After spending most of the first part of the season in second place, Mark Smith finally jumped Stevie Larson for the lead last week, and at Pocono his pick of Brad Keselowski was the only one to score any points, increasing his lead over the rest of the field. Here are the picks for this weekend's Firekeepers Casino 400.
How it works
Every week, the VAVEL NASCAR writers each choose one driver who they think will win that weekend. After each race, the standings are calculated using the following system.
- A first-place finish nets 10 points. From there, the points go backwards, meaning that a 10th place finish gets just one point.
- One point for every 10 laps led.
Standings after Pocono
Here are the standings after the Axalta 400 at Pocono Raceway.
This weekend's picks
Here are our picks for this weekend's race.
Driver: Kyle Busch
Reason: "This week at Michigan Speedway I don't think there will be a 10th different winner in the 2016 Sprint Cup Series season, instead I believe defending champion Busch. The driver of the #18 Toyota Camry will fare best with the new aero and downforce package and grab his fourth win of the 2016 season, whilst having competition from Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson."
Driver: Greg Biffle
Reason: " Biffle has four career wins at the track, which is the most among active drivers. He also has yet to score a win this season, which will leave him hungry to win. His Roush Fenway Ford Fusion will have what it takes to end up in victory lane on Sunday afternoon."
Driver: Kyle Larson
Reason: "This week I pick Kyle Larson to haul in his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Win. He loves these D-shaped 2-mile tracks. The only thing that may stand in his way is not having his crew chief on the pit box and that pesky fuel mileage that always comes into play at Michigan, but this week I believe he will overcome adversity and manage his fuel better than the rest of the field to come out on top."
Driver: Kyle Larson
Reason: "Well apparently my pick is a jinx, maybe I should start picking drivers I don't like to have a bad weekend. But I feel Michigan is a fast track and he has a good chance to get that first win this weekend."