Michigan has always been a horsepower track. The quickest cars all season typically had great success on the 2-mile Michigan International Speedway. But, with a brand new package this season where the horsepower is restricted, Sunday’s FireKeepers Casino 400 (2 p.m. ET/FS1/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) could look much different than we’ve ever seen on the Irish Hills track.
That’s good and bad news for Hendrick Motorsports. See, they haven’t been at their best lately in Michigan. Other than Chase Elliott, they’ve struggled. But, on the season with this package, they seem to be getting better and better.
Chase Elliott is their best option with literally a top 10 finish in all six of his Michigan Cup Series starts. Three of those are runner-ups at that. On the season, Elliott has five top five finishes in his last five starts including a win at Talladega in April. You can literally just see the confidence building.
How good has he been? How quiet has it been at that? Elliott, is all the way up to third in the overall standings right now.
Then there’s second year driver William Byron. He finished 13th and 36th at Michigan last year but has three top 10 finishes in his last four starts on the year.
Alex Bowman was 16th and 19th respectively himself at Michigan last year but on the season has three runner-ups and a seventh place run in the last five races.
Jimmie Johnson has just one top five at Michigan since 2012 but that was a win. He has two top 10 finishes in his last three starts on the year though.
This could be a good weekend for HMS, maybe even a win.