VAVEL NASCAR Pick 'Em: Firekeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Raceway

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.

Mark Smith

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."

Stevie Larson

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."

Stephen Furst

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."

Brandon Farris

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."