Chase Elliott and Ross Chastain headline Spencer’s NASCAR fast five picks for Michigan

NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott waves prior to the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17 in Loudon, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
PHOTOGRAPHER:
NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott waves prior to the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17 in Loudon, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The NASCAR Cup Series is off to Michigan after another chaotic race last week at Indianapolis, and we could see another wild event after the last two-mile oval race at Auto Club saw several lead changes and tire failures.

This week’s field appears to be more top heavy with the usual suspects set to run up front, but there are once again some values to be had deeper if the field since races at Michigan have a history of coming down to pit strategies.

While cautions could be more prevalent and throw the strategy card out the window, we picked five drivers that are set to thrive no matter how the race plays out.

FAST FIVE FOR FIREKEEPERS CASINO 400

Odds from Caesars Sportsbook

Chase Elliott (+650 to win, +200 to finish top three, -110 top five, -400 top 10)

Elliott was set for his sixth-straight top two finish last week before a chaotic restart saw him spin out in the closing laps. He’s run well here at Michigan throughout his career, and this could be the year he breaks through for the win since he’s been fast on every type of track the series has run at and was a contender at Auto Club earlier in the season, Michigan’s sister track.

Ross Chastain (+1000 to win, +300 to finish top three, +140 top five, -275 top 10)

Chastain has run well on large ovals this season and nearly went to victory lane at Pocono before contact with Denny Hamlin saw him fall out of contention. It appears that his beef with Hamlin and the rest of the field has passed, so Chastain can now focus on getting back to the front having been the fastest driver in the field outside of Elliott.

Martin Truex Jr. (+1200 to win, +330 to finish top three, +160 top five, -250 top 10)

Truex is still looking for his first win of the season as well as first win at Michigan, so this is his chance to check off both boxes. He’s come close to winning here before and nearly won at New Hampshire a few weeks back, so he should be near the front and hungry to execute since he needs a win to secure a spot in the NASCAR playoffs.

Kevin Harvick (+1800 to win, +450 to finish top three, +200 top five, -175 top 10)

Like Truex, Harvick has yet to win this season and needs one if he wants to avoid missing the playoffs for the first time in his career. He’s had plenty of success at Michigan over the years and swept the doubleheader here in 2020, and he’s shown more speed recently to where he offers nice value at +1800 to end the winless spell.

Erik Jones (+3000 to win, +800 to finish top three, +400 top five, +100 top 10)

Jones has been quietly competitive this season for an underdog Petty GMS team, and while he’s yet to reach victory lane, he’s ran up front several weeks and has excelled on large ovals. Jones finished in the top three and led laps at Auto Club earlier this season, and he makes for a nice long shot play this week fresh off of a contract extension.

Green flag scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 7 at 3 p.m. ET on USA Network

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