NASCAR Props Challenge Picks for Sunday’s Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Joey Logano
- NASCAR's Props Challenge game asks fans to answer 10 prop-betting questions each week, with weekly winners eligible for prizes.
- PJ Walsh offers his Props Challenge picks and analysis for Sunday's Consumers Energy 400 (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN).
This week the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) returns to Michigan International Speedway for the second and final visit of the season.
In June, Joey Logano dominated from the pole, leading 163 of 200 laps before taking the checkered flag.
To make this weekend’s NASCAR Props Challenge picks, we’ll rely on the most recent race run at Michigan due to the current aero package, as well as historic results at this racetrack.
1. Will the polesitter lead O/U 35.5 laps in Stage 1?
The first stage will be 60 laps, meaning the polesitter needs to lead more than half of Stage 1 to go over.
While I do expect one car to dominate the first stage, I don’t necessarily think it has to be the polesitter.
2. A Toyota driver wins either Stage 1 or 2: Yes or No?
Toyota’s top MENCS drivers, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones, combined to lead a total of five laps here in June.
I’ll be surprised if Toyota doesn’t eclipse that number on Sunday, but I’ll take the field over Toyota here, especially considering how dominant the Fords were last go-round.
3. O/U 5.5 drivers will score stage points in both Stages 1 and 2?
Just four drivers (Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Alex Bowman and Aric Almirola) earned points in both stages with this aero package back in June, so let’s go under.
4. The Stage 2 winner will lead O/U 25.5 laps in that stage?
Because the leader had such an aero advantage in the most recent Michigan race, I expect whichever car gets out front to stay out front once the field gets strung out under green.
5. The leader at the halfway mark, lap 100, will be a Chevrolet driver: Yes or No?
Considering Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson (both 16-1) are the only Chevy drivers among the top 10 in betting odds from the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, I expect a different manufacturer to be leading at halfway.
6. O/U 4.5 Chevrolets and Toyotas finish in the top 10 on Sunday?
A combined four Chevys and Toyotas finished in the top 10 in June, and that’s with heavy hitters Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott all finishing 11th or worse.
7. Which Team Penske driver scores more race points? Joey Logano or Ryan Blaney?
Logano dominated the last race here and is +600 to win on Sunday. On the other hand, Blaney is +2000 in Vegas.
8. Will the race winner hold the lead for the final 10 laps? Yes or No?
The race leader had such an advantage with this package in June that it’s tough to expect a pass for the lead in the final 10 laps unless a caution comes out.
9. Which Joe Gibbs Racing driver will finish higher? Kyle Busch or Martin Truex Jr.?
Truex had a better finish and average running position than Busch in June. Both drivers will be among the favorites on Sunday, but I lean Truex.
10. Will a Ford driver win at Michigan? Yes or No?
Ford clearly had the fastest cars at Michigan two months ago, but just four of 10 drivers with odds better than 20-1 to win Sunday’s race drive Blue Ovals.