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Kyle Busch sits in his car before a practice session for the NASCAR Cup Series auto race on July 27, 2019, in Long Pond, Pa.
Kyle Busch sits in his car before a practice session for the NASCAR Cup Series auto race on July 27, 2019, in Long Pond, Pa. |Derik Hamilton | Associated Press
NASCAR

NASCAR: Eckel picks the Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway where Busch, Harvick, and Logano are the favorites

Mark Eckel

NASCAR heads back to Michigan, Sunday where Ford, of course, has had more winners than any other manufacturer with 19.

That could bode well for the top two picks of the Eckel 3. But we’ll get to that later.

It’s the Consumers Energy 400, the second race of the year in Michigan, a race that began in 1969 when David Pearson won the first of what would be his five wins at the track.

Kyle Busch, who took over as the standings leader last week, comes in as the co-favorite in the race at 5-1. Last year’s winner here, Kevin Harvick is also 5-1. Joey Logano, who fell into second place overall in the standings, is 6-1, as is hometown favorite Brad Keselowski.

There will also be playoff implications here Sunday. With just four races left before the playoffs begin four drivers remain within 35 points for the final two spots.

Clint Bowyer (556) is currently in 15th place, jus ahead of 16th-place Jimmie Johnson (544). Ryan Newman (544) and Daniel Suarez (521) are currently on the outside trying to get back in the mix.

There was no real top consensus pick from our panel of experts, which as always includes Scott “Tobacco Road’’ Baker and Mike “Left Turn’’ Sweeney. Four drivers all came out pretty evenly in the voting. So here’s the selections for the winner, top three, top five and your fantasy pools.

Brad Keselowski (6-1): “Tobacco Road’’ stressed BK being at home where he finished second a year ago and third in 2016. He’s never won this race and might just about be due. A win would also be his fourth of the season and move him into a tie with Busch and Martin Truex Jr. in that department.

Joey Logano (6-1): Logano has three wins over the track and might have his sights set on moving back ahead of Busch for first place overall before the playoffs get started. Like Keselwoski, Logano will be in a Ford.

Kyle Busch (5-1): Once again the price will be short, but it’s been a nine weeks since the points leader has made it to Victory Lane. He came in third place in this race last year and may be looking to increase his overall lead over Logano.

Kyle Larson (16-1): By far the best value bet, Larson has three wins here, including victories in 2017 and 2016. If he were to win here Sunday it would be his first win of the season and mark the 10th different driver to win over the past 10 weeks.

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