5 bold predictions ahead of Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Michigan

BY foxsports • June 11, 2016

Sunday's FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway (FS1, 11:30 a.m. ET) is shaping up to be an interesting affair, with a wide-open field and a new aero package. 

Here are five bold predictions for the 15th of 26 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season.

5. WEATHER -- Sunday will be a chamber of commerce kind of day in the Irish Hills of Michigan with temperatures in the low- to mid-70s and no chance of rain. It should be an absolutely perfect day of racing, much cooler than the high-80s of Saturday afternoon. 

4. HAPPY TIME, PEOPLE -- In five of the last six races at MIS, Kevin Harvick has finished second. In Saturday's first practice, Harvick was second-best behind Jimmie Johnson in 10 consecutive-lap average speed. Thus just might be the race where he breaks through and wins at MIS for the first time since 2010.

3. BALANCE  OF POWER -- Hmm ... let's see: A Ford on pole (Joey Logano), Chevrolets leading first (Chase Elliott) and third (Austin Dillon) practices and two Toyotas (Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch) fastest in the second practice. It appears that field at MIS is as evenly matched as we've seen in a while, with no clear-cut favorites. But on Sunday, with a lot of bragging rights on the line, one automaker will step up. 

2. HOLD ONTO 'ER -- With approximately 500 pounds less aerodynamic downforce for Sunday's race, the cars will be tough to driver, especially the deeper you go into the field, where the air is more turbulent. There will be cars that get sideways and go around at the exits to turns 2 and 4 on Sunday. You will see good drivers make critical mistakes. The winner will have to avoid those at all costs. 

1. ANOTHER NEW WINNER? -- Six different drivers have won the last six Sprint Cup races at MIS. The last repeat winner here was Greg Biffle, who won in the second Michigan race in 2012 and the first in 2013. Since then, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch and Matt Kenseth have all won here. I'm betting there will be a seventh consecutive winner at MIS: I like Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski or Kevin Harvick to seal the deal on Sunday.


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