energy 400 from MIS. The race length is the same and it will air live at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Qualifying for both races will be determined by a random draw among groups in the team owner standings. NASCAR eliminated qualifying and practices in order to limit exposure for on-site personnel in attempts to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Harvick, Logano among favorites for FireKeepers Casino 400

With it being the first of the two races, NASCAR odds are only available for Saturday’s FireKeepers Casino 400.

Oddsmakers from FanDuel Online Sportsbook are listing Kevin Harvick as the favorite at +420 to win. Denny Hamlin is next at +650, while Joey Logano sits at +700. Michigan native Brad Keselowski joins Chase Elliott at +800 to win.

BetMGM sees Harvick as a +400 favorite, while Hamlin is listed at +600. Logano, Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. are together at +800 each.

Logano is the 2019 winner of this race, which is typically held in early June. It was his second FireKeepers Casino 400 victory and third-career win at MIS. Logano seeks his first win since March 8 at Phoenix Raceway.

Harvick, the favorite, has not found victory lane in this race. However, he is a three-time winner at Michigan over his career.

The current points leader has four wins in 2020 and is on a run of seven consecutive top-five finishes.

Keselowski seeks first win at home track of MIS

The 2020 season has been a pretty good one for Keselowski.

Sitting second in the standings, the Rochester Hills native has three wins this year as he heads to his home track.

Unfortunately for Keselowski, he has yet to grab his first win in Michigan during his Cup Series career. His numbers at MIS remain strong though.

Through 21 races, Keselowski has an average finish of 12.0 and a driver rating of 97.2. Both of those land in the top five for this weekend’s field. His last three races at MIS saw him finish in the top six.

Keselowski has a little momentum entering Saturday’s race, as he is coming off a win in last week’s Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 in New Hampshire.

Following the win, Keselowski agreed to a contract extension with Team Penske to race in the No. 2 car for the 2021 season.

Elliott a top performer in Michigan

MIS has produced a lot of strong performances over its history. Driver ratings at the track entering the weekend are quite high.

Here’s a look at the top five ratings at MIS for this weekend’s field.

  • Chase Elliott: 100.4
  • Matt Kenseth (+7,500 FanDuel; +6,500 BetMGM): 99.8
  • Kevin Harvick: 99.6
  • Joey Logano: 99.3
  • Brad Keselowski: 97.2

Elliott is an interesting driver for this weekend. Through eight races at MIS, he has yet to grab a win. However, he has finished in the top 10 seven times.

His driver rating and 7.6 average finish in Michigan are tops for the field. Elliot needs a strong performance at Michigan, as he has finished outside the top five in five consecutive races.

Busch, Blaney could surprise at MIS

Saturday and Sunday could provide another big payday for NASCAR bettors.

It’s not often that a driver of Kyle Busch’s caliber isn’t among the favorites. Saturday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 has Busch listed just outside the favorites. FanDuel has Busch at +1,200, while BetMGM lists Busch at +900.

Michigan isn’t one of Busch’s top tracks. However, he still owns a win at MIS and a driver rating near 90.

Busch is winless in 2020, which is a big surprise. The two-time series champ needs a kickstart to his season. His aggressive style and desperation or a victory gives him a lot of value on Saturday.

Ryan Blaney also sits just outside the favorites for Saturday. Blaney has +1,300 odds from FanDuel and +1,000 odds from BetMGM.

Over 10 races in Michigan, Blaney has a driver rating of 92.2. That lands him seventh in Saturday’s field.

Blaney is winless at MIS, but has had a good showing in 2020. He currently sits fourth in the point standings and owns a win at Talladega.

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Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis is currently the Lead Writer of PlayILottery.com. He was the former Lead Writer of PlayMichigan, the No. 1 source for online gambling news in Michigan. A lifelong resident of the state, Ellis has been working in various forms of media since 1998, including more than a decade in the sports betting industry prior to transitioning into US casino markets in 2020.

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