Driver Joey Logano waits beside his car for the start of a NASCAR Cup Series auto race, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H.
Driver Joey Logano waits beside his car for the start of a NASCAR Cup Series auto race, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H.| AP Photo/Charles Krupa
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Bet Saturday NASCAR! The Eckel 4 like pole-sitter Joey Logano to repeat at the Fire Keeper's Casino 400 in Michigan

Fire Keeper’s Casino 400, Brooklyn, Michigan, 4 p.m. TV: NBCS

Mark Eckel

Fire Keeper’s Casino 400, Brooklyn, Michigan, 4 p.m. TV: NBCS

The playoffs are beginning to take shape as NASCAR heads to Michigan for a weekend doubleheader.

First up is Saturday afternoon’s Fire Keeper’s Casino 400, which Joey Logano won last year. Sunday is the Consumers Energy 400.t

Logano will try to become the first driver to repeat in the race since Denny Hamlin won in 2010-11. Before that you have to go back Davey Allison, who won in 1991 and 1992.

Hamlin is also the last driver of a Toyota to win in the state where automobiles are manufactured. Chevy and Ford have each won four times over the past eight years.

As far as the playoffs go the cutoff line is William Byron’s 484 points. Austin Dillon (466) and Cole Custer (381) are behind Byron, but have won races which automatically qualifies them.

Chasing Byron are rookie Tyler Reddick (469 points), seven-time Cup winner Jimmie Johnson (459), who is in final season, and Eric Jones (453).

Here’s the way the Eckel 4, which includes Scott “Tobacco Road’’ Baker, Mike “Left Turn’’ Sweeney and Barry “Dr. NASCAR’’ Davis, see Saturday’s race.

Joey Logano (13-2): Three of the Eckel 4 mentioned Logano and “Left Turn’’ and the Doc put him on top. Besides his win here a year ago, he finished third in 2017. He is also on he pole Saturday.

Kevin Harvick (4-1): The overall points leader is the favorite and has won here three times. He’s also won four times this season has 803 points and is just tough to leave out each week.

Martin Truex Jr. (8-1): The New Jersey native has never won in Michigan, but has three second-place finishes and was third a year ago. Maybe he’s due.

Denny Hamlin (6-1): He’s won here twice, but not since his repeat in 2011. “Tobacco Road’’ is high on his chances Saturday afternoon.

Longshot Play(s): Kurt Busch (25-1); Tyler Reddick (50-1)

Busch finished third here in 2018 and second last year, so first this year would be the logical progression. Reddick needs a good finish to get into the top 16.

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